Our editing introduction

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Editor's Note

All the material below this paragraph was last updated in 2011. It's being kept until we complete an update of the Wikidelphia Help pages. Some of the information here is still useful. To see something more up-to-date and step-by-step, see PaulSank's Step-By-Step Guide to Wikidelphia Editing, which was first drafted and posted in late 2015. PaulSank 16:39, 30 December 2015 (EST)

Our editing introduction (2011)

First - DON'T PANIC! -- You CAN'T permanently lose any previously-saved text (only Administrators can do that). 
If you get into real trouble (you probably won't), put a {{help me}} (including the special brackets) at the top of 
the page and save the page. Fixes are very easy, and an Administrator will eventually figure it out. 

Administrators: See Steve's Wikitext editing introduction

The Intro

The Intro is the first few paragraphs at the top of an article, the ones above any headers. They are sort of the preamble of the article, and should not present any information that is not more fully discussed below some header.

In the article's first sentence the page name should appear in bold, as in Delaware Valley Mensa which starts out as "Delaware Valley Mensa is the ...".

Adding A New Page

  1. To add a page, first search to see if it already exists by using the search tool. Enter a part of the title of the page. If your page already exists, see if it has the content you'd like to be there. If it doesn't, add it or fix what is there.
  2. If the page you'd like to work on doesn't exist, type its exact title into the search tool and click "Go."
  • You'll see a message that says, "There were no results matching the query."
  • And the next line will have the words you typed in red
  • Click on the red text to start editing the new page you just created.
  • Finish creating the page by scrolling to the bottom and click "Save Page".

Making headers

What really makes a Wiki article readable is the use of headers to break the text into coherent chunks.

You make a header by typing the header name (with only the first letter capitalized unless it's a proper noun), and then selecting/highlighting that text and choosing a Header Format from the drop-down arrow on the right edge of the Format open-space on the tool bar. It shows up immediately. Very easy.

I generally prefer to use only 2nd-level headers (which like first-level headers have underlines) and third-level headers (bold but not underlined) on a page. I use bullets (see Lists) for items with very short text. But, then again, I tend not to write pages that need to use a lot of levels in them.


Making lists is both powerful and easy.  Just type your list, select and highlight the whole list, and then click the Bulleted List or the Numbered List buttons on the Toolbar above (the Toolbar is visible when you're editing).

Here are two examples:

  • Apples
  • Oranges
  • Persimmons


  1. Hardware
  2. BIOS
  3. Drivers
  4. O/S

You may want to bullet or number several levels deep.  I believe that this requires using the Wikitext button, but it can be done.  For right now, I recommend posting a note on my Talk page (SteveH Talk) to have me do it for you.

  1. Philadelphians
    1. Politicians
      1. Founding Fathers
        1. Benjamin Franklin
        2. John Rutledge (?)
    2. Authors
      1. Novels
        1. Noam Chomsky
  2. Other people
    1. Politicians

Saving your work

Nothing is more frustrating than to complete a big set of editing changes and then, when you hit Save, get hit with an "Edit conflict" and possibly lose all of your editing work!

So, if you're going to make massive changes, it's smarter to Save many times as you go along.

If that's not possible, perhaps what you need to do is to copy all of the text you intend to modify, then make a "holding page" in your own space. Simply put in the searchbox user:yourname/newfilename like User:Shollingsworth/Example and when you try to go to it, choose to edit it. Then paste in the text you've copied and you can edit it in your own workspace. When you're done, copy it back into the appropriate page or page section (if no one else has changed it in the meantime) and Save.

Making a "See also" section

It's traditional to have a See also section of wikilinks at the end of an article. It's not required, just traditional.


(This last is an external link, and really belongs in an External links section.)

The "Stub" tag

If you write a page and you feel that it's not fully completed yet, you probably should tag it as being a stub.

The way to do this is to put at the very bottom of the page {{stub}} (including the special brackets). This will put a note at the bottom of the page and also add the page to [[Category:Stub pages]].

Talk/Discussion pages

Signing your name

It's very good etiquette to sign your name on posts you make on Talk or Discussion pages.

You do that by, after your message, typing four tildes (the shifted-character in the upper left of your keyboard) like this: ~~~~

If you have an account here and are signed in, your username will appear in the text after you hit Save.

This is an example:

Hi, John! I'm glad you joined us! ~~~~

for me becomes:

Hi, John! I'm glad you joined us! SteveH 05:54, 20 January 2011 (EST)


It's also correct to indent your responses to someone's Talk post. Each new response in a thread gets indented one tab further.

Indenting is done simply by putting one or more colons at the start of a paragraph of text.  One colon indents the whole paragraph by one tab length.  Two colons indents two tab lengths, etc.

Linking to Wikipedia articles

Frankly, Wikipedia does have many great articles relevant to Philadelphia - and we're not trying to compete with Wikipedia, but rather expand on it and discuss areas that an encyclopedia doesn't. So from time to time it'll be necessary to write a wikilink to a Wikipedia article.

For the next part you need to know where the | key is. It's in the lower-right of your keyboard, on the \ key which is below the Enter key.

This is how SteveH does it:

  1. Research in Wikipedia what article names you'll need.
  2. Write your page, using the desired article names and making them bold.
  3. Save your page.
  4. Now edit your page again. This time, choose the Wikitext button.
  5. By scrolling around, you will find each Wikipedia article name surrounded by several single quotes, as in '''article name'''.
  6. Replace each '''article name''' with [[Wikipedia:article name|article name]]
  7. Save the page (it will save as usual).
  8. Review the page.

So, [[wikipedia:Tyrannosaurus Rex|Tyrannosaurus Rex]] becomes Tyrannosaurus Rex

Well, it works for Steve.