See something you'd like to change or add, but you've never edited an open encyclopædia before? This overview was written to help absolute beginners get started.

Help:Editing for beginners

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This page explains the basics of editing this (and similar) sites for those who are completely new to it.

  • Before you can edit, you must have registered and logged in. Click the link at the top right of the page (see picture) to do this.

If you are brand new to a Wiki, you should first read our overview of a Wiki.

Contents

Creating a new article

The search box and "Go" button

There are several ways to create a new article.

Using the Go button

One of the most straightforward methods is to type the name of the page, exactly as you want it to appear, in the search box on the left, and click the "Go" button.

If the article already exists, you will be taken to it. If not, you will be offered the opportunity to create it. Please check first, however, that there is not already an article about the topic with a slightly different name. Our Style manual requires that article titles be singular and in lower case (except for proper nouns).

A "red link" to the general revelation page which doesn't exist.
Clicking on a "red link"

Another way to create a new page is to click on a "red link", a link to a page that doesn't exist. It will often be appropriate to create such a link in a related topic.

Editing an existing page

Every page that you can edit has a tab at the top saying "edit".

Page tabs with edit.png

Clicking that edit tab allows you to edit the whole page.

You can instead edit individual sections of a page by clicking the "[edit]" link to the right of a heading.

Section edit.png

Clicking this link allows you to edit just that section. This is preferred as you can do this while someone else is editing another section.

Tip: To edit just the section before the first heading, you can add an '[edit]' link there also. In your preferences, on the Gadgets tab, tick the edittop box, and this will add an '[edit]' link to the first section of each page.

Basic editing

Paragraph breaks

To create a paragraph break, leave a blank line between two sentences.

This sentence will be in one paragraph.

This sentence will be in the next paragraph
This sentence will be in one paragraph.
This sentence, even though it is on a different line, will be made part of the same paragraph.

See also Special characters at the start of a line, below.

Bold and italic

To make text bold, put three apostrophes around it.

The word '''bold''' will be displayed bolded.

To make text italic, put two apostrophes around it.

The word ''italic'' will be displayed in italics.
Links

To link to other articles (pages) in this encyclopædia, put pairs of square brackets around the text.

This sentence contains a link to the [[Bible]] article.

If the link is to be plural but the article is singular, put the "s" just outside the brackets.

The Bible contains many [[book]]s.

This is not just for plurals, but any word forms that append additional letters to the base word.

The family had six [[child]]ren.

If the link is to a page title that cannot be incorporated into the sentence that way, you can use a "piped link". In this case you separate the name of the article from the word(s) that appear in the sentence with the "pipe" character (|).

Billy Graham's son [[Franklin Graham|Franklin]] is also an evangelist.
Lists

Numbered or bulleted lists can be created quite easily. To create a bulleted list, simply start each line with an asterisk.

* List item 1
* List item 2
* List item 3

To create a numbered list, start each line with a hash.

# List item 1
# List item 2
# List item 3

Multi-level lists can also be created, by using multiple asterisks or hashes.

* List item 1
** sub-list item 1
** sub-list item 2
* List item 2
Special characters at the start of a line

When you use certain characters to begin a line (such as the asterisks and hashes used for lists), you do not need to leave a blank line between each line of text. Separate lines of text only become part of the same paragraph when none of these special characters are used at the start.

Don't start your lines of text with a space

When you type your text, begin at the left of the edit box. Don't put any spaces at the start. A leading space causes the text to be displayed in a monospace font in a box.

This sentence started with a space.

Talk pages

All article (and other) pages have an associated talk page. These are used for discussing the content of articles with other contributors.

Editing a talk page is essentially the same as editing an article page, but there are a few differences. On a talk page, headings are used to separate different lines of discussion. If you want to start a new discussion, click the "+" tab at the top of the page. This will create a new section with a heading that you supply.

Indenting

If you are replying to someone else, the convention is to indent your comments one more level than the previous comment. You can indent paragraphs by starting them with one or more colons (:). So if you are replying to someone who started their comment with three colons, you should start with four colons.

This works on any page, but should not normally be used on article pages. If you want to indent text for a quote, for example, use a {{Quote}} 'template' instead (see below).

Signing

you should always "sign" your talk-page comments. If you type four tildes (~~~~), when you save your comment the tildes will be converted to your signature (a link to your username if you haven't changed this in your preferences) and the date and time.

More advanced editing

There are many other things that can be done, including creating tables, inserting images, adding categories, and adding boilerplate text and predefined tables and other boxes (using templates). If you understand HTML, there are some HTML tags you can use as well.

Further information

You can learn more from the help pages.

You can also look at other pages to see how they were written. Click the edit tabs or section link without editing them. For locked pages or pages that you are not allowed to edit, you can click the "view source" tab.

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