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A wiki is basically a website you can edit.

To edit a page, click the edit tab at the top, edit the material in the input box then click the Save page button at the bottom.

Create a user account so we can keep track of who is doing what.

How to edit

Frequently Asked Questions about MediaWiki

How to write

Writing a web page is different than writing a document.

These links provide some useful insight.


The search box on the left lets you do keyword searches on the site contents.


See the User's Guide for more detail.


Using Templates - We may have template for some types of pages (maybe referenced in the See Also section). To use the template, click it's link, click "Edit", and select and copy all the text in the edit window. Then go to your new page, and paste the template text into the edit window.

Adding Instructions to Editors - Use <italic text in angle brackets> when adding instructions to editors, for example in a template

Adding In-line Comments - Use <bold italic text in angle brackets> when adding comments about the page contents


See documentation on customizing the interface and the User's Guide for help on using and configuring a Wiki.

Useful Tricks

Recent Changes

The Recent Changes link in the navigation box is a useful way to track changes to the Wiki contents. Each page change is listed from most recent to oldest. Clicking on the (diff) link lets you see what changed. Clicking on the page link itself lets you see the result. Clicking on the (hist) link lets you see the history of changes to that page.

Table of Contents

All pages with more than two headers include a Table of Contents at the top of the page with each of the section headers included as links. To move the TOC, insert the text __TOC__ at the point in the page where you would like it to appear. To remove the TOC, insert the text __NOTOC__ at the start of the page.

Combined Pages

To combine several existing pages into a single meta page when it makes sense to do so for viewing or printing, create a new page with the following syntax:

=Optional Heading=
{{:Page page1}}
{{:Page page2}}
and so on

Printing Pages

To get a printable page with BIG HEADERS:

  • click on Printable View in the toolbox on the left
  • print from the browser.

To get a document formatted for paper:

  • click on Printable View in the toolbox on the left
  • select and copy all the text in the Printable View
  • open an empty Microsoft Word document
  • paste the text into the Word document
  • File->Page Setup-> reset the margins
  • Tools->Templates and Add-ins
  • <explain how to import/overwrite the appropriate paragraph styles>
  • print from Word


There are client side spell checkers that will check what you edit:

Uploading Files

To avoid the broken link icon at the link to your uploaded file, add a : at the start of the link. E.g. [[:Media:NameOfYourFile.doc | link text]]

Converting Pages to HTML Files

mw2html is a tool for doing just this. Right click on this link and "Save Target as.."

It can be run with a Python binary package.

You will also need to get the htmldata module. Do a "Save Target As..." on the newest version link on that page. I don't remember off-hand how I got it to compile.

Once it's ready, try: " out -f"

The current problem is that it doesn't use the login cookie cached for the browser so it only gets the top page right, but otherwise looks like it is doing the right thing.

I tested mw2html and it worked ok. Currently, our wiki allow anonymous users to view main page, logon page, and help page only. So can only get logon pages for others. Because of that, mw2html went pretty fast. I expect it will run lot longer when I allow anonymous user to view all pages.- howard

PDF Export

Combining articles into a single PDF for printing. It needs htmldoc (open source utility) to take multiple HTML pages and turn them into a PDF file. All pdf files stored on wiki server's folder called /printouts.

The coding is very simple and works like this: (we'll call this page "Test Print")

Put articles that will appear in sequence in curly braces: {Index_of_Work_Items | Feature_Proposals_Index | Index_of_Trend_Reports}

and put articles to combine into a single set of curly braces separated by the | pipe symbol. {Index_of_Work_Items | Feature_Proposals_Index | Index_of_Trend_Reports} These articles will not have a page break in the PDF file. This is really useful for articles that are short and related, such as a function list. Then add a link to this page:

Print these articles

Now when a user browses to this page on your site and clicks the above link, the page will re-output through the special PrintArticles.php file instead of index.php. The page will be changed from looking like this:

{Index_of_Work_Items | Feature_Proposals_Index | Index_of_Trend_Reports}

Print these articles

to this:

{Index_of_Work_Items | Feature_Proposals_Index | Index_of_Trend_Reports}

Print these articles

Creating: (Index_of_Work_Items)

Creating: (Feature_Proposals_Index)

Creating: (Index_of_Trend_Reports)

Test Print

Known Problems:

  • HTMLDOC can import images when running from command line but not reliable when spawn from wiki.
  • Quotes print out as: a with an accent
  • Funky caching issues

Task Lists

The MediaWikiTasks plugin supports managing task lists.


The EasyTimelines plugin supports displaying annotated timelines.

See Also

MediaWiki and Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia provide more information and examples of using MediaWiki.

Wiki Introduction provides a short video outlining the use of Wiki's for collaboration

Neat stuff under special pages. Explain Categories and Category Pages.

Headings and Subheadings

Headings and subheadings are an easy way to improve the organization of an article. If you can see two or more distinct topics being discussed, you can break up the article by inserting a heading for each section.

Headings can be created like this:

  • ==Top level heading== (2 equals signs)
  • ===Subheading=== (3 equals signs)
  • ====Another level down==== (4 equals signs)

If an article has at least four headings, a table of contents will automatically be generated.

Note: there are six levels of document headers in MediaWiki.


Plain indentations

The simplest way of indenting is to place a colon (:) at the beginning of a line. The more colons you put, the further indented the text will be. A newline (pressing Enter or Return) marks the end of the indented paragraph.

For example:

This is aligned all the way to the left.
:This is indented slightly.
::This is indented more.

is shown as:

This is aligned all the way to the left.
This is indented slightly.
This is indented more.

Working with FONTS

Bold and Italics

The most commonly used wiki tags are bold and italics. Bolding and italicizing is done by surrounding a word or phrase with multiple apostrophes ('):

  • ''italics'' appears as italics. (2 apostrophes on either side)
  • '''bold''' appears as bold. (3 apostrophes on either side)
  • '''''bolded italics''''' appears as bolded italics. (2 + 3 = 5 apostrophes on either side)

Changing Size

To change the font size from the normal size to a size larger use the following:

<big> ...text </big>

To change the font size from the normal size to a size smaller use the following:

<small> ...text </small>

Changing Types

Changing Colors

To change the color of the font being displayed use the following:

<font color=red> ...text </font>

Text Line Controls

  • To force a hard Carriage-Return/Line-feed in the displayed document, use the following charcter sequence

<br />

  • To center a text line, or all test between start fo HTML Tag and end of HTML tag.



How to Link

Internal Links:

When you want to make a link to another page in the same wiki (called a wiki link) you put it in double square brackets, like this:


External links

If you want to link to a site outside of the wiki, simply type in the full URL for the page you want to link to. If you want to make a link to Google, all you need to do is type:

The wiki will automatically treat this text as a link (as has been done with the URL above) and will display the raw web address, including the "http://" part.

External reference links should often go in an External Links/References section at the bottom of a page.


Internal links: [[Main Page]] = Main Page.

Named Internal links: [[Rules | rules for editing]] = rules for editing.

Contracted External links: [] = [1].

Named External links: [ Google Home] = Google Home.

Explicit External links: “visit now‿ = “visit now‿.

Using link anchors (<a name="..."> in HTML):

  • Creating anchors. An anchor is created automatically for each section of a page. You can create additional anchors by putting an id attribute on any HTML tag understood by MediaWiki. Example: <div id="anchor">Text with anchor</div> =
    Text with anchor
Note, that neither <a name="anchor">, nor <a id="anchor"> will work.
  • Linking to an anchor. You can link to an anchor on a page using this syntax: [[In-House Style#Commonly used names|Commonly used names]] = Commonly used names. For anchors on current page you can use [[#anchor|anchor]] = anchor.


Bullet points

You can also indent using bullets, usually used for lists. To insert a bullet, use an asterisk (*). Similar to indentation, more asterisks in front of a paragraph means more indentation.

A brief example:

*First list item
*Second list item
**Sub-list item under second
*Third list item

Which is shown as:

  • First list item
  • Second list item
    • Sub-list item under second
  • Third list item

fourth list items

Numbered items

You can also create numbered lists. For this, use the number sign or hash symbol (#). This is usually used for polls and voting. Again, you can affect the indent of the number by the number of #'s you use.


#First item
#Second item
##Sub-item under second item
#Third item

Shows up as:

  1. First item
  2. Second item
    1. Sub-item under second item
  3. Third item


Wikicode can be used to create a table, as follows:

  • The entire table begins with a line "{| optional table parameters " and ends with the line "|}".
  • An optional table caption is included with a line "|+ caption " after "{|".
  • The code for a table row consists of the line "|- optional table parameters ", and, starting on a new line, the codes for the cells in the row, separated by newline or "|"
  • Table data are the codes for the cells; cell code is of the form "| value " or "| cell parameters | value "
  • a row of column headings is identified by using "!" instead of "|", except for the separator between a cell parameter and a value; the difference with a normal row depends on the browser, column headings are often rendered in a bold font.
  • the first cell of a row is identified as row heading by starting the line with "!" instead of "|", and starting subsequent data cells on a new line.



| Cell 1, row 1

| Cell 2, row 1


| Cell 1, row 2

| Cell 2, row 2



Cell 1, row 1 Cell 2, row 1
Cell 1, row 2 Cell 2, row 2

Term with indented definition:

;Term:Definition (indented)

;;Term (indented):Definition (indented two levels)

;;;Term (indented twice):Definition (indented to third level)

...which looks like:

Definition (indented)
Term (indented)
Definition (indented two levels)
Term (indented twice)
Definition (indented to third level)

Miscellaneous Rules

  • To quote text without applying the wiki formatting rules, enclose it within a ... section. Within a nowiki section, only HTML-quoting of special characters (<>&) will occur--no other formatting rules will be applied.

Document structure