Wikia

PPC Wiki

Help:Editing

Talk0
2,521pages on
this wiki

This is the not-so-useless-anymore Editing Help Page.

Tips for Editing: The Basics

Neshomeh's Editing Tutorial

Okay, guys. Editing the wiki is just about the easiest thing you can ever do, and you don't even need the WYSIWYG Rich Text Editor. First we'll talk rules, and then we'll get into the nuts and bolts. Ready? Go!

Etiquette and Style

These things are very important. Ignoring them is likely to result in people being annoyed at you, so pay attention.

Stuff in red is wiki code. For more about that, hang around for the rest of the tutorial.

Etiquette

Because the wiki is a shared creation, like the rest of the PPC, it is important to observe a few points of etiquette when editing. Following the PPC Constitution is a good place to start, and I'll repeat a few of the basic tenets here:

  • Keep it G to PG-13 or, if it is absolutely necessary to descend into inappropriate subject material, make sure to put a {{NSFW}} warning at the top.
  • Be respectful of each other and of people outside the community. No flaming, bad-mouthing, or casting aspersions about fanfic authors; keep your comments about the writing, not the writers. Remember, they're people, too, and they have as much right to their stories as we have to ours, no matter how poorly written they are.
  • Make your pages legible. You can download an in-browser spellchecker for Firefox, so if that's your browser, you have no excuse. If not, you can still type articles in a word processor with spell-check before putting them on the wiki, so you have no excuse, either.
  • If you don't understand something, don't be afraid to ask for help (preferably before you make any changes on the wiki).
  • Silliness is encouraged! Be entertaining and have fun!

There are also a few PPC Wiki-specific points:

  • I know it says you don't have to make an account or sign in to edit, but around here it is polite to do so anyway. We're a community, and we like to know who's who. (For a rather good article on this subject, see Advice: Building a Community on Wikia Help.)
    • If you are prevented from creating an account/logging in for some reason, please at least give your name in your edit summary.
  • Once you've made an account, please take the time to fill in your user page. You don't have to put a lot there, but at least fill in the infobox. This is especially important if your wiki user name is different from your Board name.
  • When you make comments on talk pages, always remember to sign your comments with four tildes: ~~~~
    • If you're unable to log in, you should still sign your name.
  • Use good judgement if you're thinking about making changes to someone else's user or agent page, especially if they're an active Boarder. If you're just fixing a spelling or wiki code error, that's probably fine, but larger changes should be left to them. If you want to make a suggestion, that's what talk pages are for. Or, y'know, that message board thingummy.
  • Finally, follow the wiki's style as discussed below.

Style

Since the wiki has been around for a while, we've begun to settle on a Certain Way Of Doing Things for many types of pages. It makes all of us look better if the wiki has internal consistency, so pay attention to what others have done before you and, if there is pattern in a page or type of page, stick to it. Here are some specific guides to help you out:

There are also some general things to always remember:

  • Italicize titles of long works (e.g. The Lord of the Rings, Mass Effect) and use quotes for titles of short works (e.g. "Rambling Band" or 'Rambling Band').
  • In the first line of a page, use a complete sentence to define the page topic and re-state the page name in bold text.
  • Alphabetize your additions to the Unclaimed, Claimed, and Killed Badfic lists. Also pay attention to other lists that may be alphabetized or otherwise ordered.
  • Capitalize words like "agent," "department," and "division" when they are used as titles: "Agent Jay worked in the Department of Mary Sues."
    • DO NOT capitalize them when they stand alone, e.g. "the agent returned to her department."
  • For heaven's sake, use spell-check.

Finally, finish what you start. When you make your PPC Wiki account, fill in your user page so we know who you are and what you've done. If you make a page for your agent, fill it in with more than one or two lines, and definitely make sure you state who the agent's author is. If you upload an image to the wiki, use it. If you make a link to a page that doesn't exist, create that page or get rid of the redlink. It's about integrity, and it's about looking good. The wiki is a form of writing, too, and there's really no reason for us to care less about it than we do our other works.

On Regional Spelling and Usage

It is not appropriate to "correct" for American vs. British and British Commonwealth spelling and usage unless the instance in question damages the consistency of a page. We have writers from all over the map, and we refuse to invalidate their particular brand of English by choosing one over the other. That means there are going to be some pages with American usage and some pages with British/Commonwealth usage. When determining which set of rules to use, ask yourself the following questions:

  1. What is the origin of this subject's canon? For example, if it's a page about something from Harry Potter, the canon's origin is British, therefore British usage is preferred.
  2. What is the origin of this subject's creator? For example, anything originating from the Original Series should be discussed using American usage, because Jay and Acacia are American. The various spin-offs have authors from different countries, and pages about their agents and concepts should be discussed with usage consistent with their country of origin.
    • If English is that author's second language, you'll want to go with whichever style of English usage they learned, not the language of their home country.
  3. What is the precedent set by this page's creator? When in doubt, just be consistent with what's already there, whether the page uses your brand of English or not.

Editing Intro

To begin, in a separate tab or window, open up the Sandbox page, or make a new page if you like—preferably starting with a blank page, since you may or may not need the headers the pre-formatted page suggests.

Now, if you have not done this already, turn off the Rich Text Editor. This tutorial is about how to use wiki code, and the RTE won't help you do that. To turn it off, look for a button in the upper right of the tool bar that says Source. It's got two little HTML carats next to it, like this: < > Just click on it.

All the fancy buttons will disappear, and you'll have either a blank window or a window full of text and formatting characters. It may look like nonsense at first, but we're going to fix that right now. Using the Preview button, try out everything I do on this page and you'll get the hang of it pretty quickly. Examples of wiki code will appear in red.

Formatting Characters

Formatting on the wiki is done by means of re-purposed punctuation marks, or "formatting characters." You DO know your punctuation marks, right? I thought so.

There are five main characters you need to know about to format most wiki pages. These are them:

  • The single quote for text formatting: '
  • The equal sign for headers: =
  • The square bracket for links and images: [ ]
  • The curly bracket for infoboxes and templates: { }
  • The pipe, used with brackets for various functions: |

If you want to make a list, like this one, you may also need:

  • The asterisk for bulleted lists: *
  • The hash mark for numbered lists: #

There are a few odds and ends these do not cover, like underlining, but those are done with HTML. I've included notes on a few useful little tidbits near the end, but we'll start with wiki markup.

The Single Quote

This mark is used to make text italic, bold, or both. For italics, use two single-quotes on either side of the word, like so: ''italic''. The first set begins the italics, the second set ends it. Do not mistake two single-quotes for a double-quote. The latter will not work. For bold text, use three single-quotes, like so: '''bold'''. For both italic and bold text, use five single-quotes: '''''both'''''.

On this wiki, use bold text to emphasize the topic of your page in the first line. You'll see this on Wikipedia, and you should see it here. For example, check out my user page.

The Equal Sign

This is really simple. See the header just above this line? See the others like it? You make those with equal signs flanking the text you want in your header. One equal sign to a side makes a big underlined header, the same size as the page title. That looks silly, so mostly you'll be using two equal signs to each side, like so: == Level Two == This gives an underlined header, like up where it says "Neshomeh's Editing Tutorial."

If you need sub-headers, just add a third equal sign to either side, like so: === Level Three ===

The header for this section of the tutorial is a level four, or sub-sub-header, so it uses four equal signs to a side: ==== Level Four ====

Important notes about headers: You cannot have body text on the same line as your header, or it won't work. In other words, there must be at least one line break between your header and your body text in the editing window. You can use a double line break in the editing window if you prefer the way that looks (I do); either way, Wikia automatically uses a double line break when it renders your page. HOWEVER, if you use more than a double line break, it will add on the additional breaks and render an extra-big blank space on your page. That looks sloppy, so don't do it.

The Square Bracket

Square brackets are very important, because they allow you to make internal and external links on the wiki, and to insert images into your page.

Internal Links

You can easily link to any page in the wiki simply by putting the name of the page in double square brackets. Say I want to link to Bleeprin (which should always be capitalized as a brand name, by the way). Since there is a page with that exact title, all I have to do is put the word Bleeprin in square brackets, like so: [[Bleeprin]].

However, if I want to link to Bleepka, that's a bit different. There isn't a page called "Bleepka," because it's discussed on the Bleeprin page, so what I need is a link that says "Bleepka" but points to "Bleeprin." I do that with a pipe between my page name and my text, like so: [[Bleeprin|Bleepka]].

If your link text is a title, such as Star Trek or "A Trekkie's Tale," you should put the relevant distinguishing marks outside the brackets, like so: ''[[Star Trek: The Original Series|Star Trek]]'' or so: "[[A Trekkie's Tale]]."

If you want to link to a category—say, Medications—you need to tell Wikia you need a category, not a page. You do that by adding in ":Category:" in front of the category's name, like this: [[:Category:Medications]]. You'll almost always want to use a pipe and rename category links: [[:Category:Medications|Medications]].

  • One nifty thing that Wikia does for you is link hinting (provided you have it turned on in your Preferences). If you suspect that something might have a page, but you're not sure, just type the opening brackets and the first three or four characters of the word you have in mind. If that page or pages with similar spelling exist, they'll show up in a drop-down menu below your cursor and you can select the one you want, upon which Wikia finishes the link for you. Nice, huh?
  • Another nifty thing is that Wikia doesn't trouble itself about initial capital letters, so if I'm linking to neuralyzer, but it's not the beginning of the sentence, I don't have to capitalize it to make the link work. Wikia does that for me. So, no excuse for random caps in your articles!
  • A third nifty thing Wikia does is that it will include letters added directly onto the end of an internal link in the link, so if I want "neuralyzers," plural, I just stick the S on the end of the link: [[neuralyzer]]s. However, this doesn't work if there is punctuation, like an apostrophe, involved.
External Links

To make external links, you use single square brackets around the URL: [www.URL.com].

If you want to display text instead of the raw link (which you probably do most of the time), you insert a space after the URL and then your text: [www.URL.com Your text]. The space is very important. Without it, your link will not work.

If your link text is a title, such as Star Trek or "A Trekkie's Tale," you should put the relevant distinguishing marks inside the brackets, like so: [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0060028/ ''Star Trek''] or so: [http://www.wiccananime.com/amslt/amslttrekkiestale.html "A Trekkie's Tale."]

Links to Wikipedia and Other Wikias

Confusingly, links to pages on Wikipedia and other Wikia wikis are best formatted like internal links, with some special additions. For instance, say I want to link to "Gandalf":

  • At Wikipedia: [[wikipedia:Gandalf|Gandalf]] gives Gandalf.
    • Note wikipedia: before the article name.
  • At One Wiki to Rule Them All: [[w:c:lotr:Gandalf|Gandalf]] gives Gandalf.
    • Note w:c:[wiki name]: before the article name. In this example, "lotr" is the name of the wiki as it appears in its URL, http://lotr.wikia.com/wiki/. (Ours is "ppc".)
Images
Example

Look, a caption!

To add an image like you see to the right, you use double brackets, sort of like an internal link except that you're linking to an image, not a page. You have to tell Wikia that by putting "Image:" before the name of your image. For example, my image is called "Example.jpg", so to call it I do this: [[Image:Example.jpg]].

To specify the image's width (and thereby its height), I insert a pipe after the image name and specify how many pixels wide I want it to be: [[Image:Example.jpg|300px]]

If I want my image to be a thumbnail, I use a pipe and the word "thumb" after the image name: [[Image:Example.jpg|thumb]]. I can also use this command with the size command to give a larger or smaller image that also has a frame like a thumbnail, but most of the time just a thumbnail will do.

If I want to put it on the right side of the page and give it a caption, I add those commands in, too, with pipes between them: [[Image:Example.jpg|thumb|right|Look, a caption!]]. You can use any commands or none, in any order, except that the caption must come last.

Exception: When adding an image to an infobox, you don't need brackets or anything but the image name in the appropriate category. There should be an "Image" category already, so the line in the infobox will look like this: |Image = Example.jpg

The Curly Bracket

Double curly brackets allow you to use Wikia templates such as "Stub", "NSFW", "Spoiler", and the very spiffy infoboxes you see to the right of so many pages. You just need to know the name of the template you want, and Wikia will very kindly give you hints if you're not sure, just like with internal links. To use most templates, you just put the name of the template in double curly brackets, like so: {{Stub}}.

Infoboxes are a little trickier, but not terribly so. If you want an infobox, I've made it really easy for you by providing everything you need to copy & paste into your page on each infobox's page. You can find all the infoboxes we use by looking in Template:Infobox or Category:Templates. If you want to do it line by line, though, this page does a pretty good job of telling you how.

DO NOT copy and paste the template source code into your page! If you've got anything but curly brackets, pipes, and equal signs in your empty infobox code, you're doing it wrong. If you copy and paste the source code, you are essentially creating a new template instead of using the one that already exists. This kind of defeats the purpose of a template and makes it really hard on the admins if we want to add a new category, or change the name bar's color, or anything like that, because we have to hunt down your page and make the changes manually. In the meantime, your page looks different from the others, harming both the wiki's internal consistency and the appearance of your page in particular. Don't do it!

For more about Wikia templates, see PPC Wiki:Templates.

The Pipe

Pipes are always used in conjunction with other characters and it is discussed here the same way. However, it can be a bit tricky to find the thing if you don't know what to look for. Although it always appears as an unbroken vertical line in type, for some reason it is printed on some keyboards like a colon made with two vertical dashes. I have no idea why it is, but it is.

Whether it is printed broken or unbroken on your keyboard, usually you can find it on the same key as the backslash ( \ ), just above the right-hand Enter key.

Asterisks and Hash Marks

These serve pretty much the same function in that they create list items like you saw above. For a simple list, you just use an asterisk or a hash mark in front of each list item, like so:

* First Item
* Second Item
* Third Item

If you need sub-items, you add an extra asterisk or hash for each sub-level:

# First Item
## First Sub-Item
## Second Sub-Item
### First Sub-Sub-Item
# Second Item
# Third Item

It is very important that you do not double-space between list items, especially when sub-items are involved. To show you why, here is the above numbered list done right:

  1. First Item
    1. First Sub-Item
    2. Second Sub-Item
      1. First Sub-Sub-Item
  2. Second Item
  3. Third Item

And here is the same list done with extra line breaks:

  1. First Item
    1. First Sub-Item
    1. Second Sub-Item
      1. First Sub-Sub-Item
  1. Second Item
  2. Third Item

It looks bad. Don't do it.

Odds and Ends

At some point, you may want to do something the wiki formatting characters can't do. For those things, you will need HTML. There are lots of places to find very good HTML tutorials, so I'm only going to cover a few that I find particularly useful here. This section also includes a few non-formatting things to help you make your pages better.

HTML

The Em-Dash

One HTML tidbit you should memorize is how to make a solid em-dash (—) instead of just sticking two hyphens together (--), or whatever your regional variation is. The HTML code for an em-dash is this: &mdash;. (As you might expect, the code for an en-dash is the same, only with an n instead of an m.) Why use an em-dash? Because it looks nicer and I'll put one there anyway if you don't.

Underlining

To underline a word or series of words, you use two tags, an opening and closing tag, around the word(s) you want affected, like so: <u>This text is underlined</u>.

Text Color and Other Effects

Wanna know how I've been making the text red? You probably don't need to know this for your average page-editing requirements, and in fact I would say try to avoid doing anything with this, but I'll tell you anyway, because I'm a show-off nice.

To change the properties of a limited bit of text, use the "span" tag with the "style" attribute. This actually gets into a little CSS, but I promise it's not hard.

As with underlining, you need both an opening and closing tag, and because the span tag is extremely versatile with CSS styling, you also have to specify exactly what you want it to do. In this case, I'm affecting the color of the enclosed text, so my tags look like this: <span style="color:red">This text is red</span>.

I can also change the size or the font of my text. Say I wanted small, Times New Roman text instead of normal-sized Arial. I would use this command: <span style="font-family:Times New Roman; font-size:2;">This font is different</span>. Note that 3 is the normal font size.

This is only a very tiny sampling of what span styles can do, but if you want to pick up more CSS, you'll have to do that somewhere else.

The Strike-Through

We of the PPC love abusing the strike-through, usually for silliness (see above explanation for showing you the text color code). UnFortunately, it's easy: it's just like the underlining tag, only with an s instead of a u. <s>This text is struck through</s>.

Categories

When you make a page, you should always put it in the appropriate category or categories so that people can find it while browsing the wiki. There should be a little bar at the bottom of the editing window that allows you to do that. Play around with it. As with links, Wikia will often suggest categories if you type a few characters in, so if you're not sure if a category exists, just try it. It also helps to familiarize yourself with the existing categories by browsing through them. I suggest starting with Category:PPC.

Uploading Images

To add images to the wiki, upload them using the "Add a Photo" button in the right-hand sidebar of content pages. (For some unknown reason, Wikia forbore to give us a link for this on the main page in the new style.) It's just below the "Recent Wiki Activity" box. When uploading, I recommend clicking "More Options" and taking a moment to add a description to the image, and also change the file name if it's something huge and awkward.

You can put your images in categories, too. Don't forget! You can do it one of two ways: 1) you can add the category when you first upload it by typing [[Category:Category Name]] into the summary field. Just switch out "Category Name" for the actual name of the category you want, whether it's Agent Images, Flash Patch Images, Canon Images, etc.; or 2) if you forget, you can add the category after you've uploaded it by going to the image's page and adding the category at the bottom, just like you would with a regular article.

Do NOT try to use the RTE to upload images to the wiki. I have it from multiple sources that this does not work.

You can replace an image with a new version of itself simply by uploading the new version under the same name as the old one. It will take a while for the change to appear on the pages, but don't worry, it does work.

If you are replacing an old image with an entirely different image and you choose not to use the same image name, make sure you fix all links to it and delete the old image. (If you can't delete it yourself, you can flag it for deletion by using the {{Delete}} template.) Otherwise it's just eating Wikia's server space unnecessarily.

Other Stuff

If you ever come across something you don't know how to do, and you can't find it either in the wiki markup or the HTML explained here, just click the Edit button and take a peek at how it was done. Then shamelessly steal it and cram it into your own page and poke at it until it does what you want (read: copy, paste, and for the love of glod preview before saving). That's how I learned, and you can, too!

Really, that's about it.

I'm all done. Tutorial's over. You're an expert now! ... Right?

Wikia's Editing Tutorial

This may help if you're using Visual Mode for some reason.

This page introduces the basics for getting started with editing on Wikia and a walkthrough of the Wikia editor. You may wish to visit the linked pages to learn more in-depth details of editing.

Note: the information below is for the classic Wikia editor. For information on using the new VisualEditor, see Help:VisualEditor.

Editor tour03:27

Editor tour.mov

Watch a quick tour of the Wikia editor

Step by step

Anyone can edit a wikia, and generally you don't even need to have an account to edit! (There are some circumstances which can restrict editing.)

  • To edit a page, simply click the Edit button which is located by the title of the page.
  • The editor will then load, allowing you to make changes to the page - adding or removing text, photos, videos and much more.
Wikia editor2

The classic Wikia editor

Editor features

  • Visual Mode: This mode is generally the default and allows you to make edits that will appear similar to how they will on the published page.
  • Source Mode: This mode allows you to edit the page using wikitext.
    • You can disable the Visual Mode entirely by visiting the "Editing" tab in your preferences, opening the "Preferred editor" menu, then selecting "Source editor".
    • This mode may be preferred for editors who need to edit complex templates frequently.
  • Edit Area: This is the main content area where you can add text, media and adjust the format of the page.
  • Toolbar: The toolbar allows you to format text, making it different sizes and styles. You can expand and condense the toolbar to view more or less tools.
  • Feature Modules: The right pane also includes modules that allow you to add features and media such as photos, slideshow, videos and tables. You can access templates to use on the page and add categories. The preview and publish buttons are found at the top of this area.

Basic editing tips

  • Once the editor is opened, you can use the toolbar, features modules and free form edit area to add or adjust to the page content.
  • To see how your page will appear once it's published, click on the preview button. This will pop up a window that shows the page as it is currently designed. You can also choose to view how the page will look at the minimum and maximum sizes that other users might see.
  • If you like your preview, hit publish and your edits will be pushed live.
  • If you don't like your preview, you can keep editing until it appears as you would like it to.
  • To let others know what you added, fill in a summary above the publish button.

Finally, don't be afraid if you 'break' anything. All edits to a page are stored in the page history, and if something does go wrong you can simply revert to an older version.

Notes

Due to some issues with Internet Explorer 11, the editor's visual mode is not currently available when using this browser. It may be re-enabled at a future date.

See here for an explanation of Wikia's editor user preferences.

Next steps

Further help and feedback

Around Wikia's network

Random Wiki