Help:New editors

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All members of the forum at simplemachines.org can edit this wiki, as long as you have made at least ten posts. Do not worry about making mistakes because all changes are logged in the history of each page and they can be reversed if necessary.

We strongly recommend discussing your ideas with others in the Doc Helpers board on the SMF forum before making any changes to a wiki page.

Wiki Basics

  • When editing the wiki, please follow the Documentation Guidelines.
  • Instead of having a topic and replies, the wiki has articles and versions.
  • When you use Edit, you are creating a new version of a page. The older versions never get changed.
  • You can always see the older versions using the History button. You can even compare versions.
  • Do not worry about editing "at the same time" as somebody else. The wiki will warn you if someone else has edited the same article while you were working, and give you a chance to merge your changes.
  • If a wiki page has translated versions (you will see a list of languages at the top of the page), please discuss any substantial changes in the Doc Helpers board. This is because we try to keep these pages as stable as possible to make life easier for the translators. On the other hand, if you just want to make small corrections to the grammar and spelling, then you do not have to discuss this because it will not affect the translations.
  • Please do not create new pages with ? or & in the title -- they confuse the webserver.

Searching for an Article, or for Help Writing Articles

Just type something into the search box in the top left-hand corner, and then click either Go or Search. The Go option will take you directly to a page if it has the exact same name as the text that you have entered in the search box. If there is no exact match, you will be presented with a list of pages that contain the word(s) you are searching. The Search button always presents you with the list of search results, even if there is an exact match.

By default, the search results include all namespaces, but if you want to search in only one namespace (for example "Multimedia" or "Help and Project Pages"), you can select it at the top of the page that lists the search results.

Editing an Existing Article

If you can see the Edit button above an article, you have permission to edit it. During editing, you will find the following features:

  • Wiki editing buttons - Bold, Italic, Underline, External Link, Level 2 Heading, Picture, File, Math, <nowiki>, signature, and horizontal line. These are located above the editing box.
  • Editing box - this is where you enter the content of the wiki page.
  • Summary box - here you can briefly explain your changes. We highly recommend using this as it makes it easier for other users to track the changes and understand your reasoning.
  • This is a minor edit - If you are just making small corrections to grammar or typos, for example, you can check this box.
  • Watch this page - Check this box if you want to be informed of any new edits to the page by other users. In your wiki preferences you can elect to be informed by email.
  • Editing help - This link is below the editing box and it leads to the help pages at Mediawiki. This is useful for learning more about wiki formatting and how the wiki works.
  • Show changes - You can click this button to compare your new version to the previous one. This is a good way of reviewing your changes before you save the page.
  • Show preview - When you click this button, you will see a preview of how your page will look after you save your edits. This is a good way of checking for any mistakes you might have made with the wiki formatting, for example.
  • Save page - When you are happy with the changes that you have made, you can save your new version of the page by clicking this button.

Starting a New Page


Here are two ways of creating a new page:

  • Enter the title of the new page in the search box and then press Go. If there is no existing page with the same title, you will be offered the possibility of creating a new page by clicking on a red link.
  • While working on another page, create a wikilink to the new wiki page. The next time you preview or save, you will see a red link to that new page. Follow that red link and get started on the new page.

For further information, please see the Mediawiki article "Starting a new page". On that page you can also find out how to create a new page by using the URL.

Wikilinks and Wiki Formatting

BBCode cannot be used for formatting wiki articles. You will need to familiarise yourself with wiki code. One really helpful wiki formatting feature is the automatic table of contents. Every time you use a == to make a heading, it gets added to the table of contents. You can find more information about links and formatting when you follow the Editing help link at the bottom of every editing page.

Some things that work anywhere on the page:

  • Wikilinks - Links within the wiki. For example, [[Name of article]]. See also Links.
  • External links - Links to some place else. For example, [http://simplemachines.org]
  • Basic Formatting - ''italic'', '''bold''', and '''''bold italic''''' text.
  • Pictures - [[File:Yes_check.png|thumb]]. For this to work, the images have to be Uploaded to the wiki. The File List shows all the images that have been uploaded.

Some things that only work at the start of a line:

  • Section Headings - == Level 2 ==, ===Level 3===, etc. Do not use Level 1 headings because they are reserved for the page titles.
  • Lists - Just start the line with a '*' to create a bullet, '#' to create a number, and double them up '**' to create indented lists.

Images on the Wiki

All images used in the wiki must be found on the wiki. See Images for further information.

A New Picture

Here is how to upload a new picture to the wiki:

  • On the left side of the wiki page, under Toolbox, find the upload file link, and follow the directions.

Updating an Existing Picture

  • While viewing the picture on a page, click on it.
  • On the image page, find the Upload a new version of this file link.
  • Follow the instructions to upload a new file from your desktop. The new file must have the same file extension as the old one.