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This help guide provides the basic knowledge to create various types of wiki links, as well as the "dos and don'ts" that should be considered when creating links.

Types of links[edit | edit source]

There are four types of links:

1. Internal links to other pages only in this Wiki. They do not include any other sites.

Internal links will remain intact even if a page title is changed (using a Redirect). Page deletions can create red links but this can normally be avoided by identifying existing links using "What links here" and redirecting them before the page is deleted.
Hint: Although linking to section headings is possible (using #) and is often done, it is not to be highly recommended since a section heading is vulnerable to editing by another user which means a once good link can easily be broken. Although an actual red link will not appear, the link to the section will not function correctly if even a minor change to the section title is made (the link will still go to the top of the designated page).

2. External links to other websites, including other sites

Please be aware that external links to internal wiki pages is not an acceptable practice and there are internal mechanisms that will mark such links for correction.
Hint: If such an external link is still desired to, for example, assist the users by opening a new tab on their browser, the creator of such a link should indicate in the coding (using a comment marker) that this is by design and that it should not be corrected. This still remains an undesirable practice and may be corrected anyway.

3. Interwiki links to other websites registered to the Wiki in advance.

Hint: Please use the Wikipedia Template [[wikipedia:Article Name]] to create an external link to Wikipedia pages. This will allow all Wikipedia links to be updated at the same time if Wikipedia changes the way it links to pages.

4. Interlanguage links to other websites registered as other language versions of the Wiki.

Creating links[edit | edit source]

The FamilySearch Wiki uses two types of editors: the Visual Editor and the Standard Editor. You can make links with either one.

1. The Visual Editor is similar to many word processors. If you are in Standard Editor, you can switch to the Visual Editor by clicking on the "Edit Source" tab at the top of the page.

VE Switch icon.png
Save changes...

  • It is recommended that beginners use the Visual Editor, because it has more help for the user to avoid mistakes.
  • If you use the Visual Editor to add a link, you can find detailed information in the following two articles: Creating an internal link or else Creating an external link.

2. The Standard Editor uses Wiki Text which requires the user to remember more of how to edit a page. If you are in the Visual Editor, you can switch to the Standard Editor by clicking on the "Edit" tab at the top of the page.

Wiki Text tool bar.JPG
  • If you use the Standard Editor to add a link, you can find detailed information in the following article: Creating a new link.

FAQ - Frequently Asked Questions[edit | edit source]

How do I edit a link?

Links to both internal FamilySearch Wiki pages and external Internet pages can and often do change.

  • In the Standard Editor, type the new page, Internet link address, or template text over the old material.
  • In the Visual Editor, place your cursor over the link text and an unbroken chain icon Unbroken chain link.JPG will appear. Click on the icon and a drop down box will appear. Type in the new link then replace the page title or Internet address link with the correct link.
  • If you are editing a template in the Visual Editor, click on the down arrow beside the word "Insert". A drop down box will appear, click on the word "Template" and insert the template name {T}. Then edit the template text.

Don't forget to summarize what you have done so others know the change you've made.

Does the text on the page need to match the title of the linked page?

It is not required , but the linking text should clearly convey the content of the linked page to the researcher and may: 1) expand on the title of the linked page, 2) be more concise or 3) be external links, which should always use linking text in place of the full Internet http:// address.

Example 1:

Page Title: Mennonites
Linking Text: Researching Mennonite Records 

Example 2:

Page Title: Pennsylvania Biography
Linking Text: Biographies

Example 3:

Page URL:
Linking Text: Famous Pennsylvanians

How do I avoid making a Link?

Generally, when you type an URL address (with the http://), it will be transformed to an external link. To avoid making a link, put the URL address between <nowiki> tags in the Standard Editor:


Can I create a new page by adding a link?

Yes. You do this by typing the title of the non-existing page as your link. This works only for internal links and will display the new page link in red text. When you click on the link, you will be taken to a new page that will not exist until you edit and save it.

Before you use this method to create a new page, search the FamilySearch Wiki to make sure it does not already exist. If you have not already done so, please read the material on the Creating a page page.

What happens if I add a link to a page that does not exist?

The link to the non-existing page will be created, but the link will be displayed in red text. You can use this as a method to create new pages in the FamilySearch Wiki as you edit an existing page. If you click on the link, it will take you to the page where you can create it.

What do the symbols at the end of the External Links mean?

The following symbols can appear behind an external link.

  1. ExternalLinkSymbol.png This is the standard external link symbol. Internal links have no symbol attached to the link text.
  2. ExternalSecureLinkSymbol.png This link symbol indicates that the link is a secure link, using https:// in the link address.
  3. DocumentSymbol.png The document symbol indicates a link to a document and not a Wiki page.
  4. AudioSymbol.png The audio (sound) symbol indicates a link to a sound file.
  5. VideoSymbol.png The video symbol indicates a link to a video file.
  6. EmailSymbol.png The email symbol indicates an email address and will usually start the email program. Please do not use.

What is an Interwiki Link?

Interwiki links are Links to other wiki's such as Wikipedia. These appear as an internal link, but contain the name of the wiki they are displayed in: History of Pennsylvania. Please use the Wikipedia Template [[wikipedia:Article Name]] to create an external link to Wikipedia pages. This will allow all Wikipedia links to be updated at the same time if Wikipedia changes the way it links to pages.

What is an Interlanguage Link?

An inter-language link is a link to a Wiki page in a different language. Inter-language links are usually found in a bar at the bottom of the page. The links are created using the {{H-langs}} template. If this page is available in other languages and someone has added the links, you will see a bar displaying the links at the bottom of the page.

Quick Reference for the Visual Editor:

  • Unbroken chain link.JPG The unbroken chain icon on the toolbar is used for adding or editing links.
  • The down arrow next to the word "Insert" on the tool bar links to a drop down box. Select the word "Template" and add the template name on the box that appears.

Quick Reference for the Standard Editor:

  • StandardEditorInternalLink.png The Ab icon button is used for defining internal links.
  • StandardEditorExternalLink.png The globe icon button is used for defining external links.

Ways to Add Links

You can add a link to a page in one of three ways:

  1. Use the Visual Editor to add internal and external links and to use templates using features similar to those found on many word processors..
  2. Use the Standard Editor and Wikitext to add code external link or to use a template manually for features not enabled in the other editor, including internal links.
  3. Use a Template to add interwiki links and other links that need special requirements set up. You can use either the other editor or wikitext to add a template link.

Help-content.png Questions?
Visit the Get Help to receive help with contributing to the Wiki.

See also[edit | edit source]