Share Your Knowledge by Adding to the Wiki

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By sharing your knowledge, you can help build the Wiki. For help in that process, follow the information below.

Before you begin editing

  • Make sure that you Sign In to your FamilySearch account. If you don't have an account already, you will be directed to the Create Account page. There is never a fee for a FamilySearch account.
  • If you do not have editing rights, request them by clicking on the link in the red text line at the top of every page.
  • Go to an article that you would like to edit or add additional information. Choose articles that are of special interest to you or about which you have specific knowledge.
  • To use the Virtual Editor, click on Edit. To use Wikitext, click on Edit Source. You can edit a section in an article by clicking on the edit link for that section. For the entire page, click on the edit tab at the top right of the page.
  • The Edit Window will now open..
If you clicked on the Edit link - Editing with Virtual Editor
If you clicked on Edit Source - Editing with Wikitext

Wikitext may seem a little scary at first because the text looks unusual. But with the following helps you can begin to edit and do a fine job. It is much like using a wordprocessor, such as Word.

  • If you are new to editing with Wikitext, for now avoid any text in between the following characters [ { < and ] } > .
  • You can add space between lines of text by pushing the Enter key.
  • You can cut text by highlighting the text you want and doing a cut.
  • You can paste text by highlighting the text you want and doing a paste.
  • You can insert text by clicking on the place desired and either typing or pasting.
  • You can delete text by highlighting the text you want and using the Backspace key or Delete key.
  • You can move text by highlighting the text you want , click on the highlight and hold for a second, then move to the place desired.
  • You can Italicize text by typing two apostrophes in front of the text and two behind. For example ''This is Italics'' results in This is Italics.
  • You can Bold text by typing three apostrophes in front of the text and three behind. For example '''This is BOLD''' results in This is BOLD.

When you are ready to learn more editing possibilities, check out the Wikitext tutorial and the Wikitext cheatsheet.

Additionally, you can learn how to create an internal link or how to create an external link.

Mistakes

  • If you make a mistake, don't worry. It's not permanent. Either you can fix it or someone else will. The Family Search Research Wiki is very forgiving of mistakes.

Finishing Up

  • When you have finished editing, scroll down to the bottom and add a short explanation of what you did in the Edit Summary. For example, you can type: "Added links to digital newspapers".
  • Then click the Save page button. The page will now officially show your changes. Everyone who looks at your page, from all around the world, will see the changes that you made. It feels good to help others.
  • Remember to click on 'Save page' about every 10 minutes or so. If you wait longer the system may drop you out. Then you will lose all the changes that you have made. If that happens, simply begin again from the top and make the changes a second time. It will take longer than you had planned, but no harm has been done.

Create a New Article

Before you add a new article to the wiki, search first for the subject and then search again for the exact Title of the page you want to create. If an appropriate article already exists, don't create a new one. Just add the information to that existing article. This prevents duplication and confusion.

For Example: Suppose you want to create a new article called Scotland Clan Tartans.

  • Search on the keywords Scotland Clan Tartans.
  • If there is no such subject or named article, at the top of the results page will show:
    Create the page "Scotland Clan Tartans" on this wiki!
    This shows up as Red because the article doesn't yet exist.

The best way to create a new article is to navigate to an existing article that should have a link to the one you want to create.

For example: go to the Scotland article where you might want to create a link to Scotland Clan Tartans.

  • Make sure you have logged into the Family Search Wiki.
  • Click on the Edit Source button. If the Edit Source does not appear or does not open for you, try another browser.
  • Click in the Edit Window where you want the link located.
  • Type the following to create a new link - Two opening square brackets, then the name of the article you want to create followed by two closing square brackets. In this example [[Scotland Clan Tartans]]
  • At the bottom of the page, add an explanation in the Edit Summary field of what you did. For example: Added a link to an article to be created.
  • Click on the Save Page button.
  • This results in the same article show up with a new link. For example:
    Scotland Clan Tartans.
    The link shows up as Red because the article doesn't yet exist.

Now to create this new article, click on the red link you just made. This will take you to an Editing page, at the top it shows:
You are on a page that has not yet been developed.
You can now develop this page by creating it.

  • Click in the Edit Window and type in the text for your new article and/or paste text.
  • When you are finished, add an explanation to the Edit Summary at the bottom of the page. For example: Created this new article.
  • Click on the Save Page button.

Congratulations, your new article has been created and there is already a link from another article to it. Having a link to a new article is important, makes it easier to find.
You will want to make more links to this new article. An article with very few links might be listed for deletion.

NOTE: Use the "Save" function often as you are writing the article. There is no autosave in the wiki. You may lose all of your work if the wiki times out.

Additional Information

  • For more in-depth information about creating and editing articles on the wiki, visit these articles:

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