Help:Editing a Page

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Revision as of 22:08, 31 December 2008 by RoachA (talk | contribs)

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Tutorials and demonstrations 

All registered users of FamilySearch Wiki are invited to edit, or add to Wiki articles.
Movie icon.png Watch a demo of this article

Before you edit an article

Before you edit your first article, you should:

  1. Register with the Wiki
  2. Review Wiki guiding principles
  3. Understand Wiki publishing policies
  4. Review the conditions of use
  5. Learn how to name a new article and read about naming conventions

How to edit an article or page

1. Log in to the FamilySearch Research Wiki website. You may also sign in by clicking here.

2. Search for the article you want to edit. In the Search box, type the name or title of the article you want to edit. Press the "Search" button. Otherwise, learn how to create a new article.

3. After clicking the "Search" button, you will see the search results page. Find the article you want to edit and click on the title to open the article.

4. Click "Edit" in the navigation bar page options. After clicking "Edit," the editing window will open.

5. In the editing window, begin typing new text or editing existing text in the article. You may use the toolbar at the top of the editing window to format text, insert links to other pages, insert links to other websites, and add tables. For more details about how you can edit, learn more about the editing toolbar. You may also insert images or files into an article.

6. While editing, save your work frequently. The browser may time out, and lose work that has not been saved often. The browser will time out every twenty minutes, however, we recommend saving your work after every paragraph you type, or in stages while working on a time intensive task such as creating a table or list. 

7. After making any changes, remember to save your work. To save, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the "Save page" button. Warning: If you navigate away from your article without saving, your work will be lost. This includes clicking on links in the preview mode, and clicking the "back" button on your browser after saving. Remember, after saving the page, you may click the "Edit" tab again to add or edit more material.

Things you can do while editing articles

For more information on contributing to the FamilySearch Research Wiki, please visit the Contributor's Portal Page


  • Why does my sign in session go away when I edit?

You need to save your edited content every few minutes to keep your edit session alive. However, if you've signed iin, navigated to your User page and immediately lose the edit links on the left, most likely you're looking at a version of the page that the Web browser has cached on your machine. Just click the "refresh" icon in your browser while holding down your shift key and chances are, you'll see the edit links appear.

  • Why aren't the changes I made showing up?

There are a couple possibilities. Perhaps you only "previewed" your changes and did not actually save them. Another reason could be that your page was cached by your browser, so you are seeing an old version. If you want to be sure that you're seeing the most recent version of a wiki page, go to "preferences", select "miscellaneous", select "disable page caching" and hit "Save preferences".

  • Can you set the session timeout longer? I lost my edits.

The session timeout is set for the PHP server, not for MediaWiki specifically. Session timeout is intended to help prevent other people from walking up to your computer and editing things with your Username when you've stepped away. As near as I can tell, PHP session lengths are 24 minutes by default. Therefore, it's a good idea to save your edits, say, every 10 minutes.


See A Demonstration of How to Edit and Article

To see a demonstration of how to edit an artice, click here.

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