Help:How to Split Articles

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Occasionally Wiki articles grow beyond a reasonable size for a one-page article. When this happens, it is often best to split the large article into two or more articles, and then link the articles or pages together. This can also be helpful when trying to create an alphabetical index for localities or other space-intensive material. This article will discuss best practices for several similar cases.

What you need to know before you start

Before splitting and article, you should be familiar with how to Copy and Paste information in the Wiki. If you are new to the FamilySearch Wiki, you may not be familiar with the best methods to Copy and Paste information into the Wiki, or between Wiki articles. When copying and pasting into the Wiki while using the Wiki editor tool, you may lose some of the formatting, depending on which editing mode you are in. Tables, bold headings, or columns may be lost by copying and pasting when the editor tool is active. To determine if the editor tool is active, look at the icons at the top of the editing window while in the editing mode. Learn more about Editing Articles.

If you see the following icons at the top of the page, the editor tool is active. This is the mode in which you will NOT be able to copy and paste tables or formatted text:

Editor Toolbar.png

You can "de-activate" the editor tool temporarily by clicking on the Wikitext button located in the upper-left-hand corner of the editor toolbar. If you see the same toolbar with most of the icons grayed out, you are using the editor tool in Wikitext mode, or inactive. Copying and pasting in the Wikitext mode will keep formatting and table layout:

Editor ToolbarWT.png

If you see the following icons at the top of the page, you have the editor toolbar turned off. Learn how to turn the editor tool off. Copying and pasting with the editor toolbar turned off will keep formatting and table layout:

NonFCK Toolbar.png 

1. Decide where to split the article

Take the time to carefully consider the information located in the Wiki article you want to split. You may need to divide the information to create a logical break if one isn't already available. For example, if you want to split an article that contains several steps in a research process, you may consider which steps are "Beginning" steps, and which steps are "Advanced" steps in the process.

For example, if the headings of an article are:

1. Locate the records in your home

2. Contact family members for additional information

3. Write down what you know

4. Identify who you want to find next

5. Analyze the records

6. Send for additional records, etc..

A natural break might be between headings 4 and 5. This divides simple tasks from more advanced tasks.

2. Choose appropriate titles for each article

In the example above, the title for the first article might need to be changed to better reflect the content in the article. For example, the title of the original article might be, "Genealogy Research." When the article is split, the two titles might be, "Beginning Genealogy Research," and "Advanced Genealogy Research." This may require re-naming an existing article. Learn how to re-name an article. Naming articles can take some time and thought. For ideas and suggestions about creating new article or page names, please take the time to learn How to Name a New Article and review the Wiki Naming Conventions.

3. Create a new page (create a link to the new page)

Before you can copy information from one page to another page, you must first create a page in which to paste content from the original article. The easiest way to create the new page is to add the link directly in the existing page. While in the editing mode of the original article, place your cursor on the screen where you want to create the link to the new article and click once to hold the cursor position. On the editor toolbar, click the "Hyperlink" icon FCKlink.png. This will open the "Link" window, shown below:


  Type the title of the new article in the box directly under the word, "Link." If an article or page with a similar name exists, it will appear in the box below the words, "Automatic search results (start typing in the above field)." If the name of the page already exists, you may want to look at the article to see if you can add the information to the existing page. Otherwise, you may need to change the title of the article. After typing the name of the new article in the "Link" box, click "OK." This will return you to the editing window of the original article. Click "Save Page" to save your changes. After clicking "Save Page," a red link will appear on the page you were just editing. This is the link to the new page in which you may paste part of the old article to create the new article.

4. Copy information from the old article

Click "Edit" in the original page right after saving. If the editing toolbar is active, click "WikiText." (If the editing toolbar is turned off, continue with the following instructions.)

Locate the text you want to copy from the original article. Highlight the text you want to copy by holding placing the mouse cursor at the beginning of the text you want to copy, and while holding down the left mouse button, drag over the text until you have selected all of the text you want to copy. Release the left mouse button, and position the cursor over the highlighted text without clicking any buttons. While holding down the CTRL button on your keyboard, tap the "C" key on your keyboard. This will copy the highlighted text. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click "Save Page." This will exit out of the editing window.

5. Paste the copied text into the new page

Locate the red link to the new page you created in step 3. Click on the red link. This will open an empty editing window with the new title you created in step 3. If the Editing toolbar is active, click "WikiText." (If the editing toolbar is turned off, continue with the following instructions.)