Difference between revisions of "Help:How to Create an Article"

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Revision as of 06:00, 23 November 2012

Help-content.png This help article will guide you as you edit in the Wiki. See Contributor Help for more help articles.
1024px-Sandro Botticelli 057.jpg

Before Creating an Article

Before you create, edit, or add to your first article, you will need to:

1.  Register with the Wiki.  To learn how to do this, read the instructions given in the How to Register with the Wiki article. Or use the search box and search for the article: How to Register with the Wiki.

2. Understand Wiki Publishing Policies. The articles you create or edit will be viewed by millions of people around the world. You are responsible for your work. Therefore, it is important that you understand the Wiki's policies on copyrights and privacy. Click on the following links and become familiar with these policies before you create, edit, or add to any Wiki article.

Follow These Steps to Create an Article

Watch a video demonstration of how to create an article.

Each time you create, edit or add to your article you will need to:

1. Sign in to FamilySearch Wiki. Enter your user name and password in the fields in the blue bar in the upper right corner of the page. Or, sign in by clicking here.

2. Search to see if there is an article similar to the one you want to create. Someone may have already created an article similar to the one you want to create. It may be easier for you to edit or add to the existing article instead of creating a new article. To search for a similar article, type your proposed title in the Search box and click the Search button.  A list of Wiki articles will appear.  If there are similar articles, click on the titles to read them.

  • If you find one you wish to add to or edit, go to Step 3.
  • If there are no similar articles, go to Step 4.

3.  To Edit or Add to an Existing Article. While viewing an aritcle you want to add to or edit, click on the Edit link at the top of the article.   An editing window and tool bar will appear.  Begin typing new text or editing existing text. You can use the edit toolbar for basic formatting and linking. To learn how to do more complex formatting, see the Tips Section below. 

4. To Create a New Article. If you didn't find an article on this topic, at the top of the search results screen, the title you searched for will be shown in red. This will be the name of your new article. Select your title carefully. See "Guidelines for Naming a New Article" in the Tips Section at the bottom of this page. Click on the red title and a blank editing box with an editing toolbar will appear. 

  • Enter the text of your article in the editing box.
  • You can use the edit toolbar for basic formatting and linking. For more complex formatting, see the Tips Section below.
  • You can import text from other sources. See the Tips Section below.
  • Graphics may be included in your article but they will have to be checked for appropriateness and approved by a WIKI administrator. (Click here to learn how to submit images.)
  • Information about the wiki editing tool is detailed in The Editing Tool article. 

5.  Save Your Work and Final Article.  When you finish your article, scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Save page button.

  • We suggest you save often (a minimum of every five minutes). Scroll to the bottom of the page and click the Save page button. Warning: If you navigate away from your article without saving it, your work will be lost. After saving the article, you will have to click the Edit link at the top of the article to add or edit more material.
  • If you want to change an article after it is saved, click Edit.


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


  • 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 in, 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", then select "disable page caching" and click 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. Most PHP session lengths are 24 minutes by default. Therefore, it's a good idea to save your edits, say, every 10 minutes.