Help:How to Create an Article

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Revision as of 21:05, 17 September 2008 by Wolverton (talk | contribs) (Fixed a spelling typo in item number 5.)

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How to Create, Edit or Add to an Article in FamilySearch Wiki

All registered users of FamilySearch Wiki are invited to create, edit, or add to Wiki articles.
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How to Edit Wiki Articles and Pages Note: Firefox users, copy the URL below into Internet Explorer: *

Follow These Steps to Create 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, click here: How to Register with the Wiki.  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 familar with these policies before you create, edit, or add to any Wiki 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 subject or title in the Search box and press 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 an article, go to Step 7.  If there are no similar articles go to Step 8.

3.  To Edit or Add to an Existing Article. While viewing an aritcle you want to add to or edit, click on the "Edit" tab 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 tool bar for basic formatting and linking. To learn how to do more complex formatting, see the Tips Section below. 

4. To Create a New Article.   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 TIPS at the bottom of this page. Click on the red title and a blank editing box and editing toolbar will appear. 

  • Enter the text of your article in the editing box. You can use the edit tool bar for basic formatting and linking. For more complex formatting, see the Tips 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. 
  • To view your work, click the "Show preview" button  at the bottom of the page to see how your article looks.  You will need to save the page before the changes take effect. 

5.  Save Your Work and Final Article.  

  • 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" tab at the top of the article to add or edit more material.
  • When you finish your article, scroll to be bottom of the page and click the "Save page" button. 
  • If you want to change an article after it is saved, click Edit.



  • 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", 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. Most PHP session lengths are 24 minutes by default. Therefore, it's a good idea to save your edits, say, every 10 minutes.