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Help-content.png This help article will guide you as you edit in the Wiki. See Contributor Help for more help articles.


How do I edit a link?

Links to both internal FamilySearch Wiki pages and external internet pages can and often do change.

  • In the Standard Editor, type the new page, internet link address, or template text over the old material.
  • In the Rich Editor, place your cursor over the link text and click the the blue globe/earth icon with an unbroken chain LinkGlobe.jpg on the toolbar. Then replace the page title or internet address link with the correct link.
  • If you are editing a template in the Rich Editor, highlight the template TemplateSymbolInRichEditor.png and click on the template {T} icon on the toolbar. Then edit the template text.

Don't forget to summarize what you have done so others know the change you've made.

Does the text on the page need to match the title of the linked page?

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

It is not required , but the linking text should clearly convey the content of the linked page to the researcher and may 1) expand on the title of the linked page, 2) be more concise and 3) external links, which should always use linking text in place of the full internet http:// address.

Example 1:

Page Title: Mennonites
Linking Text: Researching Mennonite Records 

Example 2:

Page Title: Pennsylvania Biography
Linking Text: Biographies

Example 3:

Page URL:
Linking Text: Famous Pennsylvanians

How do I specify the Standard Editor?

Under certain circumstances, the Rich Editor will clean out parameters that you want to keep. In those cases, you can prevent the Rich Editor from being used by adding the magic word __NORICHEDITOR__ to each section. Then, when you edit the section or page, the Standard Editor will open instead. You can also switch to the standard editor by clicking on Disable Rich Editor above the editing window. As long as the __NORICHEDITOR__ text is not included in the section (or anywhere in the page if you are editing the entire page), you can switch back to the Rich Editor.

How do I avoid making a Link?

Generally, when you type an URL address (with the http://), it will be transformed to an external link. To avoid making a link, put the URL address between <nowiki> tags in the Standard Editor:


Can I create a new page by adding a link?

Yes. You do this by typing the title of the non-existing page as your link. This works only for internal links and will display the new page link in red text. When you click on the link, you will be taken to a new page that will not exist until you edit and save it.

Before you use this method to create a new page, search the FamilySearch Wiki to make sure it does not already exist. If you have not already done so, please read the material on the Creating a page page.

What happens if I add a link to a page that does not exist?

The link to the non-existing page will be created, but the link will be displayed in red text. You can use this method to create new pages in the FamilySearch Wiki as you edit an existing page. If you click on the link, it will take you to the page where you can create it.

What do the symbols at the end of the External Links mean?

The following symbols can appear behind an external link.

  1. ExternalLinkSymbol.png This is the standard external link symbol. Internal links have no symbol attached to the link text.
  2. ExternalSecureLinkSymbol.png This link symbol indicates that the link is a secure link, using https:// in the link address.
  3. DocumentSymbol.png The document symbol indicates a link to a document and not a Wiki page.
  4. AudioSymbol.png The audio (sound) symbol indicates a link to a sound file.
  5. VideoSymbol.png The video symbol indicates a link to a video file.
  6. EmailSymbol.png The email symbol indicates an email address and will usually start the email program. Please do not use.

What is an Interwiki Link?

Interwiki links are Links to other wiki's such as Wikipedia. These appear as an internal link, but contain the name of the wiki: wikipedia:History of Pennsylvania. Please use the Wikipedia Template {{Wpd}} instead of this method for linking to Wikipedia pages.

What is an Inter-language Link?

An inter-language link is a link to a Wiki page in a different language. Inter-language links are usually found in a bar at the bottom of the page. The links are created using the {{H-langs}} template. If this page is available in other languages and someone has added the links, you will see a bar displaying the links at the bottom of the page.

Quick Reference for the Rich Editor:

  • LinkGlobe.jpg The blue globe/earth icon with an unbroken chain on the toolbar is used for adding or editing links.
  • UnLinkGlobe.jpg The blue globe/earth icon with a broken chain on the toolbar is used for deleting a link, but not the text. The icon is active during editing when a link is selected.
  • RichEditorTemplateButton.png The {T} icon button is used for adding a Template, including template links.

Quick Reference for the Standard Editor:

  • StandardEditorInternalLink.png The Ab icon button is used for defining internal links.
  • StandardEditorExternalLink.png The globe icon button is used for defining external links.

Ways to Add Links

You can add a link to a page in one of three ways:

  1. Use the Rich Editor to add internal and external links and to use templates using features similar to those found on many word processors..
  2. Use the Standard Editor and Wikitext to add code manually for features not enabled in the rich editor, including internal or external link or to use a template.
  3. Use a Template to add interwiki links and other links that need special requirements set up. You can use either the rich editor or wikitext to add a template link.

Watch a video demonstration of how to add a link.

Page Editors

The FamilySearch Wiki uses two types of editors to create and edit pages:

  1. The Rich Editor has a toolbar similar to many word processors.


    To switch to the Standard Editor, click on [Disable rich editor].

  2. The Standard Editor works in Wikitext and its limited tools help you edit a page.


    To switch to the Rich Editor, click on [Rich Editor].


To add or edit pages in the FamilySearch Wiki, you must be a registered user. To register, go here.

To add or edit a link on a page, do the following:

  1. HighlightEdit Link.png
    Sign in to the FamilySearch Wiki.
  2. Navigate to the page where you want to add or edit a link. If the page does not exist, then create it.
  3. Once you have reached the page you want to edit, click the Edit option in the sidebar to open the editing window.

Use the Rich Editor to Add a Link

Editor Toolbar.png

There are four types of links in MediaWiki:

  1. internal links to other pages in the wiki.  These links pertain only to the Wiki.  They do not include any other FamilySearch sites.
  2. external links to other websites, inlcuding other FamilySearch sites
  3. interwiki links to other websites registered to the wiki in advance
  4. Interlanguage links to other websites registered as other language versions of the wiki

Internal and External Link

  1. Enter and highlight or highlight the existing text that you want to use for your link. The text does not have to match the title of page you are linking.
  2. Click on the globe/earth icon with an unbroken chain LinkGlobe.jpg in the toolbar to open the link window.

Internal links

To add an internal link, enclose the name of the page you want to link to in double square brackets. When you save the page, you'll see the new link pointing to your page. If the page exists already it is displayed in blue, if it does not, in red. Selflinks to the current page are not transformed in URLs but displayed in bold. (If you really want to link to the current page, use an anchor (see below), or [[#top|current page]] which always links to the top.)

The first letter of the target page is automatically capitalized, unless otherwise set by the admins, and spaces are represented as underscores (typing an underscore in the link will have a similar effect as typing a space, but is not recommended, since the underscore will also be shown in the text).

  1. Start typing the name of the FamilySearch Wiki page to which you want to link in the Link field.
    Pages that match what you type appear in the window below the Link Field.
  2. Highlight the desired page from the list and click OK to complete setting up the internal link.

Use the Standard Editor and Wikitext to Add a Link


Internal Link (text matches page title)

  1. Type and highlight or highlight the title to the existing internal page you are linking.
  2. Click the StandardEditorInternalLink.png button.


The result is "See also [[Pennsylvania Biography]]." and is displayed on your page as "See also Pennsylvania Biography."

You can also add an internal link directly into the editor by typing two left brackets [[, the page title of the linked page, and two right brackets ]]. For example:

[[Pennsylvania Biography]]

Internal Link (text does not match page title)

  1. Type and highlight or highlight the title of the existing internal page and desired text (separated by the pipe | symbol).
  2. Click the StandardEditorInternalLink.png button.


Description You type You get
Internal link
[[Main Page]]
Main Page
Piped link
[[Main Page|different text]]
different text
Shortened sort-of-piped link
#REDIRECT [[Main Page]]

See also Help:Redirects

Main Page
Internal link to an anchor
[[#See also]]

Section headings and the top of the page are automatically anchored.

Internal link to an anchor at another page
[[Help:Images#See also]]
Internal link to the current page's talk page

See also Help:Magic words#Page_names

Internal link to a subpage

Shortcut for [[Help:Links/example]]. See also Help:Subpages.

Internal link to a category page

See also Help:Categories

Internal link to an image or a file of other types


See also Help:Images



External links

  1. When you first begin adding external links, you may want to check with an experienced contributor for helps and guidelines.
  2. Without closing the edit session, open another (new) session window or tab in your browser. 
  3. Browse to the page to which you want to link. The address of the page appears in the browser's address bar. 
  4. Highlight and copy the address and then paste it into the Link field of the link window. (Be sure to include the “http://” portion of the address.) 
  5. Click OK to complete setting up the external link.
    Link(field) Window.png
Description You type You get
External link
External link with different label
[ MediaWiki]
External link numbered
External link icons
[ video]
[ sound]
[ document]

External link icons may differ depending on the file type of the target.

video sound document

External link to the same host
External link to other host passing the pagename
Mailto link
[ email me]
email me
Mailto named with subject line and body
[ info]
Tools.png Tip for wiki admins: Which protocols (like http:) are allowed for links is controlled by the $wgUrlProtocols setting.
Tools.png Tip for wiki admins: To remove the “external link icons“ from next to each of the external links, add the following to the page located at MediaWiki:Monobook.css on your wiki.

<source lang="css">

  1. bodyContent a.external,
  2. bodyContent a[href ^="gopher://"] {
background: none;
padding-right: 0;

} </source>

How to avoid auto-links

By default, when you write a URL as is, it will be transformed to an external link.

To avoid that effect, put the URL between <nowiki> tags as in:


Template Link

  1. Open the editor and place your cursor where you want to add the template link.
  2. Click on the {T} icon in the editor's toolbar. This will open the Template editor window.
  3. Type two left curly braces {{, followed by the template name and parameters with the pipe symbol | separating the name and parameters, followed by two right curly braces }}.
  4. Click OK to finish setting up the template.
    Template Properties Text.png
The example uses the Wikipedia Template {{Wpd}} and adds optional link text parameter. The result for this template entry is "See also Pennsylvania History"
In the rich editor, templates appear as TemplateSymbolInRichEditor.png.

Link Templates

Currently, five link templates are available, each with their own set of instructions:

  • Family History Library Catalog (FHLC). Instructions: {{FHL}}
  • Record Search. Instructions: {{RecordSearch}}
  • WorldCat/OCLC (English Language). Instructions: {{WorldCat}}
  • Wikipedia (English Language). Instructions: {{Wpd}}
  • Internet Archive (Wayback machine). Instructions: {{Wayback}}

Interwiki links

Interwiki links are links with the internal link markup to a website registered in advance. For example, you can link to the Sunflower article on by typing [[wikipedia:Sunflower]], which will result in a link RTENOTITLE. This is because is registered to your wiki by default with the prefix of wikipedia. This link may not work properly, if the admin of your wiki has changed the setting.

Similar to internal page links, you can create piped links, with alternate link label, e.g. [[wikipedia:Sunflower|big yellow flower]].

Basically this is an abbreviation for longer URLs. A very similar link could be created as a normal external link by typing [ Sunflower], but interwiki links allow you to type out an easy and compact link, almost as if you are linking to a page on your own wiki.

Tools.png Tip for wiki admins: See Manual:Interwiki for the management of interwiki links of your wiki.

Interlanguage links

If your wiki has other language versions, you may find “interlanguage links” in the sidebar, just below toolbox in the box named “in other languages.”

Interlanguage links behave similar to interwiki links, except that they are listed in the sidebar. To create an interlanguage link from a page, just type [[language prefix:pagename]] wherever you like in the page; the language prefix is the prefix specified at your wiki for the other language version (typically the ISO language code).

If you want to make the interlanguage link to appear in the content of the page, you can add a colon before the language prefix, e. g. [[:en:Sunflower]].

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

See also