From FamilySearch Wiki
Revision as of 17:15, 8 May 2013 by Jenson1 (talk | contribs) (Views box)

Jump to: navigation, search
Help-content.png This help article will guide you as you edit in the Wiki. See Contributor Help for more help articles.

When viewing any page on a research Wiki, you'll find three main navigation elements:

1. The sidebar on the right gives you access to important pages in the wiki such as recent changes or Upload file.
2. At the top of the pagetabs which relate to the Page currently displayed: the Edit link, Discussion page also known as the talk page, History page, will show you the history of the page.
3. In the top right corner you'll find user links; as an anonymous user, you'll see a link to create an account or log in (they are the same page). As a logged-in user you have a collection of personal links, including ones to your user page and preferences.


The sidebar is displayed on the left edge of the page below the site logo (if using the default MonoBook skin). This sidebar gives you access to important pages in the wiki such as Recent changes or Upload file.


Clicking on the logo brings you back to the main page of the wiki. The links in the navigation section just below will take you to important pages of the wiki. These links can be configured by site administrators.

Tools.png Tip for wiki admins: You can customize the navigation links by editing MediaWiki:Sidebar. Some entries call for separate MediaWiki: pages, e.g. to change the automatic link to the Main Page you would change MediaWiki:Mainpage (target page) and MediaWiki:Mainpage-description (displayed text). You can find a list of such pages via Special:Allmessages. For more information see Manual:Interface/Sidebar.

Search Box

This search function allows you to search the Wiki using keywords: Keywords are places, record types, historical subjects or family history subjects. For example: mesa arizona or probate records or civil war

The Search Section of the Sidebar includes:

Search box.jpg
Search Box - Type keywords and search terms here. Use "subject", "place" or "keywords" to search the site. For example, searching with keywords like "DAR" or "Daughters of the American Revolution" will usually return good results. Searches that include full sentences such as "How do I find DAR records?" are unlikely to return good results. Hit the return key on your keyboard to see the search results.

<br> Browse by Country - Click on "by country" to see a list of all countries with pages on the Wiki.&nbsp;

Browse by Topic - Click on "by topic" to see major categories on the Wiki. This is not a comprehensive list, but contains many of all topics available. Search keywords for topics not listed.


View Navigation.jpg

Views- Clicking on "Views" will hide or show the section below it.

Page- Clicking on "Page" will take you to the page view if you are on another view such as Discussion or History.

Edit - The Edit link allows registered users to make changes to the page. You must be registered to edit the Wiki. Anyone may register! If at first you do not feel comfortable editing a page, you may want to practice in your user sandbox. If you would like to work with others you can join a group of community members working together on a project. There is also an Edit link at the top of each page.

For more on editing see: Editing The Wiki and How to use the editing tool.

Discussion - Every page has an associated discussion or talk page which is used for communicating with other users before changing the content of the page. If you want to edit or make significant changes to an existing page, click on the associated discussion page and post your ideas. Other contributors watching the page will be notified automatically by email that you have posted a comment.

History - Every page has a "History" which shows changes that have been made and by whom they were made with a record of the date and time of every edit and an edit summary. The history also contains links to all previous versions of the page. To learn more about an author, click on the username in the History. To leave a message for the author, click on "Talk" link next to their username and they will be automatically notified the next time they visit the site or by email (if they have enabled email notifications). To see other contributions by the author, click on "Contribs" link next to the username.

Watch/Unwatch - Click "Watch" on any page that you would like to be notified of changes. You may choose to watch a favorite topic or locality for future additions or you may want to be notified of changes on a page that you created or edited. To discontinue watching a page click "Unwatch". When you are signed in you may see the list of your watched pages on "My Watchlist" link at the bottom of the navigation sidebar.


The tools contains a selection of links which change depending on what type of page you are viewing.

On all pages (except special pages)
  • “What links here” takes you to a special page that lists the pages on this wiki which contain a link to the current page. This is helpful when you are looking for pages of related information. The “what links here” information can also be useful when you are refactoring wiki pages and need to check whether links to this page are still relevant after changes in the current page.
  • The “related changes” tool lists all recent changes in the pages linked to from the current page. Recent changes to all relevant template pages are included in the resulting page list. The "Hide minor edits" option that can be set in the user preferences applies, among other things, to “related changes”.
On all pages (including special pages)
  • “Upload file” displays a special page that allows logged-in users to upload images and other files to the wiki. Uploaded files can be linked from or embedded in wiki pages. Uploading files, viewing files on the server, including them in wiki pages and managing the uploaded files is discussed in the managing files section of this manual. This is not displayed if file uploading has been disabled or not enabled in the first place.
  • The “special pages” tool lists the MediaWiki special pages. In MediaWiki terminology, a special page is one that presents information about the Wiki and/or allows access to administration activities for the wiki. For example, a list of users registered with the wiki, statistics about the wiki such as the number of pages and number of page edits, system logs, a list of orphaned pages, and so on. These special pages are commonly generated when the special page is loaded rather than being stored in the wiki database.
    The function and use of the default special pages can be found in the special pages section of this manual.
Tools.png Tip for wiki admins: To enable file uploading someone with access to the MediaWiki installation files needs to edit the LocalSettings.php file and uncomment or add the option $wgEnableUploads = true;. Uploaded files will be stored in the images folder specified by the $wgUploadPath variable in the LocalSettings.php. This directory must be writable if file uploads is enabled. The upload location and image uploads settings are described in more detail on the LocalSettings.php page.
Help-content.png Questions?
Visit the Wiki Contributor Help Forum to receive help with contributing to the Wiki.

Page Tabs

The page tabs are displayed at the top of the page to the right of the site logo (if using the default MonoBook skin). These tabs allow you to perform actions or view pages that are related to the current page. The available default actions include: viewing, editing, and discussing the current page. The specific tabs displayed on your pages depend on whether or not you are logged into the wiki and whether you have sysop (administrator) privileges on the wiki. On special pages only the namespace tab is displayed.
Default for all users
  • namespace” (page, help, special page, template, user page etc.)
  • “talk”
  • “edit” (may read “view source” if anonymous editing is disabled, the page is in the MediaWiki: namespace, or the page is protected)
  • “history”
Extra tabs for logged-in users
  • “move”
  • “watch”
Extra tabs for sysops
  • “protect”
  • “delete”

Administrators can add or remove tabs by using JavaScript or installing extensions, so the tabs you see may be different depending on which wiki you are using.

User Links

The user links are displayed at the top far right of the page (if using the default MonoBook skin). These tabs allow the logged-in user to view and edit their user page and wiki preferences. Additionally, the user links allow the user to quickly access their contributions to the wiki and logout.

For anonymous users the user links is replaced by a link to the wiki login page or, if enabled, a link to your IP address and your IP address's talk page.

This links to your user page which is where you can put information about yourself, store bits of information you want to remember or whatever else you fancy.
This links to your discussion page, where people can leave messages for you.
Allows you to change your personal site preferences.
A list of all pages that you are watching. Pages can be added to this list by clicking “watch” at the top of the page.
A list of all contributions you have made to the wiki.
“sign Out”
Click this link to log out of the wiki.