Wiki Basics

Thu, 06/06/2013 - 14:04 -- sewm02

Wiki Basics

Step by Step Introduction and Tutorial

This page contains a detailed description of the features of the wiki for people who like such things. If you like to explore on your own and want to jump straight into editing, you may prefer the "Self-Directed Learners section of the Help page

Learning Your Way Around -- BEFORE Logging In

Without even logging in, you can explore all the content pages of the wiki.

The back and forward buttons in your browser window work well in the wiki, so you can keep coming back to this tutorial by clicking the back button. Or, you could open a second browser window to test things in and keep this tutorial open at the same time.

  • Start by reading the Main page to see what types of information can be housed in a campus wiki. While you are at it, check out the fine print links at the bottom of the page: Privacy policy, About FSU Wiki, and Disclaimers.
  • Click on each of the links on the left-hand side of the page.
  • Navigation tools will follow you to every page.
    • Student Organizations and Strategic Planning are links to frequently-accessed content areas. We can add to or modify these links as the wiki develops.
    • Current events is a link to a wiki-based calendar.
    • Sandbox is a place to play and experiment with formatting. The contents are periodically erased.
    • Recent changes is a fun page. There, you can see any changes made recently by anyone using the wiki.
    • Random page is also a fun link. Clicking that link takes you randomly to any page in the wiki.
    • (Help does exactly what you would expect.
    • The Donations page is a long shot, but we can always hope! :)
  • Search is a powerful wiki tool. If you want to find something in the wiki, just type in a search word (or words) and click enter. The Search function looks for those words in the title of a page or anywhere on the page, and returns a list of pages. If no pages are found, it asks if you want to *create a page based on those words. Try a search now!

The wiki isn't hierarchically arranged like a web site, so searching and making use of hand-built index pages or links from page to page are vital in the wiki.

  • Toolbox
    • "What links here" tells you what pages link to the page you are looking at. This can be a good way of finding connections in the wiki.
    • "Related changes" summarizes the recent changes on pages linked to the page you are viewing. This also helps you find out who is interested in the same things that you are.
    • Upload file is the place to upload any image file or document you want to link to. The wiki uses a central upload repository, so all uploaded files are available to all users.
    • Special pages links you to a list of all the types of pages in the wiki. These are fun to explore. Later in the tutorial we go through some of the most commonly used special pages.
    • Printable version provides a printable version of whatever page you are looking at. You can change the view from portrait to landscape in your browser settings, if you so desire.
    • Permanent link gives you a url (in the browser window) that will take a user to the exact version of the page you are looking at when you click permanent link. This can be useful if you want to be certain that everyone will always see a particular set of content when they follow a link you create somewhere else. Otherwise, if you put the link to the page itself, the users will see whatever the most recent version of that page may be.
  • Finally, take a look at the tabs at the top of the page, above the header that says "Welcome to the FSU Wiki!"
    • "article" tab is the page itself, with all formatting in place.
    • "discussion" tab takes you to a "Talk" page. Every content page in the wiki has an associated "Talk" or discussion page, where people can discuss the contents of the page or collaborate and send messages to each other. Editing of the talk pages works just like editing on the content pages.
    • "view source" tab shows you what the content page looks like behind the scenes, where the editing takes place. Wiki editing commands are easier than html, and some basic editing buttons are provided when you log in.
    • "history" tab lets you see all the versions of the page that have ever been saved, along with the uca of the person who did the editing and the date edited. A nice feature also lets you do a side by side comparison of any two versions you select, so you can easily see what changes have been made. If you are logged in, you can also undo any changes (an action which will also be recorded in the page history.) Before doing a lot of undoing, it is a good idea to discuss your intentions on the talk page so other users won't be surprised or inconvenienced.

Logging in

Log in to the wiki by clicking on the Log In link in the far upper right corner of the FSU Wiki window. Use your campus uca and password.

Logging in is required for all editing, though you can view all pages without logging in. Thus, only members of the Fairmont State community can edit pages, but anyone in the world can view the pages.

Once you are logged in, some useful additional links appear to the left of the Log In/Log Out area at the top of the page.

  • User page (link text is your uca): This will be blank until you add some content to it.
  • my talk: This is the "Talk" or discussion page associated with your User page. This seems to be a good place for other people to leave you messages, especially if you "watch" the page (see below).
  • my preferences: This allows you to customize your view of the wiki (using the tabs on this page) and also to control how you get information about changes to pages that you care about (e.g., you can get an email every time a page changes, or just have a list kept inside the wiki, etc.)
  • my watchlist: If there are pages that you care about, you can add them to your watchlist. Then you can be notified every time a change is made to that page. You control the way you are notified by changing "my preferences". To add a page to your watchlist, simply go to that page and click "watch" which appears in the tabs to the right of article, discussion, edit and history. This is only available to users who are logged in.
  • my contributions: gives you a list of all the pages you have edited. Searchable in different ways.

Several new tabs appear beside the article, discussion, edit and history tabs at the top of the page, too.

  • "view source" tab is changed to the "edit" tab. Here is where you can make changes and additions to a page.
  • "move" tab appears. Clicking this tab takes you to a page of instructions and cautions about moving pages.
  • "watch" tab appears. This allows you to add the page you are looking at to your personal watchlist, so you can be informed of any changes to the page.

Beginning to Edit

A nice way to start editing is to create your personal User page.

  • Access your User page by clicking on the link that contains your uca (beside the little person icon) at the top center of the page.) You must be logged in to do this!
  • Formatting basics - when you are in the edit tab
    • using buttons in the editing tool bar
      • Type your name in the edit box.
      • Click "Show Preview" at the bottom of the page to see what this looks like. You will see a preview at the top of the window and if you scroll down you will see the editing window below it.
      • Now try putting different formats on your name. Select your name with the mouse, then click the blue "B" button in the toolbar at the top of the edit window. This will put three quote marks on each side of your name.
      • Click "Show Preview" to see how these wiki formatting marks translate to formatting on the displayed page.
      • Remove the bold formatting by backspacing off the quote marks. Use the preview function to make sure you removed the bold completely.
      • Add italics using the blue "I" button. Test it the same way as above.
      • Save your user page. First, type something in the Summary box at the bottom of the page to explain what you are saving (for example, you might type "creating page" here.) Then, click the "Save page" button.
      • Now you should see your user page in the "article" view. To edit it, click the "edit" tab and you will see the edit window again.
      • Run your mouse over each button in the toolbar to see what it does.
      • Ab button makes the selected text into an internal link. Basically, it creates a blank wiki page with the title of the selected text. If a page already exists with that name, the link will take you to that page.
      • The globe button creates an external link. Paste a url onto your page, then select the text of the url and click the globe button. In the preview mode you should see a blue hyperlink. The little square box and arrow at the end of the link clue you in to the fact that this is an external link as opposed to an internal link. Internal links are just blue.
      • The "A" button turns selected text into a heading.
      • The "picture" button helps you link to an image that has been uploaded already. To upload an image, click on the "Upload file" link in the toolbox at the left of every page.
      • The "trumpet" button helps you link to a media file that has been uploaded already.
      • the "square root of n" button lets you do math formulas...I haven't used this yet.
      • the "no W" button lets you tell the wiki to ignore certain format marks - advanced technique.
      • the "signature" button lets you quickly sign a page or remark. It automatically puts your username, with a link to your user page, along with the date and time. Test this on your page.
      • the "line" button lets you add a horizontal line across a page. It cautions you to use it sparingly.
    • use page history, compare versions
    • comment on each others' talk pages with signatures
    • pipe character (|) - this little character, a vertical line, is found on most keyboards by using the shift button on the backslash key (\). It is used when you want the displayed text of a link to be different from the link url.
    • uploading file
  • auto table of contents
    • If you use this button four times on a page, a hyperlinked table of contents is automatically added to the top of your page.
  • add links to your page
  • Create a page
  • It's OK to steal!

Uploading and Linking to Files

  • Click on the Upload files button in lower left toolbox area.
  • Browse to the file you want to upload, add a brief description of the file, and click the upload button to upload it.
  • At the next screen, which is the page for the “image” you just uploaded (they are all called images even when they are files), use your mouse to select the name of the file, including the extension (e.g., “.doc”). Copy this name so you will be ready to paste it later. I suggest copying because the wiki upload adds underscores any place you had spaces, to make a cleaner url, and somtimes the filename can be hard to remember.
  • Navigate to the “edit” view of the page where you want to have the uploaded file, and put your cursor where you want the file to go.
  • In the edit buttons, click on the trumpet (media file upload)
  • That should put the following text where you had your cursor: [[Media:Example.ogg]]
  • Replace the Example.ogg part by pasting in your filename, like Goal2_update_2_08.doc.
  • If you want to have it named something nicer in the link, use the pipe character after the end of the filename extension and type the name you want to have appear: [[Media: Goal2_update_2_08.doc|Goal 2 Progress Update, February 2008]]
  • Preview page and you should see the link is purple instead of red if everything worked correctly. Don’t follow the link in the preview or you lose what you just did! (The link above would say: Goal 2 Progress Update, February 2008).
  • Save changes and follow link to make sure it goes to the correct file.

Commonly-Accessed Special Pages

  • User list
  • All pages
  • Wanted pages
  • Statistics

More Advanced Topics

  • tables
  • template
  • categories