How to edit Wikipedia

I was helping a friend of mine figure out how Wikipedia works, and I made this self-learning tutorial. It compares stuff you can do with the source editing and the visual editing mode, and when you’d want to prefer the former over the latter (usually when you want to reuse one of the popular templates, like create a new biography).

Steps to edit Wikipedia.

  1. Start here:
  2. Where possible, use Visual Editor
  3. Make sure it’s enabled in your profile (uncheck “Temporarily disable the visual editor while it is in beta”)
  4. Editing mode: Always give me the visual editor if possible

Follow the steps to add hyperlinks and cites.

  1. Add templates by doing :{{subst:Biography}}
    Look at the tutorial at
  2. To edit other wikipedia pages: example, add an infobox to someone’s bio
    Open any page in “source editing” by clicking the pencil.
    copy paste this text
    {{Infobox person
    | name = Socrates (example)
    | image = socrates.png
    | caption = British naturalist
    | birth_date = 1912
    | birth_place = [[Birmingham]],[[England | United Kingdom]]
    | death_date = 1963
    | death_place = Singapore
    | occupation = [[Museum curator]]
    | spouse = [[Somebody]]

7.Adding new content to Wikipedia: Wikipedia Commons Upload Wizard

Places where visual editor doesn’t work so well:

  1. Templates (we need to do step 5 and then source editing
  2. Inserting photographs (copyright issues)

Places where it does okay:

  1. Letting us add references (looks like endnote)
  2. Adding Headings, Table of Contents, Referencea and Links is pretty straightforward
  3. Works just like Microsoft word (eg Ctrl + F, Ctrl + C, X, V, Z etc)

Things to remember

  1. Always work in your sandbox
  2. Explore edit history by looking at “View history”
  3. In View History, you can undo changes by clicking “undo”
  4. After getting some practice, read the Help Editing page before publishing anything.

How to design assignments around editing Wikipedia

Option 1: Work in your sandbox and publish edits to the main pages
Option 2: Create a class project on Wikibooks:

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