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This is a Help or FAQ page

Please answer LibraryThing related questions here (and on the other Help and FAQ pages). To ASK questions, however, please use Talk.

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WikiThing is built using MediaWiki. This comes with a built in markup language which allows you to format a wiki page. (HTML is another example of a markup language.) Wikipedia is also built using MediaWiki, so if you've contributed there, you already know how to contribute to WikiThing. Wikipedia has lots of information on how to edit a page, but the information below attempts to give you a condensed version.

If you want to experiment with wiki syntax before venturing into WikiThing, then you can edit in the sandbox. Someone will come along and rake it over after you. Alternatively, you can create your own sandbox (but then you have to clean up your own mess).

Wiki syntax

Headings

The page is broken up into sections with headings using:

=Level 1 heading=
==Level 2 heading==
===Level 3 heading===

The level 1 heading is usually used for the title of the page, and so is not normally used within the body. These headings are used to form the Table of Contents (TOC) that appears in the pale peach box to the right of the page. Each heading also acts as a label for navigation around the page: see below.

Emphasis

''italics'' gives italics
'''bold''' gives bold
'''''bold italics''''' gives bold italics

(That's a row of single quotes in each case - two for italics, three for bold and five for bold italics.)

Wikilinks

[[FAQ]] (a wikilink) gives reference to an internal wiki page: FAQ, and if you want different text to appear [[FAQ|Frequently asked questions]] produces Frequently asked questions. (This is called a piped link, because of the use of the pipe character, "|".) The first character of a wikilink is not case sensitive (but the rest are), so [[FAQ]] and [[fAQ]] (fAQ) are the same (but different from faq - which is a redirect). Extensions to a wikilink, such as verb endings, can be incorporated by putting them straight after the link, so [[FAQ]]eroonies gives FAQeroonies. There's no problem with making reference to a missing page (which appears in red), because it can always be completed later. In fact, the easiest way to create a new page is just to create a wikilink. Clicking on a red wikilink will automatically put you in edit mode for that page, and you can start creating your new page.

(All wiki pages start with an upper case character, but can be referenced from a wikilink starting with either upper or lower case. This means that your wiki page may be titled differently from your LT username.)

If you include a wikilink to the page you are currently editing, then the link appears with bold emphasis: so [[Help:Editing]] appears as Help:Editing.

External references

[http://www.wikipedia.org Wikipedia] gives reference to a web page Wikipedia, or you can just type the URI itself http://www.wikipedia.org. (Note that this is different from LibraryThing itself, where you need to have a space both in front and behind the URI for it to become an active link.) If you put the URI in brackets, you just get a number, like this [1].

Formatting

Text is presented as paragraphs (which you separate by two 'new line' characters), and the justification of the paragraphs is controlled by a setting on the miscellaneous tab (Misc) on your Preferences page - http://www.librarything.com/wiki/index.php/Special:Preferences. (A single 'new line' is ignored - the effect of a single 'new line' can be created using the HTML command <BR>.)

A space at the beginning of a line will turn off formatting

so the text appears in a box.  (Wikilinks, emphasis, etc. still work.)

: will indent text

thus

* will create a bullet point

  • thus

and obviously they can be combined, so :* is

  • this

or you can have second level bullets, so * followed by ** is

  • alpha
    • beta

or numbered bullets, so # and ## produce

  1. first
    1. first within first

and ---- gives you a line across the page, thus


Contents: Syntax (basic); Namespaces; Users; Templates; Categories; Images; Tables; Basic Editing; Please avoid these types of edits; Syntax (advanced)

Namespaces

Namespaces are just a way of dividing WikiThing into different areas. They are not generally relevant in day-to-day editing.

The "main" namespace - where most of the wiki sits - is not identified in wiki page names, but there are other namespaces which you may need to use at some time. Some of these are User, Template, Category, Image and Help (which is where this page lives). Most of these namespaces will be familiar to WikiPedia users, but those crazy cats (and dogs) at LibraryThing have added a couple of new ones - HelpThing and Groups - in response to user demand.

To reference a page that sits in a namespace, you prefix the page name with the namespace name and a colon, so [[Help:Editing]] brings you here, but [[Editing]] takes you to a page called "Editing" in the main namespace.


Contents: Syntax (basic); Namespaces; Users; Templates; Categories; Images; Tables; Basic Editing; Please avoid these types of edits; Syntax (advanced)

Users

Every LibraryThing user automatically has their own WikiThing page, which lives within the User namespace. You can reference your own (or another's) wiki page using [[User:Thingamabrarian]]. (Note that if your username is lower case on LibraryThing, then the first character of your User page on WikiThing has to have the upper case version of that character.) The 'Your WikiThing page' link in the Toolbox on the left of the wiki will take you to your home page.

Currently, there are no restrictions on how you use this page - you have read the privacy policy and terms of use, haven't you? - so you can have a link to your profile page; your tagging policy; your wishlist; or pretty much anything that takes your fancy.

Sometimes you may wish to leave a timestamp and signature to some comment or text in the wiki. You can do this by typing ~~~~ (four tildes). Three tildes ~~~ leaves just your signature, and five tildes ~~~~~ leaves just the timestamp.
~~~ Noisy
~~~~ Noisy 19:43, 13 September 2007 (EDT)
~~~~~ 19:43, 13 September 2007 (EDT)

If you want the timestamp to appear in a particular way, this is just one of the many choices you have on your preferences page. However, selection of timezone seems to be inoperative. You can access your Preferences page by clicking the 'Special pages' link in the Toolbox on the left: you then click 'Preferences'. (Special pages live in the Special namespace, of course.) By default, your signature is a wikilink to your User page. This can also be altered on your preferences.


Contents: Syntax (basic); Namespaces; Users; Templates; Categories; Images; Tables; Basic Editing; Please avoid these types of edits; Syntax (advanced)

Templates

Templates are easy ways to produce text that needs to be repeated in many places. They live in the Template namespace, and are invoked by enclosure in curly brackets (braces): {{Help TOC}} produces the contents list on this page. If you wish to refer to a template page directly, you can create a wikilink [[:Template:FAQ]], taking you to Template:FAQ.

Templates are usually invoked on a line of their own. One frequent use is for tables that contain navigation links that are common to a subject across a number of pages.

Templates can be very powerful, particularly when used with parameters. The Wikipedia help page provides a comprehensive (if somewhat confusing) explanation.


Contents: Syntax (basic); Namespaces; Users; Templates; Categories; Images; Tables; Basic Editing; Please avoid these types of edits; Syntax (advanced)

Categories

Categories are used to group together pages with related subjects. The category pages live in the Category namespace. A wikilink of the form: [[Category:categoryname]] is placed on the page - usually at the end of the page, although the placing is unimportant. The page will now display the categoryname link in a category list at the foot of the page. Clicking on the category link will take you to an alphabetical list of related pages.

The category page can itself be edited to provide an explanation of the type of pages that may be expected to be included within the category. Often there will be a link to the 'lead' page for the category, providing the detailed explanation of the meaning of the category. Categories themselves can sit within other categories, so a hierarchical structure can be built up. If you wish to refer to a category page directly, you can create a wikilink [[:Category:FAQ]], taking you to Category:FAQ.


Contents: Syntax (basic); Namespaces; Users; Templates; Categories; Images; Tables; Basic Editing; Please avoid these types of edits; Syntax (advanced)

Images

There is only one way to display images in WikiThing. The HTML syntax <img src=""> does not work, and so you can only display images that have been uploaded to WikiThing. On the other hand, to use a Wiki-uploaded image in Talk, you do need to use the HTML syntax and the Wiki syntax won't work (Talk will think filenames in square brackets are attempts at touchstones).

Images live in the Image namespace. This is a different area to that in which author photos and book covers live. All users can upload images to the image namespace. The images already uploaded are listed here.

The syntax for including images in an article is given here. The minimal format is [[Image:Watchmen.jpg]] which gives: Watchmen.jpg

Watchmen 'smiley' image
[[Image:Watchmen.jpg|thumb|100px|Watchmen 'smiley' image]] creates a 'thumbnail' (with a default border, background, size and position) with a forced size of 100 pixels wide and a caption.

Depending upon the image type that you specify (e.g. thumb) and the location, the text surrounding the image will lie alongside the image (i.e. the image floats) or the text will be forced below the image. In some instances, if you wish some text to lie alongside the image, but subsequent text to be forced below the image, you can use the HTML command <br clear="all" />.

The upload page does not mention any restriction on file sizes.

Only upload material for which the copyright status is known and allows you to upload the image. Give a statement about the copyright of the image in the Summary box: for instance, if it is a photo that you have taken then you own the copyright and can retain that copyright or assign it for specific uses. This is not Wikipedia, so the GNU FDL does not hold. As Tim might say: "I am not a lawyer, and I don't play one on TV." If you have any questions about copyright, then contact LibraryThing.


Contents: Syntax (basic); Namespaces; Users; Templates; Categories; Images; Tables; Basic Editing; Please avoid these types of edits; Syntax (advanced)

Tables

See Wikipedia help for detailed instructions.


Contents: Syntax (basic); Namespaces; Users; Templates; Categories; Images; Tables; Basic Editing; Please avoid these types of edits; Syntax (advanced)

Basic editing


Contents: Syntax (basic); Namespaces; Users; Templates; Categories; Images; Tables; Basic Editing; Please avoid these types of edits; Syntax (advanced)

No-nos

Having conversations

WikiThing is for imparting information, not for debating. If you wish to carry on a conversation, please use the groups, of which the Common Knowledge and WikiThing group is the preferred location for discussions related to the content of WikiThing. (Easy access to the "Talk" namespaces in WikiThing has been removed to discourage background comments.)


Contents: Syntax (basic); Namespaces; Users; Templates; Categories; Images; Tables; Basic Editing; Please avoid these types of edits; Syntax (advanced)

Wikid syntax

Type wiki syntax without it being interpreted by enclosing the syntax in <nowiki></nowiki>

Jump to a label in a page using [[Pagename#Labelname]] or, if the label is on the current page, just [[#Labelname]]. (Note that labelnames are case sensitive, including on the first character.) Each of the header levels is a labelname.

You can set up a redirect to send people to the page that they probably meant. So, if someone created a wikilink [[editing help]], thinking that it would come here, there is a page in the main namespace which contains the following code: #redirect [[Help:Editing]] which brings you to this page. Editing help

Sometimes you need to create pages with the same name for two different concepts. One way of doing this is to add a suffix to the pagename in brackets. So [[Set (tennis)]] is different from [[Set (concrete)]]. In the text, the context will probably be obvious, so you can stop the qualifier in brackets displaying by typing [[set (tennis)|]] (also called 'the pipe trick'). This can also be used to stop the namespace displaying.

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