From phenoscape
Revision as of 16:38, 20 May 2007 by Hilmar (talk | contribs) (Changing the Sidebar)

Start a new page

There are several ways, but the easiest is to type the new page in the URL and then edit that page. For example, if I wanted to create a page called IT under Help, I would change the URL to in the browser address bar, for example. Then I would edit and save that page.

We are using a MediaWiki here. There is an in-depth guide at the MediaWiki site.



  • Use single brackets, [], to open in a new browser window.
  • Use double brackets to link to wiki pages, [[Help:IT]], for example. Opens in the same browser window.
  • See the respective article at MediaWiki

Changing the Sidebar

  • See the MediaWiki FAQ for how to access the pseudo-page for the sidebar (also called navigation bar, only visible in the monobook skin). Basically, replace the page name part of the current url with MediaWiki:Sidebar, for example for this wiki. Then click the Edit tab. You must have the sysop privilege to edit that page.
  • MediaWiki has documentation on how to change and add links, or create multiple boxes.

Adding Categories

You can arbitrarily categorize pages by adding [[Category:Your Category Here]] at the bottom of the page, one for each category you want to assign. MediaWiki can automatically create index pages for all articles tagged with the category, which can be accessed by clicking on the category link created automatically at the bottom. If the index doesn't exist yet, simply enter a short text like "Index for category Your_Category_Here" and click 'Save page'. An example for an index page is the help index. You can link to the category index (instead of labeling the page) by preceding the tag with a colon, such as [[:Category:Help]].


Make sure you have the toolbar enabled in your editing preferences. Note that MediaWiki version 1.6.x has a bug in that the toolbar doesn't show on Safari (even though the Javascript code to insert it is on the page). Check the version page to see which version of MediaWiki runs this site. If it is a 1.6.x version, use Firefox or Camino for editing on Mac OSX.

Add a comment to a page

To start a discussion on a page or to add a comment that others can respond to, click the 'discussion' tab at the top of each page. This will take you to the "Talk" page for the article.

To add a comment, or respond to a previous one, click the '+' tab at the top of the "Talk" page. Type your text into the input text field. When done, don't forget to sign, either by using the button in the editing toolbar (it's the second from the right) that appears just above the input text field, or by typing two dashes followed by four tildes, and save by clicking the "Save page" button below the text field.

To return to the article, click on the 'article' tab at the top of the page.

You can also link to the Talk page of an article by prefixing the page name with 'Talk:', so for this article this would be [[Talk:Howto Wiki]].

How do I sign an entry

Put four tildes to have your username and timestamp appear, and three for just your username. If your editor window shows the formatting buttons on top, the second last inserts your signature as a double-dash, followed by username and timestamp (four tildes), like this. --Hilmar 00:05, 17 August 2006 (EDT)

Controlling access

By default, all pages except the front (a.k.a. home) page of the wiki are protected from public view and require a login for both viewing and editing.

Individual pages, however, can easily be made publicly available (read-only). Simply prefix the name of a new page with Public: (including the colon). For example, to create a page with name New Page that is to be publicly visible, name it Public:New_Page.

To make an existing page public, you need to create a new page with the same content and the name prefixed as above. This sounds difficult but is relatively easy through copy&pasting the source.

For example, navigate to the page to be made publicly readable, click on the 'edit' tab at the top, place the cursor into the text edit form, and press Control-A (select all, Apple-A on a Mac). Then click on the 'article' tab at the top, place the cursor into the URL text field of your browser between the '=' character and the name of the page, and type Public: (incl. the colon). Hit return (which will display the default new page), click the 'edit' tab, place the cursor into the text field, and press Control-V (paste, Apple-V on a Mac). Click the 'save page' button at the bottom and you are done.

Pages with the Public: prefix will only be publicly readable, not writable. Please email us if you have pages which should also be anonymously writable (editable).