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Revision as of 16:53, 28 November 2008 by Pweatherly (Talk | contribs)

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Getting started

In order to add content to the wiki, you must create an account and then log in. Click the "log in/create account" link on the top row, and on the resulting page click the "Create an account" link. You will need to enter:

  • a preferred username
  • a password
  • confirm your password
  • your e-mail address. (While this is labelled "optional," the J-MRL Reads wiki requires that you "confirm" your account by responding to an e-mail sent you by the wiki.

You can now log in through the "Log in/create account" screen. You should take a moment to set your preferences by clicking the "preferences" link on the top row. This allows you to give your real name, set pages to "watch" and arrange for e-mail notification of various types of changes to the wiki.

Whenever you edit, it's important to remember to save your work. The "Save page" button appears at the bottom left of the editing page. You can see how you are doing by clicking the "Show preview" button. If you are really lost, you can click the "Show changes" button. Be careful -- if you navigate away from the page by clicking one of the sidebar links or the browser back button you will lose any changes you've made.

Editing an existing page

When you are logged in, you will see an "edit" tab just above the page title. Click this to get a screen with the "code" for the page and a row of editing buttons. On pages with multiple sections, you can also click links marked "Edit" beside section titles.

The simplest thing to do is to copy a section of the text whose format you want to follow, paste it into the new location, and then type your own content over the old.

You can also use the editing buttons at the top of the screen (for instructions on this see "Editing a new page" below).

Creating a new page

To create a new page you make a link from an existing page. Do this by entering a name for the new page and highlighting it, then clicking the "Ab" editing button. You can also surround the name for the new page with double square brackets -- [[My New Page]].

Editing a new page

You can also type in your content and then use the buttons above the editing screen to "format" your entry. Most of these work upon a section of text that is highlighted.

  • The "B" button makes the highlighted text bold. The keyboard equivalent is to surround the text with three apostrophes '''some text'''.
  • The "I" button makes the highlighted text italic. They keyboard equivalent is to surround the text with two apostrophes ''some text''.
  • The "Ab" button links to a page whose name is that of the highlighted text. If no such page exists, a blank page, ready for editing, will be created with that name. This is how you can start a new page. The keyboard equivalent is to place two brackets before and after the page name [[My New Page]].
  • The globe button makes the highlighted text a link to a web site. You will have to add the URL after the opening bracket and insert a space between the URL and the link text.
  • The "A" button creates what the wiki calls a "Level 2 Headline." This makes the highlighted text appear in a larger font and also creates the "contents" bars on the page. You should be careful to use it in headers for sections that are more or less equivalent to other level 2 headlines. The keyboard equivalent is to surround the string consisting of a URL a space and a link label with a single set of brackets [ Search With Google] .
  • The picture, trumpet, and square root symbol are used to embed images, media files, and mathematical text respectively. Since these require files to be uploaded to the server, check with an administrator if you wish to embed images or media files.
  • The "No W" button "escapes" highlighted text. If you want to use a symbol that has meaning for the wiki, such as inserting brackets that don't create a link, you can highlight them and click the nowiki button.
  • The button that looks like cursive inserts a signature and time stamp. This is useful for entries in the "discussion" section.
  • The "-" button creates a horizontal line, which you can use to separate large sections.

Special links

You can create a link to a YouTube video with the following syntax:


where the "300" represents the width (in pixels) of the video, and "-dnL00TdmLY" is the youtube code for the particular video.

You can create a link to the J-MRL catalog with the following syntax:

[[ Gone with the Wind]]

Remember that you must leave out initial articles in OPAC title searches and that all spaces in the title string must be replaced with "+" signs. Similar searches can be created using "X" for keywords; "a" for author; "d" for subject; or "c" for call number. In all cases, the search argument cannot include spaces -- use "+" instead.

Other help sources


The creators of this wiki, are new to this wiki business too. We copied (and then edited for our own use) this page from [Library Success: a Best Practices Wiki] which is a great wiki that one of us learned from in setting up this wiki. Thanks Library Success!

If you're brand new to the world of wikis you may be unsure how to start. Here is a quick guide with some tips. None of these are required, but many of them are helpful in creating a sense of wiki community and making the wiki more usable.

  • why register - Registering lets people know who edited a page and allows all of your edits to be grouped under your name. This helps you establish a reputation -- this is important on big wikis like Wikipedia, perhaps not as much here -- and lends authority to your entries and edits. When you are registered, people can contact you through your talk page if they have questions about your entries or edits. Please note: Registering is currently required on this wiki.

  • annotate - You have the option of adding little notes to your edits in the Summary box beneath the editing page. When people look at pages like the Recent Changes page, or their own watchlist, they can tell at a glance what was done to the page you edited. Check the minor edit box if you are just fixing a typo or a punctuation error.

  • discuss - Every page on the wiki has a discussion page that you can use for discussing an article. This is often more useful than making an edit, having someone else undo it, and back and forth. These pages can be for asking questions about the topic, or informal coverage of a topic. Every editor also has a user talk page, which you can find by clicking on the history tab of any page that user has edited. You'll see a link to "talk" next to the signature of the editor. You can leave notes or comments just for that editor there.

  • list - If you are starting a list of tips, links, or comments, or are adding to a list, please start your addition with an asterisk (*), which shows up on the wiki like this
  • Example.
It's just a good way to set each distinct contribution off from the rest. A colon will indent what you write as you can see on this line if you look at this page in editing mode.

  • look - The best way to learn how to format things on the wiki is to look at how people have formatted things on other pages. Just hit "edit" at the top of the page to see how people did what they did.

  • add a new page - You can easily add a new page by putting the title of the new page inside double brackets on the front page, (or add a subpage off of any other page in the same way). Then, when you click on that link, you will be taken to a new page that you can add to.

  • Wikis in Plain English - Enjoy this brief film explaining editing concepts!