RTE versus normal wiki syntax

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The best of two worlds: Choosing between Rich Text Editing and/or normal wiki syntax

WikiEducator provides our users with the option of choosing between:

  • Rich Text Editing or
  • standard wiki syntax.

Rich Text Editing (RTE) uses an online WYSIWYG editor (What you see is what you get editor) which is similar to editing using a word processor.

You also have the option of using normal wiki syntax as an alternative way to format the text on your wiki pages. This requires knowledge of the special characters we use to format the text.

You need to make a choice before you start your wiki journey because we have different training materials for the option you choose. To assist you in choosing between Rich Text Editing or normal wiki syntax, consider the following advantages and disadvantages of the two approaches. Remember, the choice is yours.

Rich Text Editor
Normal wiki syntax
  • Familiar editing interface
  • Easier to learn the basic editing features
  • User friendly interface, particularly for creating tables.

  • Faster editing suitable for low bandwidth connections
  • Transferable editing skills which can be used to edit pages on other projects using Mediawiki software, for example Wikipedia.
  • Develop a better understanding of how wikis work, thus reducing the learning curve for implementing advanced wiki features.

  • Can be slower when using a low bandwidth connection
  • You will restrict your wiki skills to sites that use rich text editing.
  • Will require extra learning time to master advanced wiki features

  • May take longer to learn the basics and can be confusing for Newbies
  • Some formatting features like tables are complex and difficult to learn
  • Can be frustrating for users who are not familiar with web-based technologies.

In summary, Rich Text Editing is easy to learn, but requires more time to master the power of the wiki environment. Conversely, wiki syntax is harder to learn but saves time on your path to mastery of the wiki technology. Fortunately users can easily switch between Rich Text Editing and normal wiki syntax. If you are unsure, try starting with the Rich Text Editor. You can always change to normal wiki syntax as you become more confident with the technology.