Editing basics

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Brent Simpson

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The wiki has been designed to make editing as simple as possible.

With the exception of a few protected pages, every page on WikiEducator can be edited.

How do I know the difference

Every page that is editable will have an "edit" tab at the top of the main content area. (Check out the tabs on the top of this page. Note that you must be logged in to see the edit tab.) Pages that are locked for editing will be substituted with a "view source" tab. Don't worry about this detail now - finding your way around a wiki page will become second nature.

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Tip: Remember that on WikiEducator you cannot edit a page without a valid user account. On some wikis like Wikipedia, you can edit a page without a valid user account. However, in Wikipedia you cannot create new pages without a user account. In the case of pages which are locked for editing, you can always copy the source text by clicking on the "view source" tab.

Where are the edit links

Page, discussion, edit, and history tabs at the top of this page
Edit links for subsections on a page
Content can be edited using the Edit tab (at the top of the page) to change an entire page or where subheadings have been used, single sections can be edited by activating the [edit] link next to the subheading as shown in the figure to the right.

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Self Assessment

If you needed to edit more than one section on a page, what would be the more efficient way to edit?

(Click the "blue triangle" button, to the right, to view our thoughts on this question.)

Choosing between the best of two worlds

WikiEducator provides you with the option of choosing between:

Rich text editing (RTE) uses an online WYSIWYG (what-you-see-is-what-you-get) editor. This 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 wiki markup to format the text.

You need to make a choice before you start your wiki journey because we have separate training materials for each of the editing methods. To assist you in choosing between rich text editing or standard wiki syntax, consider the following advantages and disadvantages of the two approaches. Remember, the choice is yours.

Rich Text Editor
Standard 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
  • May result in better understanding of how wikis work, thus reducing the learning curve for implementing advanced wiki features

  • May be slower when using a low bandwidth connection
  • Restricts your wiki skills to sites that use rich text editing
  • Will require additional learning time to master advanced wiki features

  • May take longer to learn the basics
  • May be confusing for new learners
  • Some formatting features like tables are complex and difficult to learn
  • May 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 advanced features and to realise 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.

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Tip: We have tutorials to support both editing approaches:

In this tutorial we will show you the difference between rich text editing and standard wiki markup, and look at the most basic steps required to begin editing pages on the wiki. Soon it will be time to make your first edit to a special page called the "User page".