Bold, Italics & Headings

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In this subsection we cover both approaches to formatting text. Try experimenting with both approaches. Many Newbies prefer using the "Toolbar" approach because you don't need to remember the wiki markup. However, experimenting with the Wiki Syntax method will help you understand how the wiki works. As you become more familiar with wiki editing you will develop your own preferences and shortcuts for regular tasks.

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Tip: Once you have mastered the basics of highlighting text, a good way to learn new formatting features is to find a page with the layout feature you like, and to click on the "edit" tab and view the wiki syntax that was used for a particular text feature.

Using the Editor Toolbar

When you were editing your User page in the previous section's activity, you may have noticed that the editing area has a blue bar at the top that contains a series of graphic buttons like this:

The Editing Toolbar

This is the Editing toolbar and can be used to add simple formatting to your content.

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Tip: To use the toolbar you will need to use your mouse to highlight and select the text upon which you wish to apply the formatting. To highlight and select a piece of text, click and hold with your left mouse button while moving your mouse across the text you wish to select. (If you have no left mouse button, don't worry, you don't need one for this.) The highlighted text will turn into a different colour; release the button when you have highlighted the selection of text to which you would like to apply formatting.

Once you have your text selected you can click on:

  • the Bold button Bold button.png to bold the selection;
  • the Italics button Italics button.png to italicize the selection;
  • or the Headline button Heading button.png to create a level 2 headline from your selected text.

Your formatting will not appear while you are in the editing mode. To see your formatting applied you will need to click on the Show preview button or the Save page button.

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In this activity we'll use the graphic toolbar

  • Go to the sandbox you created under your User page. (See this Activity on the previous page.)
  • Click on the Edit tab.
  • Copy the following sentence or something similar: This word is bold and this word is italics.
  • Highlight the word you want to appear in bold and click on the Bold button Bold button.png.
  • Highlight the word you want to appear in italics and click on the Italics button Italics button.png
  • Click on the save button.

Using Wiki Syntax

If you have tried using the editing toolbar to apply formatting to some text, you may have noticed that the act of clicking on a button actually wraps your text inside some common grammatical characters. These characters are used by the wiki software to indicate where formatting is to be applied. Once you are familiar with some of the basic formatting syntax, you may find it quicker and easier to just type this syntax into the edit mode text area rather than highlighting, selecting and clicking on the buttons.


Description You type You get
Bold text

This is '''bold''' text

This is bold text

Italics This is ''italics''

This is italics

Bold and Italics

This is '''''bold and italics'''''

This is bold and italics


:This is indented

This is indented

Description You type You get
Headings of different levels
=level 1=
==level 2==
===level 3===
====level 4====
=====level 5=====
======level 6======
Level 1
Level 2
Level 3
Level 4
Level 5
Level 6