Wikimedian in Residence

Formatting your article

Different ways to format your page.

Bold, headings, italics and links

Before you start this video go to Wikipedia and make sure you are logged in. The video demonstrates using formatting tools on the user page. 

  1. Select 'Edit' to go to the Visual editor. 
  2. To add a heading click on the option 'Paragraph 1' and select from the dropdown. 
  3. To make something italic click on the italicised, bold and underlined 'A' and choose from the drop down. Do the same to make something bold or underlined. 
  4. The chain-link icon on the menu allows you to add links to other Wikipedia pages. This is an important feature as it allows information to be connected. NB you only need to link something once on a Wikipedia article. For example, if you mention 'The University of Edinburgh' multiple times you only need to link it the first time it is mentioned. 
  5. Once you are done, select 'Publish changes' and add an edit summary describing the edits you have just made e.g. 'added bold, heading and links'. 
Video: How to format your Wikipedia article - adding bolds, headings, links and italics.
A video tutorial explaining how to use some of the basic formatting tools using the Visual Editor on Wikipedia.

Creating lists

You can practice this on your user page. 

  1. Select 'Edit' to go to the Visual editor. 
  2. Create a heading. For example, 'Things I enjoy'. Hit return. 
  3. Type a list of 2-3 things you like doing such as surfing, cycling and reading. 
  4. Select the entire list so it is highlighted. 
  5. Click on the next dropdown menu to the right of the 'Cite' dropdown menu. 
  6. Select either 'Bullet list' or 'Numbered list' in the dropdown menu. 
  7. Select 'Publish changes' and add an edit summary. 

Adding an infobox

An infobox appears at the side of a page to provide summary information. There are many different templates for infoboxes so it depends on the article you are writing as to whether you should use Infobox person, scientist, writer, school, hospital or many others. 

These instructions will show you how to add an infobox for your user page so the infobox we can demonstrate is 'Infobox Wikipedia User'. Before you start make sure you are logged into your Wikipedia account and click on your username in the top right of the screen to get to your user page. 

  1. Select 'Edit' to go to the Visual editor. 
  2. Select the 'Insert' dropdown menu and select 'Template'.
  3. Type 'Infobox Wikipedia user' and select the first option. Select 'Add template'. 
  4. Choose the fields that you want to enter into your infobox. E.g.
    • Select the field for 'name' and type your name
  5. Select 'Insert'. This will add the infobox to your page. This can be added to and amended at a later data as you see fit. 
  6. Select 'Publish changes' and add an edit summary. 

Infobox for beginners (pdf).

How to add an infobox (webm).

Adding categories 

Categories appear at the bottom of a Wikipedia page and they appear at the far right hand side of the Visual Editor's dropdown menus. Categories are case sensitive and need to be spelt correctly. As much as possible we work with existing categories on Wikipedia but in certain circumstances it may be appropriate to create a new category. 

If you are unsure which categories should be added to a Wikipedia page you are drafting, best practice is to check a similar Wikipedia page to see which categories have been added to it. 

Try adding categories to your user page.

  1. Select 'Edit' to enter the Visual editor. 
  2. Select the dropdown menu at the far right hand side of the Visual editor (3 horizontal lines). Select the 'Categories' option. 
  3. Type an example category by typing into the box. For example, 'Wikipedians' or 'Wikipedians in Scotland'. If the link turns red, then click on the red category and use the 'bin' symbol to delete the problem category. Beware that categories are case sensitive. 
  4. Select 'Apply changes' once you have added your categories correctly. 
  5. Then select 'Publish changes' and add an edit summary to save your changes. 

Navigation boxes 

Navigation boxes sit at the bottom of a Wikipedia article and they are a grouping of links used in multiple related articles to facilitate navigation between those articles. This page explains navigation boxes. 

For example, see the navigation boxes on these pages:

© Ewan McAndrew and Hannah Rothmann, University of Edinburgh, 2020, CC BY-SA 4.0, unless otherwise indicated.