How to use Wiki

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Getting started

  • First login or create login account. Anybody can create an account.
  • Open a new tab on the web browser or a new browser window so you can go back and forth between the help page and the page you are editing.
  • In the new window go to the course wiki and click on this HOWTO page.
  • Follow along on this page in one window and on the other window to experiment with your wiki text click on Flowerbox.

Formatting text and your wiki page

For this course you will need to know only a few simple wikitext formats that can be found on this cheatsheet. Try out formatting some text in your Flowerbox. There are a few examples that I have put up in my flower box where you can see the Wikitext (by clicking on the Edit tab) and the results. What you are looking at, quite literally, is me learning to use Wiki. I learned as you will do--by trying stuff and seeing what happens, and by looking stuff up on help pages.


Here are some more examples of using Wikitext. To see how any of the pages on our course wiki are written you can click the edit button on any page. Remember you have full editorial privileges, so do not edit the main pages or your classmates' pages unless you are correcting typos. Note that there is a spell checker that highlights words in red while you are editing a page. Once you have started making edits to a page you can view the history by clicking on the History tab at the top of the page. You can also use this function to view a previous version of the page by clicking on the time and date of the earlier version. You can also revert to that version.

Making new pages and links

Search to see whether someone has created a page with the same title using the search box at the left of this page. If the title has not been used choose a new title carefully and for your project pages add a prefix representing your project group. To make a new page simply enclose the name of the page in double square brackets like [[My Gene]]. To rename a page click on the Move tab at the top of the page (next to the Edit tab) and give the page a new name. You can link to your new page different from the page name by using [[New Page| Arabidopsis ORF001]]. There are other examples of linking to outside pages on the cheatsheet and in the Flowerbox.

Uploading files

To add an image, the image file has to be uploaded. You can link to the file using [[Image:file.jpg]]. It is easiest to make a link to the file before uploading. Then you can click on the link, and you will be prompted to upload the corresponding file. Be sure to give the file a suitable name, because renaming after uploading is not possible. Remember that file names should not contain spaces. Instead of using a space to separate words, use an 'underscore', like_this. Make sure that file names have the proper extensions. Examples of proper extensions are: .doc for Microsoft Word, .txt for text files, .xls for Microsoft Exel, .jpg for jpeg files, .gif for gif flies, etc. For your projects, it is an excellent idea to add a prefix representing your project group. Now click on the "Upload file" button in the toolbox menu on the left and follow the directions. Try loading an image file from your computer into the Flowerbox. You can link to the file using [[Image:file.jpg]]. Note that you can not upload files or files for others to download. It is probably better to use your UDrive to do that.

Learning more about editing wikis

For more tips on editing and using wiki go to the MediaWiki User's Guide.