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Wikis should be easy to edit, so most text you add or change will appear as you expect it. But you can do more if you want.

This wiki is currently in ConfirmEmail mode after the move from Wikispaces to a MediaWiki-based installation (the edit mode may change again some time). For editing or adding information to the wiki, you have to join it. See How to Get Your Xenwiki Account for more!

Using links

What you always have dreamed of (for your paper notes) - in a wiki it becomes true: fast links!

If you enclose a word in double brackets (like [[word]]), you get an internal link, hopefully to an already existing page - if not, it appears red, and you just created the opportunity for your co-authors to add the details. If you want a text differing from the link target, you can place it after a pipe symbol: [[word|different text]].

For external links, simply place the URL into the text, certain protocols (http, https, mailto) will be automatically transformed into links. For alternate text, use single brackets, start with the URL and after a space enter the title, like so [ the Acid3 test] which renders to the Acid3 test.

You may link to sections in the same page by using the section title with the prefix #. MediaWiki automatically converts it into a link with the correct anchor identifier. For example to link to the beginning of this section use [[#Using links]] (rendered as #Using links) or with changed text [[#Using links|top of this section]] (rendered as top of this section).

Link text

The link text should ideally relate to the link target, try to avoid "here" links. There is an interesting extension for Firefox, Copy URL To Clipboard, that does automatic formatting of page URL and page title in MediaWiki syntax into the clipboard.


There are 3 types of redirects: soft redirect, regular redirect and hard redirect.

A "soft redirect" or "smart redirect" is just an ordinary page with the text "See XYZ.", where XYZ is a link to the target of the smart redirect. A smart redirect should not point to another smart redirect - if you see this you should fix it by shortcutting past the second one and making the first redirect point directly to the ultimate target. This kind of redirect were introduced in the Wikispaces era, to make redirects accessible later, for example to flip page titles.

A regular redirect is performed by #REDIRECT [[Page title]]. A double redirect should be fixed be skipping intermediate targets. The page Special:DoubleRedirects can be used to detect them. Regular redirects did not exist in Wikispaces. This kind of redirect displays a small information message when it was used to get to the current page.

A hard redirect directly leads to the target page without a notice of redirect. Therefore, they should only be used in certain cases like common misspellings. The rule is that if anyone might ever want to flesh the redirect out into its own article, it should not be a hard redirect. Hard redirects can be chained with no problem, which is why they're still appropriate to use for misspellings. The code for a hard redirect in MediaWiki is #REDIRECT [[:en:Page title]]. Hard redirects worked somewhat differently in wikispaces; only admins could create or change them, and they could not redirect to a section.

see also

Text formatting


Some typographic markup can easy be added by including the phrase in doubled '' or tripled ''' (apostrophe chars):

  • italic using ''italic''
  • bold using '''bold'''
  • bold italic using '''''bold italic'''''


See Help:List for advanced use cases.

There are tree basic types of lists in HTML that are supported in MediaWiki markup: unordered (or "bulleted") lists, numbered lists, description lists. Each type of lists can be created within wiki source code by just indicating the items at the beginning of the line (the list is automatically built around them). Each item has to start on a new line.


Unordered list items are marked by * (asterisk):

  • Coffee
  • Wine
  • Milk


Numbered list items are marked by # (number sign):

  1. Coffee
  2. Wine
  3. Milk


Description items are marked by ; (semicolon) for term and : (colon) for the description:

a brewed drink prepared from roasted coffee beans. (from: Coffee - Wikipedia)
an alcoholic beverage made from fermented grapes. (from: Wine - Wikipedia)
a white liquid nutrient-rich food produced by the mammary glands of mammals. (from: Milk - Wikipedia)

Combined List Styles

  1. Morning
    • Coffee
    • Milk
  2. Evening
    • Coffee
    • Wine


for advanced examples see Help:Table

You can add tables to wiki pages:

what you write
{| class="wikitable"
|+ The Title
! head A
! head B
| cell A1
| cell B1
| cell A2
| cell B2
what you get
The Title
head A head B
cell A1 cell B1
cell A2 cell B2


Inserting a JPEG, GIF, or PNG image is pretty straightforward - when using the visual page editor click the "File" button and upload the image. Or in Wikitext, use [[image:filename]] or [[file:filename]]. Also SVG images are supported ([[file:some.svg]]), they are automatically transformed into PNG images by the MediaWiki software, because not all Browsers come with native SVG support. A possible problem can arise when the image uses fonts that are not available on the wiki server. To prevent such errors, you can transform text into graphic objects before uploading the image here.

Maths formulas

...can be used like in the Wikipedia: start it with <math> and end it with </math>. Take care: using the math tags will break paragraphs. See for example

[math]V =\frac{4}{3} \pi r^3[/math]

Here is a browser-based formula editor that may be helpful:

Table of contents

Place __TOC__ where you wish to place the table of contents, mostly this will be at the top of the page.

Social aspects

In this wiki, you can use talk pages and user talk pages.

If you want to discuss the wiki itself, do it on the page wikifuture.


Categories all serve different purposes: sometimes they say what something is or the context in which it belongs (Category:edo, Category:interval). Sometimes they are used for annotation purposes (Category:todo:reduce mathslang), etc. All these forms have in common is that they can combine wiki pages in a way that is independent of their authors.

A category may have its own content (and category)

see Pages in the namespace Category

or not yet (despite being used to categorize other pages):

see Special:WantedCategories

Some more examples:


Discussion pages are provided to each content page. Please keep in mind that the email notification to people who are observing the page cannot be taken back!

Sometimes you will wait forever for a reply because nobody monitors the page or topic. In this case you should find out who is most familiar with the topic and ask that person directly. You can check the history of pages for its authors. Another approach is to ask questions on further media, examples are listed on the page GeneralDiscussion.

See also