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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

Shortcut: Help: Links

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

Internal 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]].

Linking to sections

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).

Interwiki links

Links to some wikis are supported by placing a specific wiki alias and a colon (:) to the common in-wiki link syntax: [[otherwiki: name there]] as a prefix, for example, [[Wikipedia: Microtonal music]] gets rendered as Wikipedia: Microtonal music. Although this features is named "interwiki", is also includes some services that are definitively not wiki-like, for instance a google search can as well be embedded in wiki syntax: [[Google: 159edo]] (rendered as: Google: 159edo) The sites currently supported are managed in Special:Interwiki. A space after the prefix doesn't change the effect but looks better.

External links

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.

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.


Redirects can be regular or “smart” (definition redirect).

Regular redirect

A regular redirect is performed by #REDIRECT [[Page title]].

Redirects can be used to join alternative names (titles, ("lemmata") for the same thing to reduce duplication.

Redirects are also useful to directly link into sections (especially if they have the potential to grow to an article in future).

Redirects to redirects should be fixed by skipping intermediate targets. The page Special: DoubleRedirects can be used to detect them.

Smart redirect

A "smart redirect" is a page that has a small definition of a term with a link to a broader presentation of the corresponding area. Don't forget to categorize such a page by placing [[Category:smart redirect]] at its end.

A smart redirect should not point to another smart redirect.

See Category:smart redirect for a list of pages tagged as smart redirect.

Soft redirect

This kind of redirect has been eliminated and should not be used any more. It was there for a historical reason only to overcome usability issues on wikispaces (the former wiki platform): editing redirects was restricted to administrators, so normal users could not expand a redirect page into a full article. (See also Yahoo! Tuning Group for the discussion on the tuning list)

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, where ; bolds the entire line and : indents the line:

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

Combined List Styles

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


for advanced examples see Help:Table

You can add tables to wiki pages:

You write
{| class="wikitable"
! head A
! head B
| cell A1
| cell B1
| cell A2
| cell B2
You get
head A head B
cell A1 cell B1
cell A2 cell B2

You can also copy some cells from a spreadsheet and paste them into the xenwiki visual editor, and a table will automatically be created!

Horizontal alignment of column content

Text alignment can be an issue. The table default is cell text being left-alignened, but decimal numbers usually are right-aligned and common fractions center-aligned.

You may add inline CSS styling to each cell of the table (i.e. style="text-align: right"), but this is a lot of work, makes the wiki markup confusing, and also makes pages really big which slows down loading.

It's now (by June 2020) possible to define the column alignment once in the table header. This can be done by adding further classes to the class="wikitable" statement.

For example, write class="wikitable right-1 left-5 center-all" to align the cell text to

  • right in the 1st column,
  • left in the 5th column, and
  • center in all other columns.


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 Wikipedia. For inline math, start it with <math> and end it with </math>. For example: [math]V =\frac{4}{3} \pi r^3[/math]. For display-style math, open and close the formulas with both $$; this will render it centered in a new line.

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

Table of contents

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


A reference mark is added by <ref> and </ref> parenthesising the reference text. The reference texts are shown in the bottom of the article by default; you can optionally insert <references/> where you wish to show them.

Article structure

  • Articles should start with an introduction (summary, synopsis) that help to get a basic understanding what it is about. Don't introduce another heading for the introduction: it's already provided by the h1 heading of the lemma itself.
  • After this section (about one to five sentences), subheadings may follow to deepen the concept.
  • The end of the article is typically for see-also suggestions and external links.
  • After the last section (in wikitext: separated by an empty line) follow categories (in wikitext: each on a separate line).


English Wikipedia has an article on:

Subpages are pages whose title contains one or more slashes ("/"). In general, every subpage includes a breadcrumb link at the top, allowing the reader to navigate to the parent page (and further if there are multiple levels of subpages). However, the subpage feature is disabled in the main namespace, mainly to prevent rational interval pages (e.g. 3/2) from including a breadcrumb link to a nonexistent page.

"Fake subpages" can nonetheless be used in the main namespace in certain circumstances, such as:

In "fake subpages", a link to the main page should be added manually, either in the page's first sentence or in a hatnote using Template:Main.

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:Temperament, Category:Interval). Sometimes they are used for annotation purposes (Category:Todo:add example), 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 General discussion.

Sign your contributions to a Talk page by using two dashes (--) and four tildes (~~~~), which produces your username and a time/date stamp.

See also