Opening the visual editor
|To edit a page using the visual editor, press on the "Edit" tab at the top of the page.
It may take a few seconds for the page to open for editing, and longer if the page is very long.
Pressing on the "Edit source" tab will open the classic wikitext source editor.
|You can also open the visual editor by pressing on the "edit" link on each section.|
Getting started: the visual editor's toolbar
|The visual editor's toolbar appears at the top of the screen when you begin editing. It includes some familiar icons:|
|Undo and Redo the changes you have made.|
|Headings pull-down menu: allows you to change how the paragraph is formatted. To change the style of a paragraph, put your cursor in the paragraph and select an item in this menu (you don't have to highlight any text). Section titles are formatted "Heading", and subsections are "Sub-heading 1", "Sub-heading 2", and so on. The normal format for text is "Paragraph".|
Formatting: Pressing the "A" opens a menu.
If you have not selected any text, then when you press the "A" to open the menu, and then select an item, that formatting will apply to the text that you start typing, from wherever your cursor is located.
|Linking tool: The chain icon is the linking tool. Pressing on it (usually after selecting some text) opens the link dialog.|
|Cite menu: The "Cite" menu is used to add inline citations (also called "footnotes" or "references"). All projects have access to basic reference formatting and the ability to reuse citations by using this menu. It also gives users quick access to local citation templates, if these are enabled on their wiki.
(Instructions for adding local citation templates to the Cite menu at a specific wiki are available at mw:VisualEditor/Citation tool.)
|⧼citoid-citefromidtool-title⧽ button: If the citoid service is enabled on your wiki, then you will see a ⧼citoid-citefromidtool-title⧽ button instead of a Cite menu.
The citoid service tries to fill out citation templates automatically.
|Lists and indentation: The first two items allow you to format text as either a "Bullet list" or a "Numbered list". The last two items allow you to decrease or increase the indentation level of list items.|
|Insert: The "Insert" menu may be different on some projects. Below is a list of all options that may appear.
|Special character insertion: The "Special character" (Ω) icon is next to the "Insert" menu. When pressed, it displays a dialog showing many special characters. By pressing on a specific character, you place it into the text. These special characters include some standard symbols, diacritics, and mathematical symbols. (This list may be customized locally. See mw:VisualEditor/Special characters for instructions.)|
|The Edit notices button displays any notices for the page.|
|The Page options menu is to the left of the Publish changes button and the Switch editor menu. On this menu there is a button to open an Options dialog with the following (left side) tabs:
The tabs of the Options dialog are also displayed in the Page options menu and can be opened by clicking on it. Furthermore the Page options menu contains the button View as right-to-left and the button Find and replace which opens a dialog where you can insert characters, terms or Regular expressions you are searching for and those to replace them with, together with several buttons for options.
|The switch to source editing button is next to the Publish changes button. It allows you to switch to the wikitext editor.|
|When you are finished editing, press the blue "Publish changes" button in the toolbar. If you have made no changes, the button will be disabled (grayed out). To cancel all your editing changes, close your browser window, or press the "Read" tab above the edit toolbar.|
|Pressing the blue "Publish changes" button opens a dialog. You can then enter a brief summary of your actions, mark your edit as minor, and/or add the page to your Watchlist. The box for the summary is the equivalent of the Edit summary (Briefly describe your changes) field in the wikitext editor.
You can also review your changes using the "Review your changes" button to confirm that they will function as intended before saving your changes. This is similar to the "Show changes" button in the wikitext editor.
The "Resume editing" button returns you to the page you were editing. You can publish all of your changes later.
|Links can be added through the "Link" icon (links in a chain) in the toolbar, or by using the shortcut ^ Ctrl+K (or ⌘ Command+K on a Mac).
If you select (highlight) text and then press the "Link" button, that text will be used in creating the link. For a link that involves only one word, you can either select that word or just put the cursor within that word.
|When you use either the button or the shortcut, a dialog will open in which you may type the link.
The link tool will try to help with internal links by searching for likely matches.
|Once you have entered or selected the link, you complete the linking process by pressing ⌅ Enter or by pressing the "Done" button. Your link will immediately appear on the page, but as with other changes to the page, it will not be published until you publish the entire page.|
|To link to a web page on another website, the process is similar: Choose the "External site" tab, and enter a URL in the box.|
|External links without labels look like this: . You can add these by placing your cursor away from any word (e.g., after a space). Open the link tool by pressing on the button or pressing the shortcut keys. Type the URL in the box, and press the "Done" button to insert the link.|
|To change or remove an existing link, press within the text for that link, then press the "Link" icon that appears near it. The dialog will appear, for editing. You can also get to the dialog with the ^ Ctrl+K keyboard shortcut. When a link is selected, it appears as blue framed.
In the link editing dialog, you can then change where the link goes. You can also remove the link entirely by pressing the "Remove" button in the upper right corner of the dialog. You can also open the link's target in another window by pressing on the copy of the link in the dialog box. (You might want do this to check if an external link is valid.)
If you want to exit the link label (the text displayed as a link) or continue to write after this link, you can press →:
To edit the link label of an existing link, press within the link label and type the new one. But if you want to replace the entire label, please note:
Determining which system is in place
|Your wiki may use one of three footnote systems. The one shown on the right is the simplest system, where the "Cite" menu does not include any citation templates. If your wiki uses this system, then everything you need to know about footnotes is on this page.|
|The second system has the same type of "Cite" menu, but with several popular citation templates set up for quick access. If your wiki uses this system, then you will find more details at mw:Help:VisualEditor/User guide/Citations-Templates.|
|In the third system, you again start by pressing the Cite button. Then a dialog box opens, which includes an automatic citation process using the citoid service. If your wiki uses this system, you will find more details at mw:Help:VisualEditor/User guide/Citations-Full.|
Editing an existing reference
|To edit an existing reference, press on it where it appears in the text (usually as a bracketed number). You will see either a "Reference" icon (bookmark) or an icon (and name) for the template that was used to create this reference. In either case, pressing on the "Edit" button will open a dialog where you can edit the reference.|
|For the "Reference" icon, pressing "Edit" opens the Reference dialog. To start changing the reference information, press on it.
Many wikis use templates to format references. If a template is used in your reference, then when you move your pointer over the reference information, all the information in that field will be highlighted .
If a template was used and you press on the reference information, then the Template icon (puzzle piece) will appear with some information. Press on the "edit" button to edit the content of the template in the template mini-editor dialog.
|If what appears when you press on a reference is an icon for a standard template for citations (an example is at right), then pressing "Edit" will open the template mini-editor dialog.|
|Inside the template mini-editor, you can add or remove types of information or change current content. Only fields (template parameters) that have content will show, initially. To add fields, press on "Add more information" at the bottom of the mini-editor.|
|Press on "Apply changes" when you are done.|
Re-using an existing reference
|If the page already contains a citation that applies to the text you want to source, then you can choose to re-use that existing citation.
To re-use an existing reference, place your cursor in the body of the text where you want to add a new reference (number) for that citation. Then press on the "Re-use reference" item from the "Cite" menu.
(Note: If your wiki has the third footnote system described above, you'll see a "Re-use" tab, in a dialog, instead of a "Re-use" item on the "Cite" menu.)
|In the Reference dialog, look at the list for the reference you want to reuse, and select it. If there are many references, you can use the search box (labeled "Search within current citations") to list only those references that include certain text.|
Adding a new reference
|To add a citation using the "Cite" menu, place your cursor where you want to add it in the text. Then select the appropriate citation type in the menu.|
Using the "Basic" citation
|Shown here is what you will see if you select the basic references item. In the Reference editor, you can add your citation, including formatting.
You can make the reference belong to a given group, although normally this is left blank. (This option is used to display groups of references with the "References list" tool.)
|In the Reference dialog, if you want to include a citation template, or any other template, in your new reference, press the Template icon (puzzle piece) in the "Insert" toolbar menu within the Reference editor.|
|Then, look for the template you want to use, add it and edit it as you would any other template. (See the Editing templates section, below, if you need more information about templates.)
After you are done editing your new template, press on "Apply changes" to return to the Reference editor, and "Apply changes" again to return to the page you are editing.
|If there isn't already a list of references on the page (for example, if you are adding the first reference for the page), you need to specify where the list of references, and their text, will be displayed to the reader.
Place the cursor where you want to display the references list (usually at the bottom of the page), open the "Insert" menu and press the "References list" icon (three books).
|If you are using several groups of references, which is relatively rare, you can specify the group in this dialog. Only the references that belong to that group will be displayed on the page at the location where you are placing the group.
The final step in the References list dialog is to press "Insert".
Using standard cite templates
|Your local wiki may have added extra citation templates to the "Cite" menu. If so, you have quick access to the most-used citation templates for your wiki. (Instructions for adding extra citation templates to your local wiki are available at mw:VisualEditor/Citation tool.)|
|Pressing on a template icon such as "Cite book" will take you into the template mini-editor for that template. Important information fields may be marked with an asterisk. While the most common fields will be shown, not all of them are required.|
|To add more parameters, scroll down in the template mini-editor and press on the "Add more information" option.
Press on "Insert" when you are done.
Editing images and other media files
|To add a new image (or another type of media file) to the page, press the "Images and media" icon (a picture of mountains) in the "Insert" menu. The image will be added wherever your cursor is.|
|Pressing the "Images and media" icon opens a dialog that automatically searches Wikimedia Commons and your local wiki for media files related to the title of the page you are editing.
You can change the search by changing the text in the dialog's search box.
To choose a file, press on its thumbnail image.
This places the image onto the page you are editing.
|After the image you selected is inserted into the page, another dialog will open. This dialog allows you to add and edit the caption of the image. The caption can contain formatting and links.|
|The media dialog also allows you to add alternative text captions, to help users who use screen readers, or who have disabled image display.|
|You can also set various parameters for the image in the "Advanced settings" window. These include the alignment, the type, and size of the image.|
|When you are done, press "Apply changes" to close the dialog and return to editing the page.|
|For an existing image, you can add or edit a caption or other settings by pressing on the image, then pressing on the "Images and media" icon that appears below the picture.
You can resize an existing image by pressing on it, then moving the resize icon (the two-headed arrow on one or both bottom corners).
You can also drag and drop an image to a place higher or lower on the page.
|You can upload images from a tab in the media dialog, or by dragging and dropping a file into the editor, or by pasting an image from your clipboard.|
|Press the "Upload" tab and select an image from your computer. You can type the file name, or drag an image into the box. If you dragged and dropped an image directly into the editor, or pasted one from your clipboard, this tab will open automatically.|
|You need to describe the image and add categories to it so that other people can find it.|
|The image will be inserted into the page when you are done.|
Editing media galleries
|To add a new gallery, press the "Gallery" icon (a set of photos) on the "Insert" menu. (If you don't see this icon on that menu, then your local wiki has decided to delay implementing this functionality in the visual editor.)|
|To edit an existing gallery in the visual editor, press that gallery. Then, near the bottom of the gallery, press the gallery icon (a set of photos). This brings up the gallery editor, with the full list of images included in the gallery.|
|The gallery editor is currently a simple box that allows you to edit existing galleries using wikitext markup. To add a new image to an existing gallery, type the file name, followed by a bar (
When you press the "Done" button, you will exit the gallery editor. You should then see your changes, with the gallery as it will now appear to readers.
Remember that exiting the gallery editor does not publish your changes. As with other changes made using the visual editor, you must publish the entire page in order to publish your work.
|To add a new template to a page, place your cursor where you want the template to be inserted, and press on the "Template" icon (puzzle piece) in the "Insert" menu.|
|Start typing the name of the template you want to insert. When you see it on the list, press on its name. Then press "Add template".|
|You can also edit a template that is already on the page. When you press on the template to select it, it turns blue, and a box appears with an "Template" icon (puzzle piece). Then press on the "Edit" link.|
|Some templates are not visible to someone reading a page. In the visual editor, such hidden templates are shown as puzzle icons. The name of the template will be shown next to the puzzle icon.|
|When you select the icon, the context menu is displayed, and you can edit the template.|
|When you add a new template or open an existing one, the "⧼visualeditor-dialog-transclusion-title⧽" dialog is shown. The contents depends upon whether the template has been documented using the new TemplateData system or not.|
|The template shown here has no TemplateData set up for it. The dialog therefore provides a link to documentation for the template. By visiting the documentation you should be able to figure out if the template has any parameters (fields), and what goes in each field. Use numbers as the name for each nameless parameter. The first un-named parameter is named
|If a template has been updated to contain TemplateData information, then the dialog will show a list of individual (named) parameters.|
|For an existing template, you can edit the parameters shown in the dialog, and you can add parameters by pressing "Add more information", at the very bottom of the dialog.|
|When a template embeds other templates, these sub-templates will appear inside the parameters that display them. They can be edited or removed inside the parameter field.
New sub-templates are added by following the steps for adding a parameter. You may need to check the template documentation to make sure that the sub-template is supported. Nested templates can currently be edited as wikitext only, without the facility offered by VisualEditor (see mediazilla:T52182).
|When you have finished editing a template, press "Apply changes" to close the dialog and return to editing the main page.|
|When a template must be substituted, type
Autocompletion doesn't work with
Then, press the blue "Add template" button.
Add any parameters as usual and press "Insert".
|You will see the template expand on the page after you press "Apply changes".|
|You can use the visual editor to create lists, or to change the format of an existing list. There are two types of lists: unordered (bullet) and ordered (numbered).
To start a new list, just press on one of the two menu items shown here. Or, if you already have typed the list (on separate lines), select (highlight) the list you have typed, then press on one of the menu items.
|Shown here are examples of the two types of lists: unordered (bullet) and ordered (numbered).|
|If you want to change the indentation level of part of an existing list, select the part of the list that you want to change.|
|Then use the menu, or press the Tab key. (The Tab key increases indentation; use the shift key plus the Tab key to decrease indentation)|
|Here is the result of increased indentation.|
|You can even mix ordered (numbered) and unordered (bullet) lists, if the list items have different indentations.|
|You can use the visual editor to insert and change tables.
You can even import a table by dragging a comma-separated value (.csv) file from your computer into the main editing window.
|When you press on "Table", in the "Insert" menu, the visual editor inserts a blank four-by-four table.
Now the "Table" menu is available. From that menu, you can add a caption to the top of the table.
|To select a cell, press it once.|
|To edit the contents of the cell (for example, to add content or to correct a spelling error), double press in the cell. Or you can select the cell and then press Return.
To end your editing of a cell, just press elsewhere.
|You can add or delete a column or a row.|
|You can merge cells: Select them, then from the Table menu, press on "Merge cells".|
|If you merge cells, only the text in one cell is kept; any text in the other cells is deleted when you merge the cells. If you decide that you wanted some or all of the text that was deleted, use the Undo button, move or copy the text you want, then merge the cells again.|
|You can also split cells that were previously merged. All the content that was in the merged cell will remain in the first cell when you do the split. You can then cut and paste text to other cells, if you want.|
|To edit categories, on the "Page options" menu, press the "Categories" item.|
|Pressing on "Categories" opens a dialog that lists existing categories and allows you to add new ones, and to delete existing categories.
You also have the option of setting or changing the general (default) sorting key, which determines where the page appears when listed with other pages in the same category.
For example, the default sorting key for the article "George Washington" is "Washington, George". In the category "Presidents of the United States", the article is listed under the letter "W", not the letter "G".
|To add a category for a page, type the name of the category into the field "Add a category". As you type, the visual editor will search for possible matching, existing categories. You can either select an existing category, or you can add a category that doesn't yet have its own category page. (Until that category page is created, your new category will show as a red link after you publish all your editing changes.)|
|To remove an existing category, press on it and press on the "Remove" icon (trash can) in the dialog that opens.
Pressing on a category also allows you to specify a sorting key for that specific category. Such a sorting key overrides the default sorting key.
|Press "Apply changes" when you are done editing categories to return to the page editor.|
Editing page settings
|To edit a page's settings, press to open the "Page options" menu, in the toolbar, and select the "Page settings" button.|
|The "Page settings" button opens a dialog that shows several options.|
|You can make a page a redirect to another page by checking the "Redirect this page to" checkbox, and then typing the name of the page to which you want to send the reader who tries to go to the page that you are editing.
At the bottom is the option to prevent page renames from updating this redirect. This is very rarely used.
|You can change whether the page shows a Table of Contents by selecting one of these three buttons. The default option is "If needed", which shows a Table of Contents if there are three or more headings.|
|You can make a page not show edit links next to each section header by checking this checkbox.|
|Press "Apply changes" when you are done editing the Page options to return to the page editor.|
|You can add and change maps. See mw:Help:VisualEditor/Maps.|
Editing mathematical formulae
|To add a new mathematical formula to the page, place your cursor where you want it to be inserted, and press on the "Math formula" icon ("Σ") in the "Insert" menu on the toolbar.|
|A window will open in which you can type the formula, using LaTeX syntax. the visual editor will update the formula as you type it, so you can see how it will look as you make changes. Once you are happy with the formula, press the "Insert" button.|
|To edit an existing mathematical formula on the page, press on it and then press on the "Σ" icon that appears. This will open up the formula window, where you make changes.|
|Mathematical formulae can be placed inline or centered as a block.|
Editing musical scores
|To add a new musical notation to a page, place your cursor where you want the musical notation to be inserted. Then, from the "Insert" menu on the toolbar, press the "Musical notation" option.
To edit an existing musical notation on the page, double press on it.
|This will open the "Musical notation" dialog. Here the notation can be edited by scale, either in ABC or in Lilypond format. You can also link the notation to an audio or MIDI file. Once you are finished, press the "Done" button to close the dialog and publish your changes.|
Editing poems and other special items
|Some items, such as association lists and poems, are not yet fully supported by the visual editor.|
|In most cases, the existing items can be edited, but new ones cannot be inserted in the visual editor.
Until they are fully supported, you can copy an existing one from another page, or edit the source wikitext directly.
Switching between the visual and wikitext editors
To switch from the visual editor to the wikitext editor, press the
If you've done any editing, you'll be asked whether you want to keep your changes. Normally you'll press on "Keep changes".
You'll see a diff. (If you pressed on "Discard changes", you'll just see wikitext, ready to edit with the wikitext editor.)
Scroll down, and you'll see the wikitext editing area.
You can also switch from the wikitext editor to the visual editor. To do that, press the pencil icon on the far right of the toolbar.
After you press the pencil icon, if you've done any editing you'll be asked whether you want to keep your changes. If you press "Keep changes", you'll go to the visual editor. If you press "Discard changes", you'll be asked to confirm that is what you want to do (press on "Leave Page" to confirm) before the visual editor will start.
Many editors are used to entering wikitext directly, especially bold, italics and wikilinks. Keyboard shortcuts allow to quickly insert similar formatting without having to use toolbar items. Here are the common general shortcuts in the visual editor:
|PC shortcut||Action||Mac shortcut|
|^ Ctrl+B||Bold||⌘ Cmd+B|
|^ Ctrl+I||Italics||⌘ Cmd+I|
|^ Ctrl+K||Insert link||⌘ Cmd+K|
|^ Ctrl+X||Cut||⌘ Cmd+X|
|^ Ctrl+C||Copy||⌘ Cmd+C|
|^ Ctrl+V||Paste||⌘ Cmd+V|
|^ Ctrl+Z||Undo||⌘ Cmd+Z|
- Help:VisualEditor/User guide on MediaWiki.org