Wiki tutorial

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HNL Wiki Wiki Bus, Hawaii

Wiki intro

A little history

The first wiki was created in 1995 by Ward Cunningham, and it was called Wiki Wiki Web (wiki in Hawaii means quick!).

Interview with Ward Cunningham

Wikis are not only about speed and ease of writing and publishing on the Web, they are also about collaboration. Ward Cunningham noted that ‘People discovered that they can create something with other people, that they don't even know. But they come to trust and they make something that surprises them in terms of its value’.

This page is a basic guide. For a more detailed page on wiki history please visit, and for extensive documentation the community at is one of the largest and most active.

And as this site is a wiki, feel free to edit it.

Wiki formatting

For a full comprehensive guide, see


Basic formatting

Description you type you get
Italic text
Bold text
Bold and italic
'''''bold and italic'''''
bold and italic
==heading 2==
===heading 3===
====heading 4====
=====heading 5=====
======heading 6======

heading 2

heading 3

heading 4

heading 5
heading 6
Internal link
[[Parallel Library Services Wiki]]
Parallel Library Services Wiki
Internal link with alternate text
[[Parallel Library Services Wiki|PLS wiki]]
PLS wiki
External link
External link with alternate text
[ Parallel Library Services Wiki]
Parallel Library Services Wiki
This creates a new category, or adds a page to an exisiting category
Link to Category page
Horizontal rule
Text before
Text after
Text before
Text after
Unordered list
* list item
* list item
* list item
  • list item
  • list item
  • list item
Numbered list
# list item 1 
# list item 2
# list item 3
  1. list item 1
  2. list item 2
  3. list item 3
::double indentation
:::triple indentation
double indentation
triple indentation
Linked images with caption
[[File:HNL Wiki Wiki Bus.jpg|thumb|frame|Honolulu wiki bus]]
Honolulu wiki bus

How to write on the wiki?

Writing on a wiki is not not very different from writing a blog.

You have a Read and Edit mode.

Edit lets you enter content and make changes to existing content.

While you are editing, you can preview your changes in the Preview window.

Once done editing save the page, otherwise your contribution will be lost.

Conveniently, wikis have version tracking, so it is possible to roll back to previous edits of the page if you want.

Click on the tab in the top navigation that says View History to see the list of revisions.



You can make headings with different hierarchic levels by using "=" as follows:

=heading 1=
==heading 2==
===heading 3===
====heading 4====
=====heading 5=====
======heading 6======


The wiki also supports footnotes and references. To add these while editing, use reference tags around footnoted text:

<ref>footnote text goes here</ref>

Add a single tag at the end of the page:

<references />

and voila, automatically numbered (and hyperlinked) footnotes will appear.

How to create a page?

In a wiki the information is organised into pages or articles (no great distinction between the two). If you want to say something about something for which there isn't a page, you create that page and start writing its content.

To create a page create internal links for that page

[[name of new page]]

The other easy way to create is to use the search function with the name of the page you want to create. When searching, you are given the possibility to create that page.

Note: For your work you should use sub pages under your user namespace.


  • Red link = previously non-existing page.
  • Blue link = existing page.

Parallel Library Services Wiki - an existing page

oooooooo - an non-existing page

Images and audio-visuals

You probably want not only to write, but also to use images, audio and video on the pages you'll be developing.

Uploading images

To upload an image (.png, .gif, .jpg, .jpeg, .svg) you can use the picture icon in the menu of the text editor, when you are editing a page. It asks you for the file name of the file you are going to upload (they must match) and a caption, if you to say something about that image, video, or audio.

You can also add the syntax while editing by writing:


Once the page is saved, there will be a broken red link. Click on the link, and you will be prompted to upload an image. The name doesn't need to be the same, but it must be the same file format.

Captions and image options

Captions can be added to images by using a vertical bar (the "pipe"):

[[File:myimage.jpg|Caption under the image]] 

You can also specify if the image should be a thumbnail, have a frame or particular width by "piping" the specifications:

[[File:myimage.jpg|thumbnail|Caption under the image]]

[[File:myimage.jpg|frame|Caption under the image]]

[[File:myimage.jpg|frame|600px|Caption under the image]] 

A more comprehensive guide can be found at


Embedding videos from external services uses the Mediawiki extension EmbedVideo. This extension allows embeds from up to 24 online platforms such as YouTube, Vimeo, and

For example, to embed YouTube or Vimeo, you need:

  • the ID of the video you want to include in you page
  • to write
    for YouTube or
    for Vimeo. Where the id is the sequence of numbers and letters that follow ?v= in Youtube video URLs, and (for Vimeo videos), followed a "pipe" | and then the video id.


{{#ev:youtube|A1YYv_J2csk}} {{#ev:vimeo|68841788}}

results in:

Changing page titles

Page titles can be changed by using the function Move in the top right corner in a dropdown menu next to the star.

Move allows you to give a new name to the current page, and a reason. You can also leave behind a redirect so that any links between the page and others in the wiki will be maintained.


How do collaborators, editors, proofreaders, coordinators and designers communicate within this ecosystem ?

One of the places that could be used is the "talk" section that is on each page, which is useful for discussion. Think of it as kind of like the reverse side of the page. At the top left navigation, the "Discussion" tab opens a "talk" page for communication between wiki editors.


New notifications available

This wiki makes use of the Echo extension to give other users alerts when they are;

  • mentioned on a talk page
  • messaged on their own talk page

This can be changed at any time by a user through the configuration at Special:Preferences where there are options for notifications preferences.

On any talk page

To mention a user, use the usual wiki syntax of [[User:Username]] or [[User:Username|Name]] on any talk page on the wiki. Sign your message with ~~~ or ~~~~.

For example:

[[User:Username|Name]] Hello! ~~~~

On a specific user's talk page

Simply write your message and sign it with ~~~ or ~~~~.

Hello ~~~~

By the book

A good free online resource is Yaron Koren's Working with MediaWiki. Yaron Koren is a contributor to the MediaWiki software community, particularly around integrating data and journalism (he's the primary author of the Cargo extension).

Some Key Topics