How to edit a page

How to edit a page

Open Politics is a wiki, which means that anyone can edit almost any article. When you edit an article, you change what everyone else sees when they visit that page.

This page is a basic guide to editing a Wiki page here on Open Politics.

See also: manual of style for formatting and style help.

How to start editing right now

Editing a Wiki page is very easy:
  • Click on the edit tab at the top of a page.
  • On the new page, you'll see a large textbox containing the editable text of the article you're editing. Make your edits to this text.
  • Explain the reason for your edits in the Reason for edit box. (Keep it short, or use shorthand.)
  • Click the preview button to see how the edited article will look. (The edit box will be at the bottom of the preview page, so you can make changes if you don't like what you see.)
  • Click the save button to finish editing and commit your changes to the article.

The software keeps track of who makes every change and where the change was made, so there's no need to specfically indicate this information within the article itself. There's no need "sign" edits you make to regular articles

For style and formatting guidelines and other suggestions, please see manual of style.

The rest of this page gives more advanced help on how to use Open Politics.

Basic wiki markup

To add formatting to your edits (e.g. bold or italicized text), you'll need to use a special markup syntax.

You can view a full set of instructions for this syntax while editing, if you click Editing help near the bottom of the edit page. Here are a few of the more basic commands:

Note: to format word(s) with bold or italics, use the commands before and after the word(s) you wish to format, for example __this text is bold__

Emphasis: '' for italics, __ for bold, ''__ for both

Lists: * for bullet lists, # for numbered lists

Links to other wiki pages on Open Politics: JoinCapitalizedWords or use ((page))

External links: use square brackets for an external link: [URL] or [URL|link_description]

Headings: !, !!, !!!


The easiest way to format text on open politics.ca is to use the Quicktags menu to the left of the editing box. Tags are the way text is formatted in wiki.

How to use quicktags

1) Go to the page you want to edit, and click "edit" from the top menu bar.

2) Click on the word "quicktags" just to the left of the editing box, as shown below:

Image Image

3) Now you can see the whole quick tags menu, as shown below:

To format text with quicktags, highlight the text you want to format and then click the button corresponding to the formatting you want. The button will place the selected tag before and after the text you've selected. It is much like using a word processor, except you see the formatting tags around the text in the editing window, and the actual formatting on the article page after you have saved it.

What each tag does

Basic stuff

Image Create internal link/new page
slecting some text and clicking this button creates a link to a page with that title. If no page by that name exists, a page is created for you to edit. If some text appears with a ? after it, it means this is a new page ready to be edited for the first time - clicking the ? will take you the editing screen for that page.

You can also create new pages here.

Image Insert a table of contents
This automatically inserts a table of contents after you have saved the page. The table entries are based on headings you create through the Image heading tag, discussed below.

Image Create a heading
This tag inserts a heading, which is like a title for a section of text. Clicking the button once creates a heading level one (usually reserved for page titles) Two clicks creates headling level two (they typical subheading), and so on.

Image colored text
Makes selected text red, by default, but you can change "red" to "blue" or "green" or "yellow" (if you must). :)

Image Position/Argument
If you are writing an IPA on an issue page (don't worry if you don't know what that is yet), this is a handy button for creating a position and argument headings.

Image Italic text
Makes selected text italic.

Image Horizontal line
Inserts a horizontal line across the page.

Image External link
makes selected text a link to an external website.

Image Centre text
Centres selected text in the middle of the page.

Image Bold text
Makes selected text bold.

Image Special character
Inserts a special character, such as a Ü.

More advanced

Image Insert image
This inserts an image on the page. The image needs to be uploaded first, which you can in the "upload picture" box below the edit box. There are also some formatting options for the image which appear when you click this button, but if you don't know how they work you can just ignore them.

General editing guidelines

  • Always link relevant terms and material, using the link/create page button: Image . Example: AIDS, and its likely cause, HIV, are characterized by their destruction of the human immune system which can lead to severe health problems.
  • Avoid using HTML.
  • Avoid derogatory language.
  • Make sure you are using the appropriate point of view, for example a neutral point of view for news summaries.
  • Be concise.
  • Include a brief explanation of an edit you make in the Reason for edit box just below the editing box.
  • Use proper naming conventions when creating new pages.

For full guidelines, see manual of style.
For more about etiquette on Open Politics, see wiki etiquette.