Help:Starting a new page

From Wikiversity

To edit, click "edit" (on top of a page). If you need help with editing, go to Help:Basic editing. Help pages are available for general editing matters and details on the "wiki markup language", see Help:Editing. If you want to experiment before editing a real page, use the sandbox first. This page is specifically about starting new Wikiversity pages.

Starting a new page[edit]

There are several ways to start a new page. The easiest is to just type a new page title in the text input line at the bottom of the box, below, click "Create article", and start writing.

Short Cut[edit]

Creating an empty page
Here is a shortcut. Simply type the name of the page you want to create in the box below.
If you selected a name which is not being used, you will see a blank window where you can begin typing your page.
Creating the link to your new page
To create a link to your new page from another page, type [[the name of your page]] or [[the name of your page | a nice description of your page]].
Plan ahead
Page names are extremely important at Wikiversity and un-doing mistakes can take time, so it's always a good idea to do a little homework first.

When you create a new page, you should create links to the new page from related pages. Creating a link to a page is another way to create a new page. New pages can also be started by following a link to a non-existent page, which likewise opens the edit page. See Starting a page through the URL below.

General principles[edit]

  • Search to see whether someone has written a similar page before you start one yourself. Choose the title carefully.
  • Review conventions of the project you are working in regarding e.g.:
    • naming conventions; see also Help:Page name.
    • whether a separate page is justified; perhaps it is better to add the text to a related page (especially if the text is not very long); that page can always be split later, after it has grown.
    • how-to guidance for writing regarding style, content and formatting. E.g. for the Wikipedia project see How to write a great article.
  • While creating the page and before saving it, check the What links here link on the creation page. Align the new content with existing links, or change the new title, or fix the other links.
  • If nothing points here, the page is isolated. Links to it will need to be added on other pages.

Starting a page from a link, or after a search[edit]

To start a new page, you can click a link to the new page. This takes you to edit mode of the non-existing blank page, which allows creation.

What this means is you must first use your new page name in another page (the page that refers to the new page). Only after this page is saved (with the link to the new page) should you start typing your new page.
This might seem a bit awkward at first but actually, this is a good practice since it prevents you from creating a new page that no one can find or that no one can access. (Maybe someday, this will all be automatic. But for now, it is a two step process.)
Therefore, in an existing page, you first need to add the link to your new page.
As an example, if I want to create a page called "Lesson on solving the Mitzenbaum puzzle", then in the page where I want to access the new page, I will type [[Lesson on solving the Mitzenbaum puzzle]]. When I save my work, the link to 'Lesson on solving the Mitzenbaum puzzle" will appear in red. Then I will click on the red link that says Lesson on solving the Mitzenbaum puzzle and I will go to a blank page to begin typing the new page.

Note 2: You might not be able to create a new page unless you are logged in. Notably this applies to the English Wikipedia.

Another way to start a new page, on the English Wikipedia, which uses the w:MediaWiki:Nogomatch option, is to perform a search for the new title with the Go button (as you should have done before). When the search finds nothing, press "create the article".

Links to non-existing pages are common. They are typically created in preparation for creating the page, and/or to encourage other people to do so. Links are not only convenient for navigation, but also make people aware of the new page (those who read a related page and also those who watch the related page). New page links are not really broken, as long as the name correctly identifies the intended content. (A new page link with a "wrong" or misspelled name, or that duplicates content found under another name is "broken". but in a different sense.)

New page links typically look different from links to existing pages. Depending on settings, a different color or a question mark is used. (Sometimes links to new pages are called "red links", the display option of one of the settings). Links to non-existent pages are created with [[New page name]] from the wiki editor. (In this case, the empty page "New page name" would be created).

Of course, you can also create the link yourself, in a related page, index page or your user page. However, it may be better to wait with creating links until after creating the new page, especially if the new link replaces one to an existing page. In this case, create the link but press Preview, instead of Save. From preview area, clicking the new link will create the new page (without updating the referring page).

Starting a page through the URL[edit]

Using the browser address bar to enter a URL to a new page is an easy way to start the new page process. Easier still is editing the pagename part of a URL for an existing page. Using the URL for the new page displays the default 'no article' message (see MediaWiki:Noarticletext). The default page has the usual Edit this page link, which can be used to begin adding content.

An interwiki link to a non-existent page gives the same result, but is not recommended.

To get access to a MediaWiki project page, with the links at the edges but without the superfluous loading of a page, use a bookmark to a non-existing page. The default 'no article' page will display the edge links.

Creating an empty page[edit]

A new page is distinguished from a blank page: the latter has a page history. However, creating a new page is just like editing a blank page, except that a new page displays the text from MediaWiki:Newarticletext (which may vary by project).

Occasionally it is useful to create an empty page - For example a template can be made such that, depending on a parameter, it produces either just a standard text or also an additional text. This is done by having it call another template, of which the name is a parameter; one version of the other template contains the additional text, the other version is blank. See optional text.

To create an empty page, save a page with the wikitext __END__. This code will not be saved, it just prevents refusal by the system to create an empty page. Alternatively, first create a non-empty page, e.g. with just one character, then edit the page to make it empty. A page with one or more blank spaces at the end, including a page only containing one or more blank spaces, is not possible.

Using a preformatted page[edit]

There are templates that can be used to start certain types of pages. See Category:Page creation templates for a list of the current creation pages. You can add {{sunbt:template name}} to a new page in order to include the contents of the template page in the new page. For example, for Template:Learning project boilerplate, use {{subst:Learning project boilerplate}}.

A colorful example (A preformatted blank lesson page for your lessons on Wikiversity)

Go to the Tux Paint Storyboarding Project to see an example of a page created with a preformatted blank page. If you like this format and want to use this style, go to Preformatted blank lesson page - Color scheme 3. There, you will see the basic elements can use on your page.
To get these elements onto your blank page, you can copy the entire creation page in two ways.:
  • The easiest way is to type the words {{subst:Template:Blank lesson page - Color scheme 3}} in the edit window of your blank page and SAVE PAGE. The formating and text of the blank lesson page will be copied into your lesson page. Then you can select EDIT again and begin modifying the page.
  • Or you can go Blank lesson page - Color scheme 3 and click on EDIT to see the source code. Copy all this source code into the edit box on your new page and then you can begin to modify this page.
Click SHOW PREVIEW on your new page to see what you have done. If you like it, don't forget to SAVE PAGE when you are done.
If you have problems with the Template:Blank lesson page - Color scheme 3 page, you can email me by Template:Email.

Using the sandbox and user sub-pages[edit]

The sandbox can be used for temporary experimentation, but is emptied on a regular basis. For persistent draft material, you can use your user account sub-pages, and move the sub-page to the main article namespace when ready. (Requires a user account). To create a user sub-page, use a reference (title) like: 'User:UserName/New sub page'. User sub-pages can also be used for testing new template material with the syntax {{User:UserName/Sub page name}}.

Using text from some other editing environment[edit]

Although pasting existing text into the wiki is often the simplest way to start, you may want to try converting from Word or HTML to wiki markup.

Protecting a page from being created[edit]

One can create a page with a standard text such as in w:Template:Deletedpage and protect that page. Note that sometimes a terminology like "This page should not be created." is used even though for the system the page exists.

Also see Cascading protection. It is possible for custodians to use "cascading protection" to protect one page, then make links from that protected page to other pages thus causing the other pages to also be protected.

See also[edit]

Special Features[edit]

'Create article' takes you to an edit page to enter the new text. Of course, names are important when they title a page, and un-doing mistakes can take time, so it's always a good idea to do a little homework first. (See General principles above.)