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Help:Editing Pages


The idea behind a wiki is that everyone has the ability to edit almost every page. Although learning the wiki formatting can take some extra time, the actual editing of a page is very simple.

Quick Summary

In a nutshell, the steps necessary to edit a page are:

  1. Click on the edit tab visible at the top of the article.
  2. Make your changes to the text that appears in the main edit box.
  3. Review your changes using the Show preview button.
  4. Repeat steps 2 and 3 until your edit is complete.
  5. Type in an Edit summary in the field below the main edit box.
  6. (Optional) Click the "This is a minor edit" checkbox (for edits that do not alter the substance of the page).
  7. Click on the Save page button.

The Editing Process

If you see something that needs to be changed on any wiki article, you should jump right in and make the changes. If you are looking for ideas on what needs to be edited, the Helping Out page has some ideas. You do not need to get any pre-approval for your idea or otherwise ask for permission. If you make major changes to a page or make changes that you think might be misunderstood, you should explain those changes on the article's talk page.

You may wish to add any pages that you edit to your personal watchlist (click on the "watch" tab that appears at the top of the page). By selecting "watchlist" you can quickly see whether subsequent changes were made to any watched page. See After Your Edit is Saved for information on what might happen next.

The Edit Box

Any changes you make to the text shown in the edit box will become part of the article. When altering the page's contents, be sure your edit will improve the page and will comply to the site's style guidelines. You may wish to use our sandbox before starting to edit articles: you can make any changes you want to the sandbox page (within reason: obscenities and abusive language are never acceptable on any wiki page).

If you are not familiar with the wiki formatting, you may want to review the Quick Editing Guide. Or you may want to copy the formatting used elsewhere on the page, or on another similar page. If in doubt about the formatting, just focus on writing the content you want to add; other editors who are more familiar with the wiki can later add any necessary formatting.

Do all the changes you would like to do at the same time, as part of the same edit. Doing a separate edit for each typo you wish to fix, for example, just clogs up the page history and the Recent Changes page with a lot of redundant entries. Other editors will find it much easier to keep track of what you have done if all the edits are done at the same time. Of course, there will inevitably be times when you realize right after hitting the "Save page" button that you forgot to do something; by all means, edit the page again to take care of anything that was overlooked the first time. Also, if you are spending hours editing a page, you may wish to save your progress a few times along the way; this is completely acceptable.

Minor Edits

A checkmark should be placed in the "This is a minor edit" checkbox for any edits that do not fundamentally change the information available on the page. Examples of minor edits include:

  • fixing typographical or grammatical errors.
  • adjusting the layout of the page or formatting of a section.
  • adjusting the size or placement of images.
  • adding Categories, bread crumb trails, or other navigational tools to a page.
  • adding stub tags, cleanup tags, etc.
  • adding or correcting links to other pages.

Some things which should not be marked as minor edits:

  • reverting vandalism or spam. Keeping these as non-minor edits allows administrators to see them better and deal with the problem.
  • responses to questions on a Talk page (Spelling/formatting corrections on Talk pages should still be marked as minor).

Editing a Discussion Page

Every article page (sometimes simply called a "page") has a corresponding discussion page (more technically a tab and often called a "talk page"). On discussion pages, you can ask questions, make suggestions, or discuss corrections about the article or its subject matter.

To access a discussion page, click the "discussion" tab at the top of the main article (or at the top of any other "tab" or "sub-page" under the article). If the "discussion" tab is red, it has not yet been created; in this case, you are welcome to create one. To do so, click the red "discussion" tab, then give your comment or question a subject by typing it between two = symbols at the top of the page: e.g., "==Question about Xxxxxx==" (without quotes).

Below this subject or title, begin typing your comment or question.

When editing a talk page, follow the same steps used to edit a main article page; however, follow these guidelines when editing a talk page:

  • Sign your message by typing --~~~~ or, equivalently, by clicking the signature button ( ) when your cursor is at the end of your message. The   button is located just above the editing window into which you type your remark. When you save the page, the site will automatically convert the four tildes (~~~~) into your username and the current time. You can see how this will appear by using the "Show preview" button that appears below the editing window.
  • Start a new topic on an existing discussion page at the bottom of the page, beginning with a level two header identifying your subject; e.g., type "==Question about Quest Reward==" (without quotes).
    • You can alternatively start a new topic by clicking the "+" tab, (located to the right of the "edit" tab at the top of the discussion page). When you use this shortcut, a "Subject/headline" box will appear, into which you should identify your topic; e.g., type "Question about Quest Reward" (without quotes).
      • Then type your comment below the subject/title.
  • Add a reply, comment, or question to an existing topic (section):
    • If yours is the second entry, indent it by typing a colon (:) prior to your text; for example, ":The answer to your question is ...." (without quotes).
    • If there is already more than one entry, add yours below the bottom entry, and indent it one level further to the right than that entry. You can do this by typing the number of colons that precede the bottom entry plus one more colon; for example, "::To entries 1 and 2, I'd like to add...." (without quotes); or ":::To entries 1, 2, and 3, I'd like to add...." (without quotes).
    • If there are a large number of indents (generally 5 or 6) in the post above yours, you may begin your comment at the left side of the page by using the Outdent template. To do this, type "{{outdent}}" or, for short, "{{od}}" (without quotes) at the left side of the page immediately before typing your entry. For example: {{od}}In reply to the above, I believe that ...." (without quotes). This keeps the comments within a topic/section from becoming "squished" too far to the right of the page. Use your judgment when deciding whether or not to outdent. If your message will be short, you are less likely to need to outdent. If the messages above yours are also generally short, it may be reasonable to indent up to around 7 or 8 times (:::::::Begin comment or ::::::::Begin comment). However, if your message will be lengthy, or previous messages have been lengthy, then an outdent may be useful after only perhaps 4 levels.

After Your Edit is Saved

You may not get any immediate feedback on your edits. Although there are too many edits made to the site on a daily basis to be able to provide feedback on each one, we do appreciate all new contributions, whether they are fixing typos or adding a new section to a page. All edits made to the site are noticed and checked; a group of Patrollers and many other editors regularly review all of the Recent Changes made to the site. Most edits are looked over within an hour or so, but it may take a few days before other editors have time to do more detailed followup. Sometimes your edit will be accepted as is. However, it is more common, especially with new editors, for subsequent editors to revise the contribution; it is even possible for the edit to be undone completely.

If you notice that your contribution has been revised, remember that this is part of the wiki process (as it says below every editing window "If you don't want your writing to be edited mercilessly and redistributed at will, then don't submit it here."). Each article is a fully collaborative effort, and any editor can revise any part of the page. The most common revisions are to fix typos or add links to other wiki pages.

Even if more substantial changes are made to your contribution, don't be alarmed. It takes most new editors some time to familiarize themselves with the site's style guide and article organization system. Even if your edit is completely undone, it does not mean that the edit was considered to be a "bad edit". One of the wiki's key principles is Assume Good Faith; only edits that were clearly made in bad faith are considered to be vandalism. However, many "good faith edits" are still not necessarily appropriate. Often new editors will add information that is already stated elsewhere in the article, or will add information that is specific to their game (but probably not true for most readers of the site). There are many reasons why information that you may have thought needed to be added to an article actually did not belong there. Other editors on the site will be happy to help you learn more about wiki editing; having your edits altered is just part of the learning process.

If you would like to understand why your edit was changed there are several possible courses of action:

  • Click the "history" tab on the page that you edited. The history tab will provide you with a complete list of all the edits made to the page, including the editors' edit summaries. The editor(s) who altered your contribution should have given a brief explanation in the summary accompanying the edit.
  • If you don't understand the explanation, add a question on the article's talk page. Click "discussion" to pull up the talk page, and add a question (e.g., "I made an edit yesterday which was undone. I don't understand why the editor said the information was redundant"). The editor who made the change, or possibly other wiki editors, will respond with more complete feedback (although remember it may take a few days for other editors to have a chance to respond).
  • If after a few days your question hasn't been answered, you may also choose to ask the editor on his/her talk page (click the "Talk" link that appears next to the editor's name). The editor will automatically be notified about any questions posted on his/her talk page.

Missing Text

Sometimes you may try to edit the contents of a page, but when you click "edit", the text you want to modify doesn't appear anywhere in the edit window. There are several possible causes.

  • Make sure you are editing the correct section of the page. Instead of using the edit links along the right margin of the page, try clicking on the edit link at the very top of the page (the tab between "discussion" and "history"). This will make the full page contents appear in the edit window, instead of just one section.
  • If the text is missing even when you edit the full page, then the text may be included from another page. This is common with shared paragraphs of text that are displayed in multiple places. At the place on the edit page where you would expect to see the paragraph(s) you're looking for, there is probably some code contained in double brackets ({{...}}), for example:
{{Lore:White Gold Tower}}
You'll need to edit the article named within the double brackets to find the text you're looking for. One easy way to get there is to scroll to the bottom of the edit page, where there should be a list titled "Templates used on this page" that will include the proper page. Click on the appropriate name from that list, then edit that article.

Reverting Edits

There are times when you may need to reverse a set of edits and restore a page to a previous version. Examples are:

  • You just made a major mistake with your last edit and don't know how else to fix it.
  • You notice that someone has vandalized a page and you want to clean up the vandalism.

Note, however, that you should be cautious about reverting any edits made in good faith by another editor. An explanation must be provided if you revert another editor's work (in the edit summary or on the talk page). Reverting can lead to edit wars instead of constructive improvements to the wiki. See Consensus for more information.

The wiki automatically keeps a record of all changes that have been made to every article. Therefore, it is easy to access any previous version of the page. To restore an article to its previous state:

  1. Click on the "history" tab at the top of the article.
  2. Identify the version you would like to use, and click on its date/time information. This will open that version of the page in your browser.
  3. Click on the "edit" tab that appears on that version of the page. Note that a red box appears at the top of the edit page to warn you that you are editing an old version of the page.
  4. Provide a reason for this change in the edit summary.
  5. Click "Save page".

See Also

  • Help Contents: A listing of all the available help articles.
  • Quick Editing Guide: A table of the most commonly used formatting commands.
  • Common Mistakes: Some mistakes that are commonly made by new editors.
  • Style Guide: General guidelines for how to write, format, and present pages.
  • Book Page Layout: The standard UESP layout for book articles.
  • NPC Page Layout: The standard UESP layout for NPC articles.
  • Place Page Layout: The standard UESP layout for place articles.
  • Quest Page Layout: The standard UESP layout for quest articles.
  • Formatting: More detailed information on wiki formatting.
  • Spelling: Spelling rules for commonly misspelled words on UESPWiki.
  • Links: Creating and using links between wiki pages.
  • Lore: Guidelines for articles in the Lore: namespace

External Links

Note: UESP generally follows Wikipedia style. Where guidelines differ, those on UESP policy and help pages should generally prevail.