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Welcome to the editing overview page. Here you can begin learning how to edit pages on BattleTechWiki.
This article assumes you are trying to edit an existing page. To learn how to create a new page, see Help:Creation.
The first step is to get into the editing window. To do this, click on the "edit" tab at the top of the page, or click on the edit button to the right of any section header. You will be taken to the editing page, which consists primarily of a large text box with the current contents of the page. The text will look quite a bit different than it does on the page because this text contains formatting characters and is not formatted itself.
Editing screen overview
- At the top of the editing window is a series of buttons you can use for formatting. These buttons automatically insert formatting characters, which are referred to here as wikitags. Wikitags will be covered further in this article.
- Below the editing window is the edit Summary box, where you should put a brief description of the changes you've made to the page (for example, "added section on jumpjets"). This summary will appear next to your edit in the history page. If you are logged in, below this will be two checkboxes, one for marking your change as minor and one for adding the page to your watchlist.
- Underneath this is are three buttons, which should be self-explanatory. It is recommended that you look at the preview before saving your changes, so if you've made any mistakes you do not have to edit the page again and add unnecessarily to the history.
You can make changes simply by placing the cursor in the large text box and editing whatever text you wish. You may also add or remove text. Text appears in the same order in the editing window as on the actual page, but if you aren't sure exactly where your change will appear, you can click the show preview button, and the page's current appearance with your changes will appear above the editing window.
Formatting your changes
You may format your changes using wikitags or the buttons at the top of the editing window. To use the buttons at the top of the window, highlight the text you wish to modify and click the button, and the appropriate wikitags will be added. For more information on adding wikitags manually, see Help:Wikitags.
Organizing your edits
To create a uniform look, pages should be edited in a uniform style. To maintain universal conformity, BattleTechWiki will try when possible to keep the same basic styles as Wikipedia.
In general, a page should begin with a brief overview of the topic, followed by more in-depth information divided into sections. What sections are created and how they are organized is dependant on the author, but please attempt to follow format already established by previous authors if possible. For example, if you are making a page about a BattleMech, look at other 'Mech pages first to see what sections you should create. Sometimes you will have to decide the sections without any reference, especially when covering history.
When images are used, they should be aligned to the right side of the page, with the text wrapping around them. When infoboxes are used, they should be aligned to the right side of the page, and placed at the top unless they only apply to a specific section.
Articles can be useful for learning, but sometimes the best way to learn is through example. If you can't figure out how to do something from the help section, or can't find it in the help section, find an article that does what you want to do and look at the source to see how it was done. You can also ask another user or administrator. Once you've got it figured out, consider adding what you've learned to a help page so others will know in the future.
Rules and guidelines
Remember, once you submit something, anyone can edit it. Your work does not remain your property. Also, please be aware that submitted content must not be plagiarized. Any content you submit must be written or created by yourself, or copied from a public domain or free resource. You may not submit copyrighted content without permission of the copyright holder. Note that you can submit information you learned from a copyrighted source, but it must be rewritten in your own words (not just reworded).
Please note that fair use law allows for certain usage of copyrighted material, so for example you may use a screenshot of a 'Mech from one of the MechWarrior games in an article about that 'Mech in order to show its appearance.
It is important to remain respectful of the intellectual property of others.