MEpedia:Visual editor

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Visual editor is one of two options for editing MEpedia, the other being source editor.

How to use links

How to use template tags

A ‘Template Tag’ is just a way to add a note to a page or to a statement, such as “Citation needed”, “Stub” or “Cleanup”.

To insert a template tag in the Visual Editor:

  1. Position the cursor where you want to insert the template tag. “Cleanup” and “Stub” template tags are usually placed at the top of the page. A “Citation needed” template tag is placed directly after the statement needing a citation.
  2. Click on "Insert" at the top of the window.
  3. Select "Template".
  4. Type in the name of the template tag (e.g. "Citation needed", "Cleanup", or "Stub").
  5. If you are inserting a "Cleanup" template tag, it will ask for the reason that the "Cleanup" template tag is needed.
  6. Click "Add Template".

For more information on template tags, see MEpedia:Templates.

How to use categories

To change the categories that a page belongs to:

Page options icon
  1. Click on the 'Page Options' link represented by three horizontal bars towards the top-right of the screen.
  2. Click on 'Categories'.
  3. If you see an inappropriate category listed, you can remove that category by first clicking on the category and then clicking on the black "garbage can" icon.
  4. You can type the name of any new category into the empty box labelled 'Add a Category'.
  5. Finally, click 'Apply Changes'.

How to use references

Inserting a new reference

Shows MEpedia banner with citation button
MEpedia banner with citation button
  1. First, position the cursor at the end of the statement that requires a reference. At the top of the window, click on the button that says Cite.
  2. This will open a box with three tabs: "Automatic", "Manual", or "Re-use".
  3. If you are citing a reference that has already been added to the reference section, select the "Re-use" tab, select the reference from the list, and you're done!
  4. If you have the reference's link, DOI number, or PMID number you can try the Automatic tab. This is an automated reference machine that can usually create a reference for you. If it finds the correct reference, click "Insert" and you're done!
  5. If the "Automatic" tab is not able to generate the correct reference, you can use the Manual tab:
    1. When you click the "Manual" tab, you should see a drop-down menu that offers you options to cite a website, a book, a news article, or a scientific journal, as well as a "Basic form" for when all else fails.
    2. Pop-up displayed when you choose to cite a journal
      Pop-up displayed when you choose to cite a journal
      Use Journal for any scholarly source. Scholarly sources are anything from Pubmed or a scientific journal online or in print.
    3. Use News for anything from a news outlet or a blog discussing the news. Note: if a news article or blog is discussing science, go back to the original source (the journal) and use the information you find in that original source. Don't count on the writer of the blog to have gotten it right!
    4. Use Basic form when you aren't sure what category to use.
  6. When you choose to manually cite a journal, the pop-up box at right will be displayed: You will see places to fill in the information you know about the article. Items with an asterisk next to them mean you must enter that information.
  7. Often, the journal citation will have information like journal name, page number or issue number. Scientific journals may also have multiple authors, even though there is room for only a few in the manual drop-down menu provided. If you scroll down to the bottom and click the 'add more information' button (circled at right), then you will be able to add that information easily.
  8. If you see a field called "author link", you are encouraged to fill it in with the first and last name of the author. This will link the citation with the MEpedia page on that author. See MEpedia:Author links for more information.
  9. When you are finished, click the blue Insert button at the top right-hand side of the pop-up box.

For more information on the "Automatic" citations, see Visual Editor Auto-filled Web Citations.

Editing an existing reference

For information on editing existing references in the visual editor, see MediaWiki's Editing an Existing Reference.

How to add images

  • Use the Insert menu, then choose Media.

How to add videos

  • Use the Insert menu, then choose Template, then Video.

How to find-and-replace

You can search for specific words or phrases in the page you are editing and, if desired, you can automatically replace the specific words or phrases with whatever you specify. To do this, simply click on the "Page options" button at the top of the editing window (represented by three horizontal bars) and then select "Find and replace".

How to add special characters and symbols

  • Click the Ω toolbar button, normally found to the right of the Insert menu.
Using the Visual editor to insert currency symbols
  • You can then scroll through letter with accents, fractions, Greek symbols like α (alpha), and the Symbols section includes currency symbols including euros and British pounds.
  • You can also copy and paste symbols from other pages, or from this page
Useful characters á à â ä ǎ å ç é è ë í ì î ï î ñ ó ò ô Ö Ő ö õ ő ß (German) ú ù æ œ # α β (Greek beta) δ λ γ ½ ⅓ ⅔ ¼ ¾ ∞ ≤ ≥ $ € £ ¥ ° % (degrees, percentage)

Problems with long files

The Visual Editor has trouble when working with long pages. In this case, the Visual Editor may take a long time saving changes, or it may hang completely.

If the Visual Editor stops working, follow these steps:

  1. Don't panic. As long as your changes are visible in your web browser, your changes are not lost.
  2. Just to be safe, you can copy your changes to a word processing program until your changes are successfully saved.
  3. Wait 5-10 minutes, and try saving your changes again.
  4. If the problem persists, consider splitting the long page into 2 or more separate pages.

See also

Learn more