Help:Editing

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Editing articles on the wiki might seem like a daunting task at first, from basic formatting of the contents to automatic lookup and inclusion of information from other articles. Nevertheless, one of the basic principles of this website is that all of its content is made by the community for the community, and everyone is encouraged to help with the huge task of keeping it up to date.

If you want to contribute to the wiki but you have no idea where to start, this page is for you. It will walk you through the absolute basics of making a change to pages, and then it will explain various concepts in use so that you have a general understanding of the way many pages work and aren't feeling intimidated by making changes to them.

Approaching the wiki[edit]

In order to contribute you don't even necessarily have to learn anything about the way content is structured and formatted in its code. All contributions matter; from small typo fixes to complex guides, no contribution is meaningless! Even if you simply decide to write all information in plain text, someone else may come later and format it differently, but what's important is that you add the information here in the first place.

Any wiki is by definition a collaborative project. Pages change over time—sometimes slowly, at other times suddenly—as various users come and go. With this in mind, don't be discouraged in case another user reverts or otherwise changes some of your contributions. Sometimes the information had simply been moved or reformatted elsewhere, sometimes it may be due to a consensus from an earlier discussion (which is not set in stone and could still change), and sometimes the revert could have been completely unwarranted. In any case, unless you're in fact actively trying to vandalize the website, your edits always help and make the wiki a better place.

Leaving feedback[edit]

If for any reason you don't want to edit the pages directly (for instance when you don't understand what the code is doing and have no idea how to change something), but you would like to add some information or point out a mistake, you're still encouraged to contribute by using the leave article feedback link at the very top of the page. You can post your message in the text box on that page and save it, and another user might come later to react accordingly.

Accounts[edit]

When you edit the wiki without being logged in to an account, your current IP address will be recorded in the page's history log. However, if you plan to contribute more often, it's a good idea to create an account under which you'll be making your edits; this will make it easier for others to recognize and contact you, and all your contributions will be kept in one place regardless of possible changes to your IP address.

Basics of editing[edit]

The edit links for the entire page or a single section.

Your first edit[edit]

Let's say that you spotted a typo or a mistake in a paragraph of text somewhere you decide to fix, or you want to add a sentence somewhere.

First of all, you will need to enter the editing mode. At the top of almost every page above the main title you'll notice several links; the one that says edit will allow you to edit the entire page's contents. Alternatively, each section title has an [edit] link at the right side of the page, which will limit your edits to that section and its subsections only.

After you click on either of the links, you'll be shown an edit box with the page's or section's source code. The code might include various characters responsible for the text's formatting, but you should still be able to find the place you were looking for and correct it or add to it.

After you make your changes, click on the Show preview button. This will load the section the way it would look with these changes. It is always a good idea to preview your changes before fully committing them to see everything looks as it should. When you're satisfied with the changes you've made, you can optionally fill in the Summary below the editing area to explain what the edit was about (such as "added acquisition methods"), and then click on the Save page button.

If no one else edited the same section as you did in the meantime, the edit will be saved. If you were unlucky enough that more people tried to change the same section at once, you'll be shown an Edit conflict with the source of the page as it appears now. At that point you can go back in your browser's history to get your version back, copy your changes, and if your edit still makes sense, you can try to repeat the process.

Example of the Create page dialog.

Creating new pages[edit]

The easiest way to create an entirely new article is to find a link that leads to it, which will show up in red color, such as Help:Example, and click on it. A familiar editing window will appear, and when you save your changes, the new page will be created.

As an alternative, you can search for the exact name you want the page to have in the Search box in the left sidebar, and click on the red link that appears at the top of the search results.

Text formatting[edit]

More details: Help:Formatting on MediaWiki

If the wiki was comprised of plain text data only, editing it would be really simple… except that no one would actually use it. Usually, when you edit a page, you'll encounter a wide variety of formatting techniques, from bold text to sophisticated table designs. This formatting is realized by adding specific characters around the text, which the wiki then displays in a certain way.

The following table lists the most widely used text formatting options:

Input code Result
''Italic text'' Italic text
'''Bold text''' Bold text
* First
* Second
** Indented
* Third
  • First
  • Second
    • Indented
  • Third
# First
# Second
## Indented
# Third
  1. First
  2. Second
    1. Indented
  3. Third
== Level 2 title ==
=== Level 3 title ===
==== Level 4 title ====
Level 2 title
Level 3 title
Level 4 title
This is a paragraph.

Paragraphs are separated by an empty line.<br>
New lines can be forced with the HTML break tag.
This is a paragraph.

Paragraphs are separated by an empty line.
New lines can be forced with the HTML break tag.

; Term
: Definition
Term
Definition
Paragraph
: Indented paragraph
:: Double-indented paragraph
::: The indentation levels can continue indefinitely

Paragraph

Indented paragraph
Double-indented paragraph
The indentation levels can continue indefinitely

Links[edit]

More details: Help:Links on MediaWiki

The wiki's code includes a very short and easy method for creating links to other pages, with various ways to alter the displayed link text.

Input code Result Notes
[[Trait]] Trait
[[Qwerty]] Qwerty Links to non-existent pages are displayed in red color and allow quick page creation.
[[Trait]]s Traits Characters immediately following the ending brackets but before a space are automatically appended to the displayed text.
[[hero point]] hero point The first character of the page the link leads to is automatically converted to upper case.
[[Trait|Different text]] Different text If the | character is present inside the brackets, the text following it is displayed instead.
[https://www.guildwars2.com Official site] Official site If only single square brackets are used, a link which can lead outside the wiki is created. Note that unlike in the previous example, no | character is used.

Introduction to other features[edit]

Templates[edit]

More details: Help:TemplatesHelp:Templates on MediaWiki

From time to time you might come across something like this:

{{Mounts nav}}

The double curly brackets indicate a use of a template.

A template is a separate page whose entire or partial content is being inserted ("transcluded") at the point of this syntax ("template call"); in the previous example Template:Mounts nav. This allows pages to share content or at least a general structure for formatting, and by editing the template itself you can make changes across all the pages that use it at once. After showing the preview when editing, all templates used in the current section are listed under Templates used in this preview below the edit box and its controls.

The most basic way to use templates is to simply write their name in the double curly brackets. These templates are used for simple repetition of commonly used features throughout various pages, such as profession, race, crafting or effect icons, or navigation tables often used at the bottom of pages linked with a common theme:

Input code Template page Result
{{e}} Template:E Elementalist tango icon 20px.png
{{yes}} Template:Yes 1Yes
{{might}} Template:Might Might.png Might
{{Mounts nav}} Template:Mounts nav (See the template.)

Templates can also include multiple parameters in a given order, separated by | in the template call. These parameters can influence anything the template does or displays, such as any text, appearance or even categories and properties used by the automation systems. Descriptions, order and default values of all available parameters of the given template should always be listed on the template's page itself.

Input code Template page Result
{{icon|wp}} Template:Icon
Waypoint (tango icon).png
{{ap|200}} Template:Ap 200Achievement points
{{coin|12345}} Template:Coin Gold coin 23 Silver coin 45 Copper coin
{{skill icon|Fireball}} Template:Skill icon
Fireball.png
 Fireball
{{token|ac|60}} Template:Token 60 Ascalonian Tears

Bigger templates often have some or all of their parameters named, in which case their order no longer matters; the unnamed parameters are still ordered among themselves. In the template call the names of these parameters are written first, followed by = and their value:

Input code Template page Result
{{trait icon|Zeal|size=48}} Template:Trait icon Zeal Zeal
{{Skill infobox
| name = Fireball
| icon = Fireball.png
| description = Cast a [[fireball]].
| variables = {{Skill fact|damage|343}}
| activation = 1
| recharge = 5
| profession = elementalist
| slot = weapon
| twohand = staff
| attunement = fire
| weapon-slot = 1
| id = 5491
}}
(The name and icon parameters are often not necessary, as they can be deduced from the page's title.)
Template:Skill infobox
Template:Skill fact
Fireball.png

Fireball

1 Activation time  5 Recharge time  

Profession
Elementalist tango icon 20px.png Elementalist (skill list)
Weapon
Staff
 
Weapon slot 1
Attunement
Fire
Game link

Cast a fireball.

Damage.png Damage: 343

— In-game description

Tables[edit]

More details: Help:Table on WikipediaGuild Wars 2 Wiki:Table formatting

Table formatting can appear somewhat complex compared to other features of the wiki's code which are used throughout the main content articles.

  • When you want to create a table, you'll encapsulate all of its contents in {| and |} tags.
  • Rows are separated with |- on their own line.
  • Cells are created either with | when starting on a new line, or || if continuing on the same line.
  • Header cells are generated with ! and !! instead.

As an example, this code:

{|
! Header 1 !! Header 2
! Header 3
|-
| Cell 1
| Cell 2 || Cell 3
|}

generates this table:

Header 1 Header 2 Header 3
Cell 1 Cell 2 Cell 3

However, if you want to make the table more visually appealing with borders, background colors and text alignment, combine cells in neighboring rows or columns together, make the table sortable by columns and so on, you'll need to add various modifiers to the table, rows and cells to the following places:

{| table modifiers
! cell modifiers | Header text !! cell modifiers | Header text
! cell modifiers | Header text
|- row modifiers
| cell modifiers | Cell text
| cell modifiers | Cell text || cell modifiers | Cell text
|}

The most common modifiers are CSS classes (class="class names") or style definitions (style="definition"), which change the appearance of the table. Some classes can set up special behaviour on the table, such as sortable, which allows you to sort the table by columns, or collapsible and expandable, which makes the table hidable or hidden by default. Individual cells can also be merged together horizontally with colspan="number of columns to merge" or vertically with rowspan="number of rows to merge". The table modifier should always include a Template:STDT call to give the table a unified look across the whole wiki. For instance this code:

{| {{STDT|mech1 sortable collapsible}}
! Header 1 !! Header 2 !! Header 3
|- class="line"
! Row 1
| Value 1
| 123
|-
! Row 2
| This is the second value
| rowspan="2" style="text-align: center;" | Merged rows
|-
! Row 3
| style="text-align: right;" | Value 3
|}

creates this rather complex table:

Header 1 Header 2 Header 3
Row 1 Value 1 123
Row 2 This is the second value Merged rows
Row 3 Value 3

Images[edit]

More details: Help:Images on MediaWiki

Many commonly used images such as various icons can be displayed with templates, but if you want to show something like an in-game screenshots, you'll have to display them directly. In order to do so you'll use the same syntax as for links, except that image filenames are always prefixed with File:. For instance,

[[File:Commander tango icon 20px.png]]

appears as Commander tango icon 20px.png. The syntax which displays the image can be expanded with various options, delimited by |, which alter the displayed image, such as its dimensions, position, caption or where it should link to (instead of the default location – the image's own page), among others. For example,

[[File:GW2Logo new.png|64px|center|Guild Wars 2 logo|link=Guild Wars 2]]

displays the game logo 64 pixels wide (with aspect ratio kept constant), centered on the page, with tooltip Guild Wars 2 logo on hover and linking to Guild Wars 2:

Guild Wars 2 logo

and

[[File:GW2Logo new.png|x64px|thumb|''Guild Wars 2'' logo]]
Guild Wars 2 logo

displays the logo 64 pixels high (notice the x before the dimension), as a thumbnail (right-aligned by default), captioned with Guild Wars 2 logo:

In order to upload a new file to the wiki, you can either click on a red link that would otherwise display it, similarly to creating new pages, or you might use the Upload file link in the left sidebar.

Automation[edit]

More details: SMW (Semantic MediaWiki) (newer), DPL (DynamicPageList) (older)

Some parts of the wiki are being automated. This is a very important tool thanks to which you don't need to edit multiple pages at once to change the same piece of information, but it is also a bane for new editors. This section isn't about learning how to automate the wiki's contents, it's about how to notice it and how to deal with it.

The basic sign of automation is that you can see some content on the page, but there's nothing in the source code that should be able to display it, not even a template call that would know this content on its own. Generally speaking, when this happens, the data is being pulled automatically from elsewhere and in order to change it, you'll have to find the real source. Although if you knew exactly how templates, categories and properties used by the automation systems work, you could find the real source from within the code itself, you'll more likely end up having to guess which page holds the actual information in order to edit it. If you can't find this page but you still want to add or fix something, you can always leave article feedback and let someone else handle it.


An example of this behaviour can be seen on List of guardian skills. When you look at the page's code in edit mode, you might notice that this page doesn't actually include the skill types, recharge times, descriptions and so on. There are many template calls like this:

{{weapon skill table row|Whirling Wrath}}

...but none of the displayed information except for the skill name is present there. What's happening is that the remaining data is pulled directly from the individual skill pages, and so if you wanted to change any skill characteristic displayed on the list page, you'd have to edit those ones instead.


Another example is Heart of Maguuma mastery tracks. When you're trying to edit the tables, you'll notice that they're all just short template calls without any mention of the individual masteries, their descriptions or requirements:

{{mastery table|Gliding}}

Inside this template the wiki is quickly searching through all of its contents to find pages which correspond to masteries, filtering them to get only the currently available ones belonging to the given mastery track, sorting them by tier, grabbing their icons, requirements and descriptions and showing them in separate rows. In order to change any of these or to leave some masteries out, you'd have to edit the Mastery infobox template calls on the mastery pages themselves.


The last example is Maguuma Burl's Acquisition section, which includes a single template call:

{{gathered from}}

Similarly to the previous example, this template automatically finds all pages which state that a Maguuma Burl can be gathered from the chest it represents, such as Noxious Pod, via another template designed for this use:

{{gather|Maguuma Burl}}

Wiki tools[edit]

Many of these tools are located in the top menu or the sidebar.

The wiki provides various tools for contributors through the links at the very top of the page, in the left sidebar and on Special Pages, which allow users to contact each other, discuss or test changes, browse the article history, browse the wiki based on certain criteria and so on.

Discussions[edit]

Every single article has, or at least can have, an associated discussion page that you can access with the discussion link at the top of the page, such as Talk:Agony. These pages are used by contributors to discuss matters regarding the wiki. It is not a tool to suggest or discuss changes to the game itself, but it is a vital tool to reach concensus on certain decisions, to find solutions for layout of some pages, to discuss major changes before they're implemented, and to solve issues when people end up fighting over certain edits.

Editing of discussion pages works just like any other article. When you add comments to a discussion page, you should always put your signature at the end with ~~~~, and you should indent your comment with one : character per indent level at the beginning of the line—depending on how far in the discussion the comment is—to make the discussions easier to read:

::: This is my comment, indented by 3 levels. -- ~~~~

You can also add new sections to start new discussion with the + link at the top of the discussion page. Feedback added through the leave article feedback links also appears on these pages.

See also: Help:SignaturesHelp:Archiving

History[edit]

Another feature of every single page is the history log, reachable through the history link at the top of the page. This page lists all edits ever made to the article, who were they made by, summaries of the edits and so on.

The cur and prev links will show you differences when compared to the current or previous version, respectively, and clicking on the date and time will try to show you what that version looked like, although it doesn't reflect how other pages whose content was also used here (such as templates) looked at that time.

Sandbox[edit]

If you just want to test some wiki syntax out and are afraid that you'll accidentally delete parts of another page (it would still appear in the history and could be recovered, but you might get flagged for vandalism if you'd do that repeatedly), you can head to the Sandbox page. This page is made specifically for editing experiments, but be aware that anything on this page can be removed by anyone at any time. However, you often don't need to save your changes to this page either; if you're only trying out something simple, show preview might still be sufficient.

User pages[edit]

When you create an account, you will be given access to your own page where you can put anything you want, as long as you don't use this page with malicious intent and don't use disallowed copyrighted content.

This page will be located at User:<account name>, e.g. User:Example. It even comes with its discussion page where others may contact you, for instance User talk:Example, and you can create subpages as you see fit, such as User:Example/Subpage.

Practices and processes[edit]

See also: Guild Wars 2 Wiki:Practices and processes

Over time, the Guild Wars 2 Wiki community has decided on a set of guidelines to facilitate managing such a huge project. This includes, among others, common formatting templates for items, skills, NPCs and so on, how to use discussion pages or how to handle edit warring or page deletions. You don't need to have these practices memorized in order to contribute, but it might be a good idea to read the article if you feel like you'd like to become a bigger part of the community.

Overview of other tools[edit]

See also: Special pages

This is an overview of various other tools the wiki offers its users. You definitely don't need to know these in order to contribute, rather treat this section as a reference.

Community Portal
If you envision an especially large project which will affect many pages, or if you have an idea that you are unsure about, make sure to start a discussion on the Community Portal or the respective talk page and listen to what other editors have to say. Collaboration, consensus and compromise are key factors in ensuring a healthy and successful wiki environment, after all.
Redirects
Some pages can be set up to automatically redirect the user to a page with a different title to make searching or linking easier, for example Sandbox redirects to Guild Wars 2 Wiki:Sandbox. If you click on the original name below the page title after being redirected, you can suppress the redirect to see the original page directly. Redirects are created by including the following code as the only content of the page:
#REDIRECT [[page name]]
Related pages
The left sidebar includes two pages in the Tools section which might potentially be useful while editing. What links here will show you a list of all other pages which have a link leading to this page, redirect to this page or include this page as a template, while Transclusion list shows you a list of all templates and images used on this page.
Categories
At the very bottom of a page you might see links to what's known as categories. These create a hierarchical structure for pages, images and templates, and can be used by editors to browse articles (Category:Future content), or by the wiki's automation systems to find correct pages to display. Categories are given to pages with a similar syntax as links or files, usually at the end of the page's contents:
[[Category:category name]]
Links to other languages
You can add links to other language versions of the article by adding a corresponding prefix to a link; these links then show up in the left sidebar in the Other languages section. Similarly to categories, this link won't actually show in the article itself, and as such is also usually placed at the bottom of the page:
Link prefix Target language
de: German
es: Spanish
fr: French
Forcing a link to be displayed regularly
For links with various prefixes that are treated as a special case and aren't showed in the article as regular links would, such as categories, language links or files, you can type : before the prefix to suppress this behaviour; for instance [[:Category:Future content]] displays Category:Future content.
Interwiki links
Similarly to creating links to other languages, you can add prefix to the link's target page name to link directly to a selected few other wikis, but unlike the language links these will show in the article by default. Most importantly, the prefix w: will link to Wikipedia; a list of all available prefixes can be seen at Special:Interwiki.
Watchlist
You can add any page to your own watchlist with the watch link at the top of the page, accessible from a link at the top right. The watchlist allows you to watch changes done to the selected pages or its corresponding discussion page by other users.
Recent changes
Recent changes link in the left sidebar shows a list of all recent edits made by users on any page on the wiki.
Moving pages
The move link at the top of the page allows you to move a page, its discussion page, subpages and all of their history logs to a different name, while leaving a redirect from the old name to the new one. When doing so, make sure that you have a good reason for this move (possibly previously being discussed and agreed on by the community).