Introduction to Wikitext
- This page introduces Wikitext. Wikitext is used to write all of the pages in WikiBooks and is the markup language used for all of the sister projects as well. Wikitext is intended to be simpler to use than other alternatives. This simple markup script is translated into the web's HTML language by the software before sending it to each browser.
- Wikitext can be mixed with HTML, and users can add CSS in-line styles, as well as the usual complement of images, tables and other structures.
- Templates can be produced to make the work easier, and there is a large store of these already available. Templates described in these pages work only within Wikibooks pages; the template set for Wikipedia does not necessarily include these features.
- Work is credited to users in their user-names, and login names can be chosen with the link at the top-right of any WikiBooks page.
- WikiBooks is an open system. It is used free of charge. Any user can edit pages in WikiBooks, and its mandate is to encourage collaboration in producing written work. This arrangement does not suit everyone, so the matter needs consideration before making a heavy work commitment. Some core texts are protected against editing, though these are comparatively few.
- Stable good-quality versions of some pages are presented to casual surfers, while other versions of each, to edit, are available to logged-on users. Reviewers patrol the edits from day to day and update the stable copies of such pages after approving them. Many pages however, can be edited directly, without review.
How a Page is Made
- The general method in editing a page is fairly simple. In summary, the user signs on with a free password and username, then, on the page of interest, selects the edit this page tab. The user is then presented with an editing window that resembles a fairly ordinary word processor. The text is edited to change the wording, to add images or tables, and at times to introduce additional styles for text and layout.
- The method for making a new page is also simple. Each WikiBooks page has a search box in its left margin. The user enters the proposed name for the new page and selects go. A number of search results is presented. If the page is not found, the user is invited to create it. If this option is selected, an editing window for a new page is presented. Indexing and other navigation details can be added at any stage.
- The work can be checked for its appearance by selecting Show preview. The preview page is then redrawn with an up-to-date version for the user's approval. When the work is to the user's satisfaction, the new page is saved by pressing Save page. If more than one user is changing the same parts of the page, screens are presented to allow the conflict to be resolved.
- Saved versions of the page are stored and can be viewed via the history tab on each page. Previous versions may be restored from these lists. In addition, there are various pages dedicated to each user for notes, preferences, and so on.
More General Points
- There is a house style. At the most general level, there are guidelines on writing style. The web-page styles however, are provided by Wiki's stylesheets, of which there are several. Within these are to be found the style rules for all Wiki work. The user cannot modify these, since changes would affect everybody, but on an optional basis, each user can have a stylesheet of their own that affects only their own browsers. Most find no need for it. Although the house style sheets cannot be user-modified, in-line styles can still be applied within the Wikitext itself.
- There is a house font. Pages are displayed in a sans-serif, Arial, 9-point font. The font has good clarity for general purposes and finds use throughout the web.
- There is an automatically made table of contents (TOC). Each page has a table of contents (TOC) that is updated automatically using the typed section headings. The markup code is used to identify certain text as headings, and the software does the rest. The TOC also lists headings created with HTML code, though its use is optional. An example of listed headings can be seen on this page.
- The white space around words and punctuation is parsed. This means that it is filtered so that it conforms with the browsers' rules. At a practical level, it makes sure that there is never more that one space following a comma or a full stop. It ignores a single carriage return, requiring two of these to signify a new paragraph. The software will do all of the wrapping of text on the page. This is called unformatted text.
- There are HTML-like tags that preserve whitespace. Text that benefits from their use is called preformatted text and is fairly heavily set with spacing and line breaks. Examples are lyrics, poetry, and code listings. The aptly named poem tags or the pre tags can be used to display text exactly as it is typed. To display a preformatted code module, there are source tags that also color the code.
- Refer to the links in the top panel for the various Editing Wikitext pages.
- Refer to the links below for additional sources on editing.