HOWTO Add a Page to the Wiki

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  • Much of wiki editing is discoverable by looking around the wiki user interface for menus and buttons.
  • The way to add a new page to the wiki, not so much.
  • The Y-U-NO guy below is doing his best, but it's not working out for him, as you can see.



A: Experience shows that when we create documents using a Save-As command, we tend to fill shared drives with documents that have ambiguous names and little context. This lack of context makes it hard to find and understand the pages of information we need.

Q: What structure could provide more context to pages of information than a tree struture?

A: A directed graph, AKA a web. A wiki is a tool for creating a web of pages containing information.

Q: Can I just dump a bunch of pages of information into the wiki and give the pages some context later, when I have time?

A: Not easily. The importance of page context is enforced by the wiki software. You cannot create a new wiki page without first giving it some context by linking it into the web structure. Of course, additional context (links to your page) can always be added.

Q: How different is this from the way we usually create computer documents?

A: Exactly opposite, as you can see below.

  • How to Create a Normal Computer Document
    1. Create your new document
    2. Tell others where your new document can be found and what it means
  • How to Add a Page to the Wiki
    1. Tell others where your new document can be found and what it means
    2. Create your new document

Q: OK, so how do I provide the context I need to start a page?

A: The essential element of context you need for your new page is a link from an existing wiki page to your new page. This is how others will find your page and understand what it means. This first step is the non-intuitive, non-discoverable part, and the place where many people get stuck.

How to Get Started

  1. Find a page on the wiki where you want a link to your new page to appear.
  2. Edit this page to add a link to your new page: the name of your new page surrounded by double-square-brackets.
  3. Click the "Show preview" button under the editing window, and the new link should display as red text, which indicates a link to a page that doesn't exist yet. (If the link is blue, there is already a wiki page with the name you have chosen.)
  4. Save the page.
  5. Click on the red link you just created, and you will be taken to the editing screen for your new page.

Hints and Tips

  • The "Show preview" button under the editing screen is your friend. It shows you an un-saved preview of the current page contents with the editing screen down at the bottom.
  • Click on the "Powered by MediaWiki" icon in the lower-right-hand corner of the wiki page to open the MediaWiki home page in a new window. Click "User help" on this page to find documentation on fomatting, links, images, etc.