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Help:Getting started

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This is a guide for editors who know basically nothing about wiki editing in order to help them get started. WiKirby salutes any brave soul who is willing to improve the database of everyone's favorite pink marshmallow.

Editing an existing page

First up, the very most basic and essential action that can be performed on any wiki; editing a page. To do this, go to any page that is not protected and find the "edit" tab on top of the page.

The edit tab is highlighted here. Find it atop the page you want to edit!

Once this tab is clicked, the editor will be taken to a sub-page consisting of a large white rectangle containing plan text that matches the contents of the page. In this box, any and all edits can be made to the text in a similar fashion to a computer word-processing application. A spellchecker will automatically detect words that it believes are spelled incorrectly, which can be a handy way to detect most typos, but often it will highlight things such as coding or unconventional names like Zan Par... err, something or other.

Submission box

Underneath the main editing space is a box with a number of options on it, called the submission box:

This is a typical submission box with a comment written in the summary.

Once the editor is finished typing in the edit space, they can use the buttons and check boxes in this area to preview and/or save edits. The following is a brief overview of what each option does:

  • Summary - This is a smaller text space where the editor can leave notes for others regarding the edit in question, which appears in the recent changes page. This is an optional setting, and can be left blank.
  • "This is a minor edit" check box - If an editor only intends to make a small edit to the page, checking this box is a good way to let other editors know. Generally, this should not be checked if the edit adds or subtracts more than 500 bytes of information on the page.
  • "Watch this page" check box - When checked, the editor will receive notifications by e-mail (if the editor has an e-mail address linked to their account) whenever the page is changed by someone else. The editor can later decide to unwatch the page if they so choose.
  • Save changes - Once this button is clicked, any edits made to the page by the editor will be saved, and above actions applied. Editors are strongly encouraged to preview their edits before saving, to minimize mistakes. The editor may be prevented from saving changes under certain circumstances, such as a loss of session data or a conflict with another edit made by another user during the time spent in the editing page. In either of these cases, it may be necessary to leave and re-enter the editing page to try again.
  • Show preview - Clicking this button refreshes the page and creates a preview of the page or section the editor is working on, with the changes they made applied, but not saved. This is a good way to make sure the edits are applied correctly before saving.
  • Show changes - Clicking this button refreshes the page and creates a view of the lines of the page, showing the differences between the original unedited page and the version which has been edited. Like before, this action does not save the edits.
  • Cancel - Clicking this link takes the editor back to the main article page and does not save any edits made.
  • Editing help - This link takes the editor to the main MediaWiki site where they can learn more deeply about particular editing topics. This is recommended only for advanced editors.

Edit tools

Below the submission box is a yellow box filled with characters and code snippets. This is the Edit tools box, and is useful for quickly inserting common code snippets and uncommon symbols into pages. Clicking on a symbol or code snippet will automatically add it to wherever the line is set in the editing window, as if the editor simply typed it in.

Other editing links

In addition to using the main edit tab, an editor may also choose to edit a particular section of an article by finding the [edit] link next to the section name of the page. Using this will take the editor to the editing page, but will only display the content of that particular section. This can be handy when the editor wants to make small changes to an otherwise long page.

Creating a new page

Once an editor has become Autoconfirmed, they will be able to create new pages on the wiki. There are a couple ways to do this. The first and most intuitive way is to click on a red link in an existing article. The second method is to type the name of the wanted page into the search bar. Typing in the name of a page that is not already made will take the editor to the search page, where the option to create that page by clicking the text in red will be given.

Following either of these methods will take the editor to an editing space similar to the one used to edit existing articles, and give them an empty space to begin filling in with text. The procedure here is largely the same as before, but the "Save changes" button in the submission box will be replaced with a "Save page" button, and there will not be an option to mark the edit as minor (since the creation of a new page, even a redirect, is always a big deal).

Before an editor decides to create a new page, they should be familiar with the Article creation policy.

This should be all the information an editor needs to get started on the wiki. If editors are still unsure about how the process works, they can practice without consequence on the Sandbox page. Happy editing!

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