Help:Editing pages

From Gentoo Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search

It is very easy to edit the contents of a wiki. It only takes a few clicks:

  1. Click the "Edit" page tab at the top of the English page.
  2. Make changes (edits) to the text.
  3. Add a summary.
  4. Click the "Save page" button.

Simple as that!

Editing rules, conventions, and formatting

The number one rule of wiki editing, is to be bold. Dive in and make changes. Other wiki contributors can correct mistakes later, so have confidence, and give it a try! There are editing conventions, rules, and philosophy governing the editing of wiki pages, but the "be bold" rule overrides these guidelines.

In general try to write clearly and concisely. Aim to do something which improves the contents of the wiki. An edit might be to contribute whole paragraphs or pages full of information, or it could be as simple as fixing a typo or spelling mistake.

When some type of special formatting is needed e.g. new headings or bold text, do this using wiki syntax or the buttons in the edit toolbar above. See Help:Formatting for some of the common types of formatting used.

For contributors interested in writing entirely new articles or maintaining article standards see the Wiki Guidelines article. It contains the expected structure, formatting, and style standards for wiki contributors who make regular edits.

Edit summary

Before saving a change, should enter a short note in the Summary: box describing the changes that were made. Do not worry too much about the summary, or spend too much time thinking about it; it is simply a little description of what was changed e.g. "fixed typo" or "added more information about Larry the cow" and why the changes were made.

The summary gets stored alongside the edit, and allows other contributors to track changes in the wiki more effectively. Changes might not be obvious, so the goal of this field is to describe the change and the reason behind it at a glance.


It is a good idea to use the "Show preview" button to see what the change will look like, before it is saved. This is also related to tracking changes, because every time an article is saved, this is displayed to others as a separate change. This is not something to worry about too much, but it is good to get into the habit of eliminating mistakes by using a preview before saving, rather than saving several minor corrections after an edit has been made.

Show changes

Another option is the "Show changes" button which previews the differences between the existing version and the edited version. This feature can be very helpful when attempting to determine what information to include in the edit summary since it provides an excellent contrast of the changes made.

Other types of editing

With wiki edits can be used to start a new page, move (or rename) a page, or even delete a page:

Remember: aim to improve the overall contents of the wiki with edits.


Every article has its own “Discussion” page where questions can be asked, suggestions made, or edits discussed. See Help:Talk pages for more information about discussion.