Preamble: CAZypedia and WYSIWYG editing
The nature of the wiki format which forms the basis of CAZypedia does not lend itself very well to WYSIWYG (what you see is what you get) editing that most of us are used to. Unlike word processing software, where what you type is immediately formatted on the screen and later appears on the printed page, wiki editing is a bit more like making a web page. Text is typed in an unformatted form, which is later formatted on-the-fly according to specific formatting "tags" embedded in the text itself.
The reasons wikis, and thus CAZypedia, use this less user-friendly way are mainly technical, having to do with using a web browser as an input tool and a remote web server as the data storage device. People who are used to "markup" computer languages (like HTML) will have little trouble getting used to the wiki way of formatting text.
To ease the pain for everyone else, CAZypedia implements an almost WYSIWYG editor called wikEd. wikEd was develped to make life easier for Wikipedia contributors, and since CAZypedia runs the same wiki software (MediaWiki), we can benefit from wikEd, too (see below).
MediaWiki is the engine that drives CAZypedia. These links provide an overview of the basic "markup" (formatting rules) that CAZypedia uses:
- Basic editing & markup
- More markup examples - including inserting pictures
- Advanced editing - all kinds of cool stuff, including making links, math, special characters, and templates.
- There's even a handy printable reference card.
Making life a bit easier: The wikEd editor in CAZypedia
CAZypedia uses an advanced editor called wikEd, which greatly simplifies making and editing CAZypedia pages. wikEd has a bunch of neat features, all of which you can read about on the wikEd homepage.
For the average CAZypedia contributor, these are probably the most useful:
- Click buttons to format text (bold, italic, etc.), like a word processor
- Find and replace
- Cut-and-paste and convert formatted text from e.g. Microsoft Word and web pages using the wikify button .
The wikEd help page contains a quick tutorial and some easy to follow details on formatting buttons in wikEd. It is strongly recommended that you browse this page before beginning work on CAZypedia.
Although wikEd is both quite good and quite powerful, patiently bear in mind that you will have to understand the MediaWiki markup to fix things when they don't look quite right. Soon enough, editing pages in CAZypedia will become second nature.
References to the literature
Although wikEd can be used to copy-and-paste formatted text from a word processor like MS Word, it will not automatically fix literature references. There are other special features to help with the addition of literature references to CAZypedia entries; for detailed instructions, please see the Help:References page.