Help:How to start a new page

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One of the user rights that can be set for a user group is "createpage", the right to create a new page. A wiki can grant this right for example to all users who are not blocked (this is the default), or only to those who have logged in.

The edit page has a link for Editing help, so you won't be lost. For general editing matters and details on the markup language of the wikitext, see Help:Editing. If you want to experiment, use the sandbox first. Note: Sandbox page is currently blank. The purpose of this blank page is to use as a whiteboard to experiment.

Anyone, including you, can write these help documents at m:Help:Contents, and you are most likely allowed to edit the site, Wikipedia that you are looking at now! Just type a title in the box at the bottom of the page, click "Create article", and start writing. You should probably create a link to the article in a related page; linking to a page is enough to "create" the page! New pages can also be started by following a link to a non-existent page, which likewise launches the edit page. See Starting a page through the URL below.

General principles

  • Search to see whether someone has written a similar page before you start one yourself. Choose the title carefully.
  • Review conventions of the project you are working in regarding e.g.:
    • naming conventions; see also Help:Page name.
    • whether a separate page is justified; perhaps it is better to add the text to a related page (especially if the text is not very long); that page can always be split later, after it has grown.
    • how-to guidance for writing regarding style, content and formatting. E.g. for the Wikipedia project see How to write a great article.
  • While creating the page and before saving it, check the What links here link on the creation page. Align the new content with existing links, or change the new title, or fix the other links.
  • If nothing points here, the page is isolated. Links to it will need to be added on other pages.

Starting a page from a link, or after a search

To start a new page, you can click a link to the new page. This takes you to edit mode of the non-existing blank page, which allows creation. You might not be able to create a new page unless you are logged in. Notably this applies to the English Wikipedia. Another way to start a new page, on the English Wikipedia, which uses the w:MediaWiki:Nogomatch option, is to perform a search for the new title with the Go button (as you should have done before). When the search finds nothing, press "create the article".

Links to non-existing pages are common. They are typically created in preparation for creating the page, and/or to encourage other people to do so. Links are not only convenient for navigation, but also make people aware of the new page (those who read a related page and also those who watch the related page). New page links are not really broken, as long as the name correctly identifies the intended content. (A new page link with a "wrong" or misspelled name, or that duplicates content found under another name is "broken", but in a different sense.)

New page links typically look different from links to existing pages. Depending on settings, a different color or a question mark is used. (Sometimes links to new pages are called "red links", the display option of one of the settings). Links to non-existent pages are created with New page name from the wiki editor. (In this case, the empty page "New page name" would be created).

Of course, you can also create the link yourself, in a related page, index page or your user page. However, it may be better to wait with creating links until after creating the new page, especially if the new link replaces one to an existing page. In this case, create the link but press Preview, instead of Save. From preview area, clicking the new link will create the new page (without updating the referring page).

Creating using a redirect to a sub or supra topic page

You can use a redirect to create a page and propose expansion. Eliminate the redirect command in the redirecting page and expanding the article.

Using text from some other editing environment

Two-stage conversion from Word to MediaWiki
The following methods both perform: Word -> HTML -> MediaWiki.

Quick and Dirty

  • Open your document in Word, and "save as" an HTML file.
  • Open the HTML file in a text editor and copy the HTML source code to the clipboard.
  • Paste the HTML source into the large text box labeled "HTML source" on the html2wiki page.
  • Click the "Convert HTML to wiki markup" button.
  • Select the text in the "MediaWiki markup" text box and copy it to the clipboard.
  • Paste the text to a Wikipedia article.


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