LXF Wiki:Help

From LXF Wiki

Table of contents

Finding your way around


A Wiki is a set of web pages that you can click your way around following hyperlinks, just like any other web site. The links on LXF Wiki are colour-coded:

  • Blue or purple - links to other pages on LXF Wiki.
  • Red or orange - dead links to non-existent pages on LXF Wiki.
  • Light blue - links to other web sites.

Basic navigation

The left hand column of every page has three sections:

  • navigation links to some useful starting-points and frequently-visited pages.
  • search field: enter the topic (case-sensitive!) and click Go. If the page is there you go to it, if not you get a search result.
  • toolbox of useful pages once you have got a little more familiar with Wikis.


In the grey bar below the main article, there is usually a short list of categories. This page has Categories: LXF Wiki | Help. Click one of these links to get a list of other pages in the same category.

For more about Categories, see LXF Wiki:Category.

What links here

If you have found an interesting page and want to know more about associated subjects, try the What links here link in the toolbox menu.

Editing a Wiki

Anybody can edit a Wiki. To edit LXF Wiki you need to set up an account and log in. It only takes a moment, here.

Editing a page

In your chosen page, click the edit tab to see how it is written. Then just edit it as you see fit and click the Show preview button below it. This gives you a page with your changes previewed above, and the raw code below so you can correct any typos. When done, enter a quick one-liner in the Summary field, and click Save page.

Creating a new page

If the page you want doesn't exist yet, you can create it. the LXF Wiki version of MediaWiki is a bit old, so herere are two ways to do it:

  1. Add a link to in on an existing page. The link will appear red. Then, click on the link.
  2. Type the url into your web browser: http://www.linuxformat.co.uk/wiki/index.php?title=Page_name where page_name is the title of the new page.

Doing either of these brings up a default blank entry for the page, and you can now Edit and Save (i.e. create) the page.

The sandbox

The Sandbox is a special page for you to practice editing. Just bash away and see what happens, without fear of wrecking a real article. A great place to build confidence or experiment with tricky ideas.

Copy shamelessly

Whether it's just a bit of markup or a whole page to base yours on, If you see something useful just click "Edit" and copy it shamelessly!

Tip: Open a second view (tabs are cool for this, if your browser has them). Use one view to browse for Help and pages to rip off, the other for the page you are editing.

Basic Wiki markup

The Linux Format Wiki uses a very simple mark up language. Basic Wiki markup covers pretty much the same things as basic HTML, but is much faster and easier to type. It does not use wordy <tag pairs> but relies heavily on simple repetition of a single key to provide variations. Here are the very basics:

Firstly, white space (spaces, tabs, page breaks) tends to be ignored except in certain circumstances:

  • Paragraphs are separated by two or more line spaces.
  • Preformatted fixed-pitch text has a space at the start of the line, like this:
Use preformatted text for code snippets and for ASCII art.
   It preserves     white space     in the rest of the line.

Here is a table of some common MediaWiki markup.

Effect Markup Comments
Top-level heading, with line under. = Heading level 1 = Not often used.
Second-level heading, also with line under. == Heading level 2 == The commonest level.
Third-level heading, has no line under. === Heading level 3 === Also widely used. Go deeper with more equals signs.
Italic text ''Italic text'' Two quotes: this is not the double-quote character ".
Bold text '''Bold text''' Three quotes.
'Bold text in quotes' ''''Bold text in quotes'''' Four quotes.
Bold and italic '''''Bold and italic''''' Five quotes.
'Bold and italic in quotes' ''''''Bold and italic in quotes'''''' Six quotes.
  1. Numbered list item.
# Numbered list item. Lines must be consecutive, with no blank lines in between.
  • Bulleted list item.
* Bulleted list item.
  • Bulleted sub-list item.
** Bullet sub-list item. Other Sub-lists can use combinations such as #* list item.
Indented paragraph.
: Indented paragraph
Internal Wiki link to another page. [[Wiki link]] Displays the page title.
Internal link with Custom text to another page. [[Wiki link|Custom text]] Displays the Custom text.
Web url, displayed in full: http://www.foo.bar.com   http://www.foo.bar.com

You should by now be getting the idea. For more information, follow the External links below or browse the Help category.

Organising information

  • Categories help you to index and find related pages on the same subject.
  • Templates allow you to re-use anything from simple messages to complex formatting, saving oodles of time and pain.
  • Namespaces provide a way to group together page titles. Some namespaces such as LXF Wiki, User, Category, Template and so on are pre-defined. You can also create your own, but it is probably unwise to do this unless you know exactly what you are doing.

External Links

These are links to external web sites. Some useful ones are listed here:

  • Wikipedia's Editing Crib Sheet (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Help:Editing). Note that this is for the latest version of MediaWiki, and so refers to lots of features that poor old LXF Wiki does not have.