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So you want to edit PortlandWiki?

You're in luck! It's impossible to screw PortlandWiki up, since everything can be undone. So go wild. But if you want some guidance on what are best practices (and most of us do), keep reading.

Not the editing and writing type? Check out our to do list, it's full of random miscellaneous things to do that will help us build a great Portland resource we can all enjoy and be proud of!

Create a new page!

Creating a new PortlandWiki page is reasonably quick and mostly pain-free. As this wiki matures, there may come a time when most contributions will consist of editing and/or updating existing pages. But Portland Wiki is still growing like half-wild toddler, so what's stopping you? Go ahead, start a new page. You can do it!

Starting a new page

1. In the "Search" box (top, right of your screen), type this:

Your new page name

2. Click the little magnifying glass icon you see there in the search box. You'll see a "red link" to the page name you just searched for. Click that red link and begin editing.

(Sorry we've been too lame to add an "edit page" button yet; that's been on the "to do" list of several PortlandWiki admins for at least 18 months. Hey, we're volunteers; bad excuse, but true...)

3. Suppose you're adding a new page to a group of already existing pages. At the top of your new article, type this little navigational feature:

<<< [[Main page in your page group]]

(That'll help get folks back to the main page.)

And finally...

4. At the bottom of your new article, type this:

[[Category:The most appropriate category for your page]]

Here's a list of existing categories: PortlandWiki Category List

Don't forget to save! :-)

Now let's look at a few elements[1] you may want to include in even a minimalist new PortlandWiki page[2].

Page title

The first element you'll want to decide on as you create your new wiki page is a page title. The easiest way to entitle your new page is to perform a search to see if another Portland Wiki page already exists with that title. It's not likely you'll run into that problem while Portland Wiki is still a "tot," but if you do, perhaps you can think up another page title.

To search for a page, type your search query into the search box located in the top right corner of any PortlandWiki page.[3]

Consider visiting PortlandWiki's Sandbox page, where PortlandWiki contributors can freshen up their wiki markup skills.

Page structure

To create a new page, please include a minimal page structure, something like:

Clever paragraph header here

Grab your reader's attention with an eye-catching paragraph headline.

Next: two or three sentences about your subject

Now write a witty, light-of-heart (yet heavy of mind) opening paragraph.

OPAL's Rally for the BUS, held in front of Portland City Hall on September 1st, 2010.

Want an image with that?

The appropriate image[4] (one that won't permanently freak out a well-disciplined nun or psychologically harm a small child) can brighten up any wiki page. Here's how you can include an image:

  • First, upload your pic by clicking the "Upload file" menu located under the "Toolbox" heading shown in the list of menu items on the left side of the page.
  • Next, click on the Edit menu (instructions below) and insert the wiki text to display your image.

The wiki text to display the image shown on the right is
[[File:Stop-TriMet-Service-Cuts-Rally.JPG|thumb|400px|[[OPAL]]'s [ Rally for the BUS], held in front of [[Portland City Hall]] on September 1st, 2010.]]


Burdened by an empire in decline, plummeting literacy rates and petty little verbal jabs -- like the U.S. becoming “Europe’s Mexico”[5] -- flung our way by high-minded Eurotrash from Old Europe's crustier regions, Americans have a lot to celebrate!


Because we've got videos!!!

Not only that, but we've got a handy little tool called VideoFlash installed on PortlandWiki! That means you can embed videos in the articles you edit.

Here's an example of the code you use:

<div class="thumb tright"><div class="thumbinner" style="">
<div class="thumbcaption">[ She's Alive... Beautiful... Finite... Hurting... Worth Dying for.]</div></div></div>
  1. The top line -- <div class="thumb tright"><div class="thumbinner" style=""> -- aligns your video to the right of the article and allows text to wrap beside it.
  2. The middle line -- <videoflash>nGeXdv-uPaw</videoflash> -- contains the video code -- nGeXdv-uPaw -- sandwiched between the videoflash tags.
  3. The last line...
<div class="thumbcaption">[ She's Alive... Beautiful... Finite... Hurting... Worth Dying for.]</div></div></div>
...contains the "caption" for your video that you can link back to its source.

The results are what you see to the right on this page! Yaaaay!!!

Find the specific code configurations for many of the most popular video formats here:


Image & Video Tricks

Faking a "thumb" with alt "link"

How about a handy list?


Templates are handy pages that simplify text, image or object insertion.


With this example, we'll use a simple {{Foo}} template to insert the word "Foo" into a simple limerick:

There once was a man named McGoo
Who fixed things with a dollop of glue
He reached in his pocket
To fix brok'n locket
And pulled out a handful of Foo

To use the {{Foo}} template, simply follow the instructions on the Foo template page.


Now let's show an example that employs PortlandWiki's lovely li'l {{Foo}} template with our nice 'n' handy {{Bar}} template in this simple lyric:

Baby you can Foo my Bar
Yes I'm gonna be Foo Bar
Baby you can Foo my Bar
And maybe I'll Foo Bar

To use the {{Bar}} template, simply follow the instructions on the Bar template page.


OK. You maybe you're thinking "why should I waste my time inserting {{Foo}} or {{Bar}} templates when I can just simply type Foo or Bar?"

Good point! But have you considered what you could accomplish with a more robust template? A template, say, like PortlandWiki's handy and useful {{McDork}} template, for instance?

PortlandWiki's "McDork" template is a simple limerick template that will appear wherever you insert the code as shown here:


This is the result:

Gal From McDork
There once was a gal from McDork
When she wanted to drink she pulled cork
Aft' she spent her last ducat
She would reach for her bucket
What she left there you could eat with a fork

Other Template Resources

PortlandWiki's collection of "special" wiki templates.
PortlandWiki's "categorical" collection of infobox templates.
SPECIAL NOTE: Copying complex templates from one wiki to another.

Tags or Categories

Did you just create or edit a restaurant article? If it's not already tagged with the "Restaurants" category, tag it with the following bit of code at the end of the article:

  • [[Category: Restaurants]]

See PortlandWiki's fine and upstanding list of "categories" (or "tags") for details:

Take a peek under our skirts

Want to see what actual wiki text (wiki formatting mark-up code)[6] looks like so you can "try this at home"? Yes? Click here. (You can also click the "Edit" menu, sandwiched between the "Read" and "View history" menus, which are all located just to the left of the Search box situated at the top, right of each page.)

Useful external links are a nice distraction

wikEd - In-browser wiki text editor.
Templates (like Template:Meetup)

Refer Readers to References!

  1. Wikipedia Cheatsheet
  2. Help:Starting a new page
  3. Help:Searching
  4. Help:Images
  5. Next Low-Wage Haven: USA
  6. Help:Wiki markup