Wiki Formatting

Overview ¶ 

Adding content to a wiki is straight forward—it just requires a basic knowledge of wiki syntax. So, what is wiki syntax? It's a simple set of commands that format your wiki. Don't panic. You don't need to be a computer expert to use it. With a little practice, wiki syntax becomes second nature.

Below is a list of some of the basic commands you'll need to know in order to write a wiki of your very own. Once you've mastered these basics, go to Advanced Wiki Formatting for additional tips.

Want to add a link to your wiki? Links are automatically created for things that look like URLs. You must, however, begin that URL with (http://, https://, ftp://, etc.). Here's an example:

http://www.ifixit.com

That bit of wiki syntax gets translated to http://www.ifixit.com. If you want your own text to appear in place of a full web address, then you'll need to get a bit more complex. Just add a vertical bar after the web address and then insert the title you'd prefer for the link. Take a look at the wiki syntax below:

[http://www.ifixit.com|iFixit]

On a wiki, it becomes iFixit.

If you would like your newly created link to open in a new tab or window, just add the following wiki syntax to your link:

[http://www.ifixit.com|iFixit|new_window=true]

Let's say you'd like to add a link to an internal wiki page, instead of an outside site. Wiki links look and behave very similarly to normal links, but are enclosed in double square brackets. As before, you have the option of supplying your own link name (as seen in the second example) :

* [[Help:Wiki Syntax]]
* [[Help:Wiki Syntax|A link to this article]]

This yields the following:

The link is given by the article's name with an optional namespace on the front, separated by a colon. If no namespace is supplied, then the default namespace is used. The square brackets and vertical bar are a common pattern you'll see applied throughout our wiki syntax.

You can also generate links to multiple wiki articles at once using the wikilist tag and then listing all the categories of articles you'd like to include, separated by a comma. A given article must match all of the listed tags in order to be displayed. Assuming you pick tags that actually match some articles, you'll get a tabular layout of article links, each link consisting of a thumbnail image and the article title. You can also narrow the search beyond the tags, to a particular namespace. You might use the tag like this:

== Articles about Category X ==

[wikilist|category-x]

== Category X articles that are also about Category Y ==

[wikilist|category-x,category-y]

== A list of Category X articles titled as "Category X" ==

[wikilist|category-x|title=Category X]

== Info articles about Category X ==

[wikilist|category-x|namespace=Info]

You can add tags to an article from the article's edit page.

Adding a link to one of your guides is easy. Guide links automatically add in the title of the guide that they link to. Or, if you like you can specify the text that shows up for the link. You just need to identify the specific guide that you want. To do so, locate the numeric code on the guide page's URL; this number is called the numeric identifier. For example, in the URL below the numeric identifier for the guide is 132. The identifier will always be near the end of the URL, right after the guide title.

http://www.ifixit.com/Guide/Repair/Installing-iBook-G3-12-Inch-Display/132/1

Here's an example of how you could use a guide link:

* [guide|132]
* [guide|132|So you broke your display...]

This syntax yields:

In many places, you can just use a plain link to the guide page, and it'll be converted into a guide link for you.

This section only applies to iFixit.com

Product links work very similarly to guide links; they link to products in a more meaningful way than a bare URL. Like guide links, product links use the product's current title as the link text by default, but the link text can also be customized. To link to a specific product, find its product code, which is on the product page. As with guide links, you can just use a bare link to a product page and it'll be converted into a product link for you.

For example:

* [product|IF145-002]
* [product|IF145-002|If you buy one tool...]

That wiki syntax translates into the following:

Font Styles ¶ 

Plain text ain't good enough for you? Here's a cheat sheet of the wiki syntax you'll need to create different font styles:

* ''Italic''
* '''Bold'''
* '''''Super bold'''''
* ``monospace``
* x^^2^^ (superscript)
* H,,2,,O (subscript)
* ~~Strike-through~~
* ++Underlined++

Here's what the wiki syntax translates to:

  • Italic
  • Bold
  • Super bold
  • monospace
  • x2 (superscript)
  • H2O (subscript)
  • Strike-through
  • Underlined

These styles should really only be used on plain text, not newlines. It's okay to put them around things like links, but only if it's necessary. These styles are not intended to be used within link tags on the custom link text.

Lists ¶ 

We've been using lists all over this example page, so you've already seen simple lists in action. In the list of font styles directly above, for example, notice how an asterisk at the beginning of each item in our wiki syntax produced a bulleted list item on the actual wiki article.

But let's say you need to create a really complicated list, with lots of sub-sections. Simple bullets won't cut it there. But don't despair! You can create complex lists.

Add an asterisk for each level you would like a sub-section indented in your list. So, if one asterisk produces a regular bullet, two asterisks indent the bullet, three asterisks indent the bullet even further, and so on. These indents show the relationship between sections and sub-sections, as you can see in the example below.

If you'd like to use a numbered list, just insert a pound sign (#) instead of an asterisk. You can mix numbered and unordered lists, but you must be consistent within each list.

Here's an example of a complex list with sub-sections and numbered items:

* Macs
** Mac Laptops
### iBook
### MacBook
### ...
** Mac Desktops
### iMac
### Mac mini
### ...
* iPods
## Mini
## Nano
## ...

That jumble of pound signs and asterisks becomes the following:

  • Macs
    • Mac Laptops
      1. iBook
      2. MacBook
      3. ...
    • Mac Desktops
      1. iMac
      2. Mac mini
      3. ...
  • iPods
    1. Mini
    2. Nano
    3. ...

Note that exactly one new line separates each line of the list. Putting a blank line between two lines of a list will result in two lists, which isn't usually what you want.

Headings ¶ 

Headings for sections and sub-sections are the structure of a wiki. Create headings and sub-sections by wrapping a line of text in two or more equal signs (=). You can make any sub-section up to six levels deep—that's six matching pairs of equal signs around a single sub-section.

When you add sub-sections, each pair of matching equal signs makes the heading smaller. The more matching pairs you add to a sub-section, the less significant the sub-section becomes. As a note, you can't wrap a section with a single pair of equal signs (like this: =generic heading=), because that heading is reserved for the title of the entire page. Consider the title of the page as the first "section" of the article.

It's sounds complicated, but it's not. This example shows how wrapping equal signs around headings and sub-headings structures a wiki article:

A wiki on something generic
== A heading ==
=== A sub-section heading ===
==== A sub-sub-section heading ====
===== And so on... =====
== A new heading ==

After you structure your headings and sub-headings, just add text, images, and videos under the appropriate sections.

Paragraphs ¶ 

Paragraphs happen more-or-less automatically, so you shouldn't have to think about them too much.

Here's how they work: Any time you separate lines of text with a blank line, each block of text is made into a paragraph (unless it's a list or a heading). A good rule of thumb is to separate each logical thing in your document with a blank line.

Below is a simple example of how to separate paragraphs with blank lines in a wiki:

=== A Simple Example ===

The stuff written here makes up the first paragraph of this example.

Since the previous paragraph is separated from this text with a blank line, these lines become the second paragraph. Now, here is a list for the paragraph:

* A list with a few items:
** Item one.
** Item two.
** Item three.

Now that one more blank line has been added, we can move on to the third and final paragraph. Here endeth the lesson.

That wiki syntax yields this simple set of paragraphs:

A Simple Example ¶ 

The stuff written here makes up the first paragraph of this example.

Since the previous paragraph is separated from this text with a blank line, these lines become the second paragraph. Now, here is a list for the paragraph:

  • A list with a few items:
    • Item one.
    • Item two.
    • Item three.

Now that one more blank line has been added, we can move on to the third and final paragraph. Here endeth the lesson.

Manual Line Breaks ¶ 

The line spacing automatically widens every time you start a new line of text, as the wiki assumes you are beginning a new paragraph. If you'd like to start a new line without the spacing adjustment, simply break the line manually, using the [br] tag. The new line will then revert to standard spacing.

So, let's say you're a fan of Willie Nelson's iconic version of "On the Road Again," and you'd really like to put the lyrics on a wiki. Of course, lyrics have an awful lot of line breaks, which means the wiki will automatically elongate the spaces between lines. Your lyrics will look like this:

On the road again—

Just can't wait to get on the road again.

The life I love is making music with my friends

And I can't wait to get on the road again.

That's a lot of space between lines. Just use the [br] tag to go back to less "roomy" spacing—like this:

On the road again—[br]
Just can't wait to get on the road again.[br]
The life I love is making music with my friends[br]
And I can't wait to get on the road again.[br]

And voila! The extra space disappears:

On the road again—
Just can't wait to get on the road again.
The life I love is making music with my friends
And I can't wait to get on the road again.

Clear ¶ 

If you ever find a case where you find text or images are just not floating how you'd like it, you can add a clear tag and that will force a break between the right/left aligned image and the other non-aligned element.

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