Help:Basic MediaWiki Syntax

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This is a brief introduction to MediaWiki source syntax. For a more comprehensive guide, see here.


Description You type You get
Applies anywhere
Italicise text



Bold text



Bold and italic

'''''bold & italic'''''

bold & italic

Internal link

(within the Computer History wiki)
This, and the one above, can be combined.

[[name of page]]
[[name of page|display text]]
[[name of page#heading]]

name of page
display text
name of page#heading

Wikipedia style, followed here, is generally to only link the first instance of a term on a page.
External link

(to other websites)
The middle one is much preferred.

[ display text]

display text

Text can be commented out

matching <!-- and --> around text to be ignored

Sign your posts
on talk pages


Your username 23:49,
23 July 2024 (UTC)

Items below only apply at the beginning of a line

A Table of Contents will automatically be generated when four headings are added to an article.

For a reason that has been lost in the mists of time, Wikipedia (and thus here) uses '==' as the top level section marker; '=' seems to work now, but please keep up the style.

== Level 1 ==
=== Level 2 ===
==== Level 3 ====
===== Level 4 =====
====== Level 5 ======

Level 1

Level 2

Level 3

Level 4
Level 5
Indented items

(used mostly on Talk: pages)

: foo
:: bar

Bullet list

* one
* two
** two point one
* three

  • one
  • two
    • two point one
  • three
Numbered list

# one
# two
## two point one
# three

  1. one
  2. two
    1. two point one
  3. three

Pre-formatted text

There are a number of ways to include pre-formatted text (e.g. source code fragments); all of these techniques also use a fixed-width font for the text:

  • Start each line with a space character; normal markups can be used; e.g.:

" This is '''pre-formatted''' text"


This is pre-formatted text
  • Use the HTML <nowiki> tag, with a space character before the <nowiki>. (Remember to add a matching closing tag after the pre-formatted text block).
  • Use the HTML <pre> tag (again, remember the closing tag).

Note that the HTML <blockquote> tag only indents the block; text within it will still be justified.


{| class="wikitable" style="text-align: center;"
! Table !! Prototype
| colspan="2" | Headers
| aa || rowspan="2" | yy
| bb
| cc || zz


Table Prototype
aa yy
cc zz


Including the special form:

[[File:Pdp1115.jpg|thumb|150px|left|Caption text]]


Caption text

(The legacy keyword 'Image' may be used in place of "File".) Leaving out the "150px" inserts the image full-size. The optional keywords 'left' and 'right' can be added to control the horizontal placement.

(Notice that this text fills up around the image. Add a <br clear=all> after the image line to force the text to re-start below the image.)

New images can be uploaded via the 'Upload file' page (link on the left-hand side of all pages).

A lengthy tutorial on images is here; complete specifications for the use of the 'File' special form are available here and here.

See also