How To Edit Pages

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In order to edit a page, you must be logged in with a userid and password. To obtain a free userid and password, you must contact the Museum Curator. Once you are logged in, you can edit any page which has the edit tab at the top. Just click the edit tab and the page text is displayed in an editor. Make the changes you need, fill in the Summary text box at the bottom with a short description of what changes you made, and then click the "Show preview" button to make sure everything came out as expected. If not, the editor is at the bottom of the Preview page so you can make appropriate changes and try again. Once satisfied, click the "Save page" button.
When inside the editor, you will see the page source code. It consists of a lot of HTML tags and special wiki constructs that surround the actual information. This is where you add your changes. Don't worry. We provide special code templates so you do not need to understand HTML or the wiki constructs. You just have to copy and paste the template and then type in your information at the appropriate places.


The Basics
At the bottom of many editable pages, there is a link to a help page that describes in technical detail how to edit that page and includes the code templates for adding new content. Through the use of such help pages and code templates, we've tried to set it up such that you do not need to know any HTML to edit pages and add content. Just copy and paste the code template and then modify it as needed. We recommend that you open the help page in a separate window so you can refer back to it while editing (usually you can do a right-click on the link and select the option to open it in a new tab or window).

There are a few common tasks specific to the wiki environment that will be helpful for you to understand.

If you wish to drink from the firehose, you can read the Wikimedia help page on editing a wiki page.
We'll admit that wading through HTML code looks pretty ugly but, by using the templates, you don't actually have to know any of it. All the pages pretty much use the same technique so once you've edited one, you shouldn't have any problems. If there is already an entry on the page, the easiest thing to do is copy and paste it and then change the parts that need to be changed, otherwise use the template from the associated help page.

If you do run into trouble, you can always cancel the editing session via the Cancel link at the bottom. The system automatically creates backups of each page so even if you totally mess up, we can easily recover the last clean copy. And you can always contact the Curator for assistance. So try it and don't worry.


Hands-on Tutorials
These tutorials walk you through the steps on how to perform the most common updates to the Museum. You will perform actual updates to some test pages so you can get the hang of it before making updates to the main pages. You will need a userid and password to do most of these tutorials so contact the Curator if you don't already have one.
All tutorials are access from the Tutorials Main Page.


Instructions for editing existing pages in the Museum


Templates to use when creating new pages in the Museum


HTML Basics

There are a couple of HTML tags that are used frequently in these pages. For the most part, you will not need to worry about them since you should use the provided templates and just fill in the relevant sections. However, in case you are interested, here is a brief explanation for the most common tags:



Tables are an easy way to organize and format data in columns. The table starts with the <table> tag and ends with the </table> tag. Within a table there may be one or more rows. Rows start with the <tr> tag and end with the </tr> tag. Within a row there may be one or more columns. Columns start with the <td> tag and end with the </td> tag. "td" stands for "table data" but each one corresponds to a table column.




There are two types of lists: ordered and unordered. Ordered lists add a number to the front of each "list item" and unordered lists just use a bullet. Ordered lists start with an <ol> tag and end with an </ol> tag and unordered lists start wtih a <ul> and end with a </ul> tag. Within either type of list are list items that start with a <li> tag and end with a </li> tag.



The <br/> tag is a "line break" tag and causes the current line of text to end and everything after it to be put on a new line. The <p> and </p> tags mark the start and end of a paragraph of text. An empty line is placed before the paragraph to set it apart from the text above it. The &nbsp; is a non-breaking space which means that the HTML processor will not compress or ignore it (usually multiple spaces are collapsed down to one space unless you use &nbsp;).



Text within the <b> and </b> tags will be bold. The <hr/> tag displays a horizontal rule (straight line) across the page.


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