Editing Guide

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Am I being stupid?
Am I being stupid?

As there are many users who have some valuable information, but simply don´t know how to edit existing pages and add new ones to the wiki, here is a brief manual explaining the most relevant actions necessary for everyday editing.

Note that there is a Sandbox where you can practise editing whenever you like.

IMPORTANT NOTE: You have to be a registered member at Pyroguide.com to edit pages! Forum users are not simultaneously registered members at the wiki! These are two separate systems and all individuals desiring to use both, wiki and forum, have to register twice!

  • Editing existing pages

Although no pages are created by editing existing information, only constant reviews/additions/corrections done by users will warrant the quality of Pyroguide! Say you are reading an existing article and want to edit it (given you have a reason to do so), click "Edit" (the third button shown above the name of the page). A text editor window will appear, transforming the article´s contents into an editable text. Here you can add or remove information by simply writing it down or deleting it with the backspace button of your keyboard. Whenever you desire to see how your edits will change the page you are editing, click "Show preview" below the text editor window. This will display a preview of the page along with the same text window placed below. You can continue editing or click "Save page". Important: Whenever viewing a preview your recent changes have not yet been saved and are lost if you exit the preview without clicking save page! Before clicking "Save page" you can also tell the users what you did by typing a brief info in the summary (above the Save Page button). This will help other users grasp in how far the page has been changed.

  • Formatting text

The text editor window allows you to format your text e.g. to highlight important terms by displaying them in bold or italic, or to make links to other articles in the wiki. Note the toolbar above the text field! Simply mark the text with your mouse and click on the black "B" to make it bold or on the "I" to make it italic.

If you want your text to include links to other wiki pages, you can use the third button from the right named "Ab". Note that the linked terms have to exactly match the name of the linked page to work; this includes capitalisation. Click "show preview" to see the highlighted linked terms: if they are displayed in blue, the link works, if in red, it does not. (If you make links to pages not yet existing, these will also be shown in red, but as soon as the pages are created, all links connected with them will automatically change color.)

The other buttons in the toolbar are less important and you can discover them on your own.

Note: If you click buttons in the toolbar, special codes will appear in the text, but the final look of any formatting action is only seen by clicking "Show preview"!

To assure that the edited article is a comfortable read, it is a good idea to use paragraphs. These are made by hitting the Enter key on your keyboard. Make sure that you hit it twice; if you don´t, the wiki will play dumb and doesn´t display a paragraph in the final text.

If you want to make simple bullets like I did (the little square before every headline), just type in a star (as seen on your keyboard).

  • Creating new pages

Before creating a new page, it is essential to make sure that the same or a very similar page does not exist yet. If it does, it may be a better idea to review and to probably expand it by adding your own info. Now how do you know that a page is already existing? Well, you can explore the wiki on your own or you can consult the search engine found as a part of the navigation bar at the very left of your browser window!

Here you can type in keywords to search for. Whenever doing so in an attempt to create a new page, it is a good idea to try using keywords completely or very closely matching the possible title of an article, e.g. to use the keywords "Cylinder Shell (3")" instead of only "Shell". Don´t get me wrong: both versions will yield search results (given there are some to display), but the former practice has a specific advantage: if there is no existing page completely or closely matching the keywords, you can directly proceed by making a new one with these keywords acting as its title. To do so, take a look at the very first text-line shown on the "Search results" site. Given no existing article matched your keywords, this line will say: "There is no page titled "XY"". Note that "XY" is highlighted in red, saying it is a dead link. To create a new page with this title, all you have to do is to click this dead link! You will be transferred to a blank text editor window where you can start editing your new page as usual. In any case, don´t forget to save your edits by clicking "Save page" ;-).

  • Categorizing new pages

Once you saved and left the page you just created, you may wonder where it is... Say you created a tutorial and wonder why it is not listed under the sidebar category "Tutorials". In fact, there´s nothing special about that as long as you didn´t categorize your page. Non-categorized pages are still saved on the server, but - although still displayed as a search result - cannot be selected by clicking a category. Note that such pages are basically useless for other members as it is likely that they don´t know about their existence. On the other hand, you can use this fact to your advantage if you did not yet finish your page and don´t want large numbers of users to access it prematurely: simply don´t categorize it until you´re done!

To categorize your page, make a paragraph at its bottom and type in the following command: Category: XXXXX, with XXXXX standing for every existing category (you can´t use categories not existing). To make this work, you have to put these words between four squared (!) brackets, two at their left (with the opening towards the right), two at their right (with the opening towards the left). For the sake of ease, just mark the command and click the "Ab" button in the toolbar! You may ask why I don´t simply give the full command here; the reason is that the program would treat it as a working categorization! As categorizations actually are codes, they are not displayed in the final text. However, you can check if your categorization worked by taking a look either below the final page (there is a framed area in grey, listing the categories a page has been put in: working categorisations are highlighted in blue, others in red) or into the sidebar category you wanted it to be displayed in (simply click it and have a look if your page is there, under the correct letter).

Say that you created a tutorial; type Category:Tutorials . Don´t forget the brackets!! Note that correct capitalisation is important, so Category: tutorials or category: Tutorials will not work!

Here are all working categorisation commands currently existing:





Category:Pyrotechnic effects






Category:Charts and Tables

  • Uploading pictures

It´s a good idea to illustrate pages using pictures; this is especially true in case of tutorials where photos of the manufacturing process are given as an illustration of the written guide. To insert pics into wiki pages you usually have to upload them from your computer first.

Before I describe how this is done, let me briefly say a few things about picture files. Try to resize your original pics to a size managable for the server! Huge pics will usually consume a lot of server memory and will take a considerable amount of time to upload. Furthermore, for illustrating the wiki there simply is no need for high resolution pics as they will be incorporated into the text as small thumbnails anyway. Believe me when I say that 800 x 600 pixels are plently resolution for wiki pictures! To assure that the pics come in the right size it´s usually not enough to transfer them from your digital camera to the computer and to use them as is, especially if you are using a high resolution digicam. Instead I recommend using a simple viewer/editor program such as Ifran View; this not only allows you to make quick resizes, it´s also handy to crop your pics to assure that they show relevant content at the right size. After resizing pics it´s always a good idea to apply "Sharpen". Save your resized pics as a JPEG file!

Once your pics are resized and ready to go, you´ll have to upload them to the Pyroguide server. This is done by clicking the text "Upload file" found as a part of the navigation bar at the very left of your browser window. A new site will appear. Click the "Browse..." button to browse your computer and - once you reached right folder - select the picture file previously saved. Click the "Open" button in your dialogue box. This will insert the correct path into the "Upload file" window, along with a default destination filename you can alter if you want. In either case, make sure you remember this destination filename correctly, including capitalisation and file extension, as you´ll have to specify it correctly once you attempt to insert your pic into a wiki page (as described below)! It´s a good idea to give a brief description of your file in the "Summary" field; this makes it easier to grasp for other users what´s the content of a specific file. Once you´re done, upload your file to the server by clicking the "Upload file" button. (Note that uploaded files are listed on the page "File list" found under the link "Special pages"!) Note that other file types such as videos are uploaded in exactly the same way.

  • Inserting pictures into wiki pages


Upcoming: Adding pictures, formulas, tables; Using recent changes; User´s pages, Special pages etc.

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