Help:Getting Started

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Contents | Getting Started | Guidelines | Markup | References | Images | Categories | Templates | What Now?

This page will help you better understand how Coppermind works and how you can contribute.

Your Account[edit]

The first thing you should do is create an account. The button to do this is in the top right corner, and it's very easy to do! Then visit the Preferences link (top right corner) and make changes to your account settings if you'd like.

If you want to upload images or create new articles, please contact the wiki staff and request editor rights.

The Number One Rule[edit]

The most important thing for you to hear: You can't mess anything up!

Don't worry about making a mistake or doing something wrong. Every revision you make is recorded and can be reverted with a few fast clicks of the mouse. It's okay if you have bad spelling, don't cite sources, get your facts wrong, or ruin an entire page. There are plenty of other editors who will sweep in to fix or improve upon your work.

Anything you can provide is helpful: whether that's writing new articles from scratch or just fixing a punctuation error. Don't let fear of mistakes turn you away from editing, and don't feel like you need to read EVERY help page before you start contributing.

Editing[edit]

In the top right corner you should see three tabs: Read, Edit, and History. Read is what you're probably familiar with; it's how you read pages, and it opens by default. Let's talk about the other two...

Edit Tab[edit]

Navigate to a page you want to edit and choose this tab to make changes. Editing uses a basic markup language for formatting, which you'll want to get familiar with. We'll talk about this more on the Help:Markup page. It's not hard! At the bottom of the page you can choose to see a preview, compare your changes with the existing version of the page, or save your work. Provide a brief summary of your edits before saving, and check the box if the changes are relatively minor--these steps will help other editors keep track of changes easier.

Note that you can also edit a specific section of an article by clicking the [edit] button next to a section title.

History Tab[edit]

The History tab lists all previous versions of the page you're on. You can see when the versions were created, who was responsible, the size of the changes (measured in bytes), and a few other details. You can also compare two versions directly against one another.

Creating New Pages[edit]

To create a new page, navigate to it first. You can enter the title you want directly into the URL, search for it in the search bar in the top right corner, or click a red link. Creating a page is just like editing an existing page--you simply begin with a blank slate.

Red Links[edit]

Links to other pages on the wiki which do not yet exist will show up in a red font. Clicking such a link will bring you to a page where you can search for something different or create the page.

Discussion Pages[edit]

Every page on the wiki has an associated discussion page, and it's accessible via a tab in the top left corner of the page. It's there to talk about changes, make recommendations, and so on. If you have a more immediate question about an article, you can alternatively post on the 17th Shard or Discord. For more on proper discussion page usage, see Help:Discussion.

User Pages[edit]

You can visit (or create) your own user page by clicking your username in the top right corner. Use this to tell others about who you are and what you're working on, if you'd like. You can also use it as a sandbox to experiment with new articles or more extensive edits before you change the real thing.

You can create additional subpages as well. Just append a backslash (/) to the URL of your user page, followed by the name for the subpage.

Other Resources[edit]

A few other pages on Coppermind to be aware of:

Contributions
This link, in the top right corner, will give you a history of all changes that you have made.
Recent Changes
The Recent Changes page, towards the top of the sidebar on the left, will give you a list of all edits that have been made on Coppermind by all users.
Editor's Corner
The Editor's Corner, towards the top of the sidebar on the left, provides some basic statistics about Coppermind that editors may find useful.
Special Pages
Special:SpecialPages provides a very long list of other pages you may find useful.

Categories and Templates[edit]

Over the course of this guide you'll hear about categories and templates. We'll cover them towards the end, because a full explanation is on the more advanced side of what we'll talk about. But you'll see them come up here and there in the meantime. So let's talk basics.

Categories
Categories are tags we use to group and sort articles. You can find any article using the book/series categories listed on the Coppermind home page or using the content categories in the left sidebar. Categories are used to group articles this way. You can see what categories an article is in at the very bottom of a page. Some categories must be included manually, but many happen automatically thanks to templates.
Templates
Templates make more complicated and/or repetitive editing tricks easier to do. If you ever see something surrounded by double curly braces ({{ and }}), it's a template. The template begins with the name of the template, which is followed by a number of parameters--some required, some optional. Parameters are separated by vertical lines (|).

Namespaces[edit]

Namespaces are an advanced topic. If you'd like to know more about how Coppermind is organized and why some pages (like this one) say things like Help: before the page name, then take a look at Help:Namespaces.

New Editor's Guide
Getting Started Guidelines