Wikipedia:VisualEditor

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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Enable VisualEditor. Read VisualEditor's User Guide.
VisualEditor is enabled by default for new registered editors. If it is not enabled for you, and you are logged in, go to Preferences, click Editing, check Enable the visual editor, and click Save. Or use this sandbox link for testing. Find out how to make links, add or move images, create citations, insert templates, edit tables, and more. Use Phabricator to report problems with Visual Editor. Please include your web browser, computer operating system, and Wikipedia skin (usually Vector (2022), sometimes Vector Legacy (2010)). Start a new Phabricator ticket.
As of mid-2023, editors at the English Wikipedia have used VisualEditor to make more than 25 million edits.

Welcome to the portal for VisualEditor, an editing tool currently under development by the Wikimedia Foundation (WMF). It allows users to contribute to Wikipedia without the prerequisite need to learn or understand the underlying language and formatting beforehand. Before the release of this tool, the only way for users to make contributions to Wikipedia was by using the 'Source editor', which requires users to understand wiki markup or wikitext in order for their intended edits to be formatted and displayed how they were intended; however, VisualEditor provides a new way for people to edit articles and pages and without the need to understand any code or markup. The WMF staff hopes that this tool will encourage more readers to become editors knowing that this editing tool is now available.

Even after the eventual anticipated full-feature release of VisualEditor, experienced editors may still prefer editing with wikitext because they find it faster and more precise. It will also be needed for editing all discussion pages. Editors who enable VisualEditor will always have the Source editor option available from the toolbar on every page, as the WMF has no plans to remove this.

VisualEditor still has many bugs and missing features. If you encounter an issue using the VisualEditor on Wikipedia.org or another Wikimedia project (ie., not on a third-party wiki), you can report it on the MediaWiki Feedback page. WMF staff prefer that you report bugs via the Phabricator bug tracking website.

About VisualEditor

VisualEditor is a "visual" way of editing Wikipedia that allows people to contribute without having to learn wiki markup. This rich-text editor was made available as an opt-in release on the English-language Wikipedia in December 2012, in 14 other languages in April 2013, and in most other languages at the beginning of June 2013. As of April 2015, it was available by default to users of about 76% of the language editions of Wikipedias and as an opt-in beta feature to the rest, along with most non-Wikipedia projects except Wiktionary and Wikisource. On English Wikipedia, it is enabled by default for new users.[1]

As of 2021, the visual editor is used about half as often as the 2010 wikitext editor, and about as often as the mobile web editor. It is used about twice as often as Twinkle.

To learn more about using VisualEditor, please read the guide to VisualEditor and the list of common keyboard shortcuts. Your help with the many tasks that need to be done is appreciated. You can also receive regular status updates on your talk page by signing up for the VisualEditor newsletter.

Limitations

Current known limitations include:

  • Not available in talk or discussion namespaces – On the English Wikipedia, VisualEditor is not enabled for any talk pages, on the Template or Wikipedia namespaces, and on several of the namespaces that are rarely edited. The "Edit" button for VisualEditor is not available on pages where VisualEditor cannot be used. The Reply tool has a visual mode based on VisualEditor, as well as a wikitext mode with a live preview.
  • Incomplete editing functionality – The content of some complex formatting, including definition lists, will display and can be edited, but editors using VisualEditor cannot modify certain details. Multi-column lists are edited through the complex transclusion dialog, which is difficult. Table editing on Mobile doesn't work properly. Adding features in this area is one of the developers' priorities.
  • Requires JavaScript – If VisualEditor is not available in your browser, or if you have turned off Javascript, then you will see the buttons for the wikitext editor only.
  • Numeric reference names – Currently, VE automatically adds numeric ref names with a colon prefix, i.e., ":0", ":1", ":2", and so on. There has long been interest in having VE support named references.
  • Slower – Loading longer pages into VisualEditor can be significantly slower than the source editor for some users.[2]
  • Cannot edit a single section – VisualEditor loads and submits only entire pages. Clicking an edit link for a section will scroll to the appropriate section upon opening. In VisualEditor's model, editing sections would be paradoxically slower than editing the whole page. [Note: Opening an entire page for editing does not increase edit conflicts, which are (roughly) based on editing the same paragraph.]
  • Limited support for user scripts – Most user scripts do not work when using VisualEditor; it is up to the script's developer to add support for VisualEditor.
  • Cannot upload non-free images – At this time, images that are uploaded inside either the wikitext editor or VisualEditor are sent directly to the Wikimedia Commons, which does not accept non-free images. All images that fall under Wikipedia's non-free content policy must instead be stored on Wikipedia using the File Upload Wizard. Commons also runs a filter to reject many images uploaded by editors who have not made many prior edits to Commons, especially for small or low-resolution images.
  • Data in merged cells is deleted – If rows or columns are moved across them. Workaround: Unmerge the affected areas before moving, and merge them again afterwards.
  • Wikilink changes – May unnecessarily turn a simple link into a piped link when a change to the link text involves redirects.
  • Template issues
    • Parameters are wikitext, not rich text – VisualEditor lets you edit the parameters of template transclusions, but only as "wikitext" (so "[[Foo]]" or nested templates like "{{Foo|{{Bar}}}}", not "Foo" or "{{Foo|{{Bar}}}}").
    • Footnotes – Footnotes inside templates (most commonly, infoboxes and {{reflist}}) are not visible in the "reuse" dialog, causing discrepancies in the numbering of footnotes displayed at the bottom of the main VisualEditor editing window. Similarly, VisualEditor is not compatible with articles using list-defined references.
    • Unable to customize parameter order – VisualEditor does not give you the ability to customize the order in which template parameters are listed. This could cause problems with articles or sets of articles where there is an established, consistent order for templates, especially citation templates.
    • Changes template parameter and value alignment – Especially with infoboxes, VisualEditor can sometimes modify spacing done for parameter and value alignment purposes and add a space after each pipe. Note that this is a deliberate feature of TemplateData that can be managed in the documentation of a given template; see mw:Help:TemplateData#Custom formats for detailed information.
    • Table-formatting unawareness – Popular table cell templates (e.g. yes, no, tba, n/a) can cause issues. The reason is that these templates contain a pipe character to separate formatting and text, but VisualEditor isn't aware of this. As a result, table operations which change the table structure, such as merging/splitting cells or inserting/deleting/moving rows or columns, may not work properly.
    • Unbalanced code – VisualEditor struggles with templates that pass a bit of incomplete code, with markup, to another template or table. These may display oddly or may not be editable if selected in VisualEditor.

You can click "Review your changes" to review the wikitext changes before saving a page. Please report any problems you see, after first searching open VE tickets to make sure it hasn't been reported already..

How to help out

Help is needed to make VisualEditor as good as it can be: You can find and report bugs and ideas for improvements or lend a hand in many other tasks, such as:

  • Updating help pages – All Wikimedia Foundation projects have help pages to make contributing easier for new editors. Unfortunately, the full launch of VisualEditor will make obsolete the screenshots and tutorials in these help pages, because they describe how to edit using the markup editor. Therefore, the VisualEditor development team needs help updating help pages. The user guide to VisualEditor is a starting place for text for the new help pages.
  • Adding TemplateData code to template documentation pages – VisualEditor features an interactive template editor—described in more detail in the user guide—and as you'll see if you use it on Wikipedia, some templates display named parameters and nice descriptions that make the interactive template editor easy to use. However, other templates lack them, because they need TemplateData code added to their documentation pages for this feature to work. If you're interested in adding TemplateData, read the guide for it and a list of some of the most transcluded templates that may still need TemplateData added to their documentation.
  • Help new users – Even though editing with VisualEditor may be easier, learning policies and guidelines and how to interact with the community is always challenging for new editors. You can help by spending time at the appropriate venues: the Help desk, the Teahouse, and the help chatroom. Additionally, please feel free to monitor the Category of Wikipedians looking for help.
  • Report errors, and suggest improvements – Read about how to write a bug report or feature request, then start a new Phabricator ticket.


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Userbox

You can signal to other editors your use of the VisualEditor on your userpage by using the userbox User:Psiĥedelisto/Userboxes/VisualEditor. See that page for all the options available, three of which are shown here.

Notes

  1. ^ "visualeditor-nondefault.dblist". gerrit.wikimedia.org. Retrieved 28 December 2021. (List of Wikiprojects that do not have VisualEditor enabled by default for new users)
  2. ^ For data on VisualEditor performance, see this Grafana dashboard

External links

Subpage Index