Help:New User Guide

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This page contains explanations of how to create an account, edit pages, and do some basic formatting. If you have further questions that aren't answered here, check out the resources at the bottom of this page.

Browsing the Images

There are many ways to begin looking through the images on this site. If you are looking for a particular image that you know the name of (say, a Koch Snowflake), simply type the name into the Search bar on the left side of the page. If you are looking for images by a certain author, you can browse an alphabetical list of authors here. (Typing the author's name into the search bar will also get you a list of image pages by that author.) You may also search by field, topic, or difficulty. Or, you can always just jump in and go to a random page!

Creating an Account

Creating an account is as simple as can be. Click on the text Log in/Create an account in the top right of the page, and then again on Create an account. Choose a unique username and password. Once your account is created you can begin contributing immediately.

Editing

If you want to edit a particular page, you should first log in. Then click on the edit tab along the top of the article. You'll be taken to a page displaying the text of the article in its MediaWiki form, and you can just go in and make whatever changes you like. When you are done, click Show preview at the bottom to make sure it looks the way you want. If it does, click Save page.

Experimenting: If you need a place to mess around and try things out, go to Sandbox. This is on the MediaWiki site and you don't have to clean up after yourself--they send a 'bot around to do it every so often. NOTE: The software on this site is not identical to the software on the MediaWiki site, so occasionally things will work differently in the sandbox than on this site.

Boxes (as on the Main Page)

The code for the main page, or other pages organized into boxes, might look intimidating to edit if you've never used a Wiki before. The boxes are made with a template called Box, which has parameters for HEADING and CONTENT. Hence, to edit the content of a particular box, simply scroll down the edit page until you find something that says "HEADING = heading of box you want to edit", and then make your changes to the text after CONTENT just under that.

Typing Math

You can use LaTeX to display math formulas on this wiki, by enclosing it in <math>...</math>. Go here for a list of some LaTeX tutorials online.

Formatting

First of all try the formatting bar at the top of any Edit page!

Links

If you want to post a link to a website outside of this Wiki, just type the full url; for example http://www.swarthmore.edu shows up as http://www.swarthmore.edu. If you wish to use text for the link other than the url of the site, put that text after the url inside the brackets; for example, [http://www.swarthmore.edu Swarthmore College] shows up as Swarthmore College.

To link to a page within this Wiki, simply enclose the page name in double square brackets; for example, [[Main Page]] will link to the Main Page.

How to make lists

To create a bulleted list, or add a new item to one, use asterisks before the items. More asterisks indent the item further. So, for example,

 * First item
 * Second item
 ** A subcategory of the second item
 ** Another one
 *** A deeper subcategory
 * Back to the main list
 The end.

...shows up as:

  • First item
  • Second item
    • A subcategory of the second item
    • Another one
      • A deeper subcategory
  • Back to the main list

The end.

For numbered lists, use the pound sign instead of asterisks; so

 # Number one
 # Number two
 ## Subcategory
 ## Another subcategory
 ### Deeper subcategory
 # Number three
 The end.

...shows up as:

  1. Number one
  2. Number two
    1. Subcategory
    2. Another subcategory
      1. Deeper subcategory
  3. Number three

The end.

Indenting Text

To indent a whole paragraph of text, preface it with a colon. More colons indent further. So for example:

:You know, I could corrupt these children. Over the years, I could guide their innocent minds toward a life of wrongdoing--yes! I could mold them in my image, hone them into criminal geniuses, the only ones capable of carrying on my empire! Ah but who's got the time? Toss 'em in.

::~Fat Cat, from Chip 'N' Dale Rescue Rangers

...looks like:

You know, I could corrupt these children. Over the years, I could guide their innocent minds toward a life of wrongdoing--yes! I could mold them in my image, hone them into criminal geniuses, the only ones capable of carrying on my empire! Ah but who's got the time? Toss 'em in.
~Fat Cat, from Chip 'N' Dale Rescue Rangers

Making boxes by indenting a space

If you want a quick way to make a question, comment, or notice stand out, you can put in in a box simply by beginning the line with a space. NOTE: In these boxes, normal text wrapping does not apply, so if the content of the box does not fit on one line, you need to manually put in the line breaks, and put a space before each new line.

The box will look like this.

How to make sections and subsections

To create a section or subsection of a page, surround the section name with equals signs. The more equals signs, the smaller the section. The major sections of a page use two equals signs. So the code will look something like...

==Major section==
This is a main section of the page, with several subsections.

===Subsection 1===
This is the first subsection.

===Subsection 2===
Here's the second.

====Sub-subsection====
It has its own subsection!

==Another major section==
And so on.

Images

Permission Needed to Use Images

One way to give your permission to use images and other materials is to send in this statement as you post them on the site: Permission Letter to Accompany Images

How to upload an image

To upload an image, simply click on Upload file in the toolbox on the left. Choose the file you want to upload, make sure you're happy with the filename, and click Upload file.

How to put an image into a page

To simply embed an image on a page, use the code [[Image:NAME.EXT]]. You can also specify the width of the image; for example, [[Image:Rab4.jpg|200px]] will show up as

Error creating thumbnail: File missing

Creating Pages

The simplest way to create a new page is to first create a link to it on an existing page. To do so, simply type [[New Page Name]] on the existing page and save it. You will see your link showing up in red: New Page Name. Clicking on the red link will take you to a page from which you can edit and save the new page.

Making a New Image Page

If you want to create a page for a given image, first make sure you have the necessary permission to use it, and then upload the image (see above). Once you've done that, go to this list of New Image Pages and edit to add yours at the top; in other words, type

* [[IMAGE NAME]]

at the top of the list. When you save, you'll see your new page linked in red. Click on that link, and it will let you edit the new page.

There are a few options for making image pages:

Templates

Many of the image pages are created using one of a few slightly different templates. First, you should find an existing image page that you like the layout and organization of. Open it in a different window, alongside the new page you're editing. On the existing page, click Edit to see the code of the page. Select that code and copy it into the text box of the new page you're creating.

Now you just need to change the specifics to make it fit your new image rather than the one you're copying from. You'll see various paramaters with different values; for example, it might say "author=Rebecca Black". Wherever you see specific information relating to the existing image you're copying from, delete it and substitute the corresponding information about your new image (so, change it to say "author=NEW PERSON"). Only change things that relate specifically to the old image.

When you're done, preview the page to make sure it looks good. Make any final changes, and then save!

Other Options

If you're feeling very comfortable with the Wiki code, and want to strike out on your own and not copy and paste from an existing page, that's okay too! Just make sure your page displays the image nicely, contains information on the author and the source, and has good readable explanations of the math behind the image. Remember, other people can edit your pages, so if people don't like your new design they just might change it for you!

Discussing Pages

If you have questions about any particular page, you should post then on the associated "Talk" page. To do that, simply click on the Questions? tab along the left. When you leave a question, be sure to sign it by typing ~~~~ at the end. When replying to someone else's question, indent your response by putting a colon at the beginning.

Need more help?

If you have further questions about using the Wiki, check the following pages:

Keep in mind, however, that not everything described in the general Wiki help guides will work quite the same on this specific site.

Further questions?

If you have questions not answered here or on those pages, you can post them here.