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Here are some basic guidelines for starting and formatting articles. If you get lost, consult the User's Guide for information on using the wiki software.


Create Your Account

You need to do this as every article must have an owner. You cannot write/edit/talk unless you are logged-in. It also allows you to watch your articles, talk about your article, talk to other article owners, etc. These are the steps to follow:

  • Click on ‘log in/create an account’, written on the top right-hand corner of the page.
  • A dialogue box appears with the title ‘Log in’. Its first line says ‘Don’t have a login? Create an account. Click on that and fill in details.

Put in your name as User Name and not some other name, as the User Name is what will show on page. So, I would want to appear as Bhavna Seth Ranjan on page rather than bhavnathetyrant, or some such thing. Therefore, I will type in Bhavna Seth Ranjan when giving User Name. Also, remember, it is case sensitive and we’re using Upper/lower and not ALL CAPS.

Writing Guidelines

Articles written for CopperWiki have to follow the broad guidelines given below. So, if you feel that the topic chosen by you does not address or come within these parameters, then please take a relook and rework the topic so as to make it a perfect fit for CopperWiki. Of course, these parameters are not completely binding and if you feel an article can address more issues, please do add those inputs.

  • Introduce the concept/topic.
  • How does it benefit you and me?
  • How does it harm you and me?
  • Applications to daily life.
  • Broader perspective — how can the concept be applied to better the world?
  • Question established concepts.
  • Look beyond marketing myths.
  • Recall traditional knowledge.
  • How can you source it easily/make it happen.
  • Include fun facts/do-you-know points.
  • Useful links and resources

How to Start an Article on a CopperWiki Page

  • Enter your topic/title name in the GET KEYWORD/SEARCH box, which is right under the Log in/Create an account text. Once again, please remember to put key in exactly what you want the article title to appear as. For example, if it’s an article on lavender, key in Lavender and not lavender or LAVENDER. Remember, the software is case-sensitive, and once you’ve entered your article title, it cannot be changed/edited/deleted after that.
  • If you get the message There is no page titled “Lavender”. You can create this page. Click on Create this page. If there is already an article by the name, it will take you to that page.
  • The window Editing Lavender will open with an Editing Box. Either key in directly, or copy-paste from your Word doc. Do not give the heading or title of the article again, as the the default title has already been registered when you enter it into the GET KEYWORD/SEARCH box. Therefore, simply start with your introductory paragraph.
  • Please DO NOT begin your paragraphs with a "tab" or "indent". Para breaks should be indicated with a line space. Do not use "tab" or “indent” as the text then appears in a strange border.
  • Please give a line space after each paragraph, or else the text will appear as run-on text, without any breaks all through the copy.
  • Please do not try and upload a text/doc file from link UPLOAD FILE under TOOLBOX (on the left-hand side on page), as that is only for uploading images. The formats for uploading images are png, gif, jpg, jpeg. Images can be converted to any of these formats very quickly through a software like Photoshop or any free image editing software available on all PCs.
  • Next, use the editing tool bar (above the editing box where you’ve copy-pasted your article) to format your article—taking the cursor over each tool will tell you its function. Follow this link, Wiki Cheatsheet, for help with shortcuts for things like bullets, etc.
  • You should basically have one definition or intro para and then, introduce the first sub-head. Remember, it is important to give sub-heads and to format them as such using the Editing Tool Bar (where it is defined as Level 2 Headline) as the Contents Box on your page is formed using these sub-heads. For example, once you have copy-pasted Lavender and given the opening para, and your first sub-head is Uses of Lavender (not uses of lavender, not Uses of lavender, not USES OF LAVENDER, but Uses of Lavender), highlight the text and click on the button in the Editing Tool Bar that says Level 2 Headline.
  • To give bullet points, type '*' by pressing Shift+8 on your keyboard, please don't give the bullet as in your doc file as this software does not recognise that bullet. After the '*', remember to give a space and a line space between two bullet points or the text will appear as run-on text.
  • Select all the keywords that you want to link INTERNALLY to other existing articles in Copperwiki. Even if an article does not exist, when you give an INTERNAL link, it tells everybody that here is something that needs to be written about. An INTERNAL link can be given by highlighting the word and then clicking on the button in the Editing Tool Bar that says Internal Link.
  • Make all your EXTERNAL reference links live—Remember to put http://www...... Or the link will not be a live one. Once again, there is a button for this Editing Tool Bar.
  • Be sure to add References at the end of each article. Let’s standardize it to References and not have “Notes”; “Quoted Text” etc. Also, please keep in mind that references should simply be that, just references. Please do not lift text and use it verbatim in articles.
  • After References have been given, please specify the Category/Categories, Subcategory/subcategories the article belongs to. See NOTE below on how to give categories.
  • Click "Save page" at the end of all edits, or the change will not show.
  • Check the box “Watch” on the top of the page to add your articles to your watch-list.
  • All comments/inputs needed about an article should be left on the Discussion page, the button for which appears along with Edit, History, etc.

How to Put in a Table

Some articles need to carry tables; the command for this is the extreme right button Button insert table.pngin the Editing Tool Bar. Place cursor in text where you want the table and click on this button; a self-explanatory list of commands shows up, fill up the headers, rows and columns according to information that needs to be given, and then click on "Save page".

Step 1. If you click on the insert table button, by default, it will show the following text:

{| class="wikitable"


! header 1

! header 2

! header 3


| row 1, cell 1

| row 1, cell 2

| row 1, cell 3


| row 2, cell 1

| row 2, cell 2

| row 2, cell 3


  • The entire table is encased with curly brackets and a vertical bar character (a pipe). So use {| to begin a table, and |} to end it. Each one needs to be on its own line:

  • An optional table caption is included with a line starting with a vertical bar and plus sign "|+" and the caption after it:

{| |+ caption table code goes here |}

  • To start a new table row, type a vertical bar and a hyphen on its own line: "|-". The codes for the cells in that row will start on the next line.

{| |+ The table's caption |- cell code goes here |- cell code goes here |}

  • Type the codes for each table cell in the next row, starting with a bar:

{| |+ The table's caption |- | cell codes go here |- | cells in the next row go here | more cells in the same row here |}

  • Cells can be separated with either a new line and new bar, or by a double bar "||" on the same line. Both produce the same output:

{| |+ The table's caption |- |Cell 1 || Cell 2 || Cell 3 |- |Cell A |Cell B |Cell C |}

  • If you use single bars, then what might appear to be the first cell is in fact a format modifier applied to the cell, and the rest of your "cells" will be merged into one:

{| border="1" |- |format modifier (not displayed)|These all |(including the pipes)|go into |the first cell |- |}

which is probably not what you want:

These all |(including the pipes)|go into |the first cell

However, the format modifier is useful: {| border="1" |- |Cell 1 (no modifier - not aligned) |- |align="right" |Cell 2 (right aligned) |- |}

Cell 1 (no modifier - not aligned)
Cell 2 (right aligned)

Just remember: no more than 2 single pipes on a line!

Some Thumb Rules

  • Have a precise heading, based on a keyword—if you are writing on “Different carcinogens and their manifestation” just call the article Carcinogens. Also, don’t have the title as a question, for example, as ‘What are Carcinogens?’ Simply title it Carcinogens.
  • Ditto for sub-heads, don’t have questions, etc. If you are writing on the different carcinogens present in plastics, give the sub-head as ‘Carcinogens in Plastics’.
  • Don’t use ‘The’ in the title of your article.
  • Para breaks should be indicated with a line space. Do not use an “indent” – then that text appears in a strange border.
  • Sub-heads should be in upper-lower style. E.g: ‘Common Topsoil Problems’ and not ‘Common topsoil problems’

Note on Categories

For giving categories, say in the case of Lavender, think of all keywords that can be given to describe Lavender. These keywords become the sub-categories. In this case, I can think of two and will give them in the following format:

Two straight brackets, then type Category: Plant, and finish with two straight brackets

Two straight brackets, then type Category: Herb, and finish with two straight brackets

You then need to click on each individually, that is first click on Plant. A page opens up with the Editing Box and Editing Tool Bar. Type in the main category now:

Two straight brackets, then type Category: Home And Living, and finish with two straight brackets

Similarly, do the same for Herb, giving it a main category when its Editing Box opens up.

Now, if you look up the main category Home And Living, which appears in the left-hand column, you’ll see two sub-categories, viz. Plant and Herb. Clicking on these will show you that Lavender has been stored in these two sub-categories.

Please remember that main categories have to be given as exactly as follows or else your article will not show up as part of any category:

  • Art And Entertainment, and not Art and entertainment, or Art and Entertainment
  • Business And Politics, and not Business and politics, or Business and Politics
  • Fashion And Beauty, and not Fashion and beauty, or Fashion and Beauty
  • Food And Drinks, and not Food and drinks, or Food and Drinks
  • Home And Living, and not Home and living, or Home and Living
  • Health And Spirituality, Health and spirituality, or Health and Spirituality
  • Science And Technology, Science and technology, or Science and Technology
  • Travel And Culture, and not Travel and culture, or Travel and Culture

Consult the User's Guide for information on using the Wiki software.

How to Upload an Image

  • Create an account with Copperwiki.
  • Click on the UPLOAD IMAGE link on the left of the page under Toolbox.
  • You will see a "Browse..." button, which will let you browse your own computer to open a file. Choosing a file will fill the name of that file into the text field next to the button called the Source Filename Box.
  • You must also check the box affirming that you are not violating any copyrights by uploading the file. Press the "Upload" button to finish the upload. This may take some time if you have a slow Internet connection.
  • After you have uploaded the file from your computer. Choose a simple name that is indicative of the file you are uploading. This will make it easy to search for an image with the image search tool. This is the name you will type in the Destination Filename:
  • To view or search images previously uploaded directly, go to the list of uploaded images. In quotes is what you will see above the Source Filenmae Box.

"Use the form below to upload images, to view or search previously uploaded images go to the list of uploaded images, uploads and deletions are also logged in the upload log."

Adding Images to Articles

  • To make your uploaded file appear in an article, you need to insert it: Therefore, edit the article and click the 6th button from the left, on the Editing Toolbar called Embedded Image. Embedded Image button.png This is what it looks like.

  • It will show ((Image:Example.jpg)) you this comment. Please fill in the destination filename that you chose for the uploaded image. Copy it onto the Example.jpg and place it where you want the file to appear.
  • Important: Image names are case-sensitive. For example, if an image is called Picture.jpg then neither picture.jpg nor Picture.JPG will find it.

Technical Aspects

  • The preferred formats are JPEG for photographic images, SVG for drawings and line-art illustration, PNG for non-vector graphic iconic images, Ogg Vorbis for sound and Ogg Theora for video.

Overwriting an image with one of a different size

Getting Started

  • Configuration settings list
  • MediaWiki FAQ
  • MediaWiki release mailing list
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