Help:Wiki editor's reference

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References for advanced users.


The Wikipedia Cheatsheet contains basic formatting commands. Content is more important than format. If you run into difficulty, please continue to edit and ask for assistance later. The editing toolbar will display help text when the mouse is placed over the icon.


  • Font color: <span style="color:brown;">text</span> will display as text
  • Background color: <span style="color:white; background-color:gray">text</span> will display as text

The code inside "style=" can be used for tables.

MediaWiki understands color names as well as the hex codes. For example, you can use "WhiteSmoke" instead of "#F5F5F5;".

Formatting text

Some text formats use HTML elements; such as bold (<b>), underline (<u>), superscript (<sup>), and subscript (<sub>). These tags will function even if raw HTML is disabled (see below).


Interwiki links

Interwiki links are links to pages of other wikis, using the wiki's built-in internal link style. There are quite a number of existing links already available, such as Wikipedia, Wikibooks, and Wikinews. For a short list, please see Manual:Interwiki (entered as [[mw: Manual:Interwiki | Manual:Interwiki]]).

  • [[acronym:ETF]] goes to: acronym:ETF, which can be reformatted to show as " ETF" - very useful when placed in context.
  • [[google: investing]] results in a Google search for "investing." (google: investing)
  • [[Wikipedia:John C. Bogle|Jack Bogle]] goes to: Jack Bogle

The Bogleheads' wiki is also customized to provide an interwiki link to our sister Canadian wiki, finiki. For example, enter [[finiki: RRSP]] to go to: RRSP.


You can use a bare protocol, without the https: or http:, so that [// Bogleheads forum] displays as Bogleheads forum.


Parameters, parsing


This website is run by Wikimedia Tool Labs, the organization which oversees Wikipedia.




HTML is a security risk and must be managed appropriately. Use of <html> tags in content pages is not permitted. Use of templates containing HTML is restricted to wiki administrators.




Page cache (refreshing)

Sometimes, the MediaWiki engine may fail to rebuild a page. The result is that the change appears to have no effect, despite the user reloading the page from their browser. For example, a new image is uploaded, but the new image or the page linking to that image does not show the new version.

Updating a Google widget such as Google Document may also result in this problem. See: Troubleshoot Widgets

In either case, the user needs to force a cache purge by appending ?action=purge to the browser's link. See: Purge

For example, the cache of this page can be purged as's_reference?action=purge.

Special pages


The Special:Allpages works by displaying all categories starting with a character or phrase.

  • {{Special:Allpages/Category:Main Page}} will display all categories starting with Main Page and go to the end
  • {{Special:Allpages/Category:V}} will display all categories starting with V and go to the end
  • {{Special:Allpages/Category:W}} will display all categories starting with V and go to the end


Google Widgets are available.


Design guidelines used to create the former Main Page portal.

Wikipedia portal listings

Main page candidates

The Main Page was based on a mixture of these portals: