Help:VisualEditor/FAQ

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General[edit | edit source]

What's VisualEditor?
VisualEditor is a software development initiative by the Wikimedia Foundation that will allow people to edit pages in MediaWiki without needing to learn wikitext syntax. With VisualEditor, formatting pages will work very similarly to a word processor – while editing, the text will look like it will after it is saved.
Why is this change being made?
The complex wiki markup syntax used by the old editing window is the biggest barrier to making the first edit, and therefore the biggest barrier to beginning the path that could lead to someone's becoming a productive, experienced member of the editing community. To increase the number of successful first attempts at editing, we need a better editing system. Please read our longer explanation for more details.
When will VisualEditor be enabled on my wiki?
The current schedule for future rollouts is posted at mw:VisualEditor/Rollouts. More than half of Wikipedias received VisualEditor as an option for all users during 2013. VisualEditor is available as an opt-in Beta Feature to almost all logged-in users at all Wikimedia Foundation projects except Wiktionary and Wikisource.
Why are you deploying the software even though development is not finished?
The software definitely isn't finished. It has features to be added and issues to be resolved. Ultimately, the best way to detect bugs and identify missing features is to have as many people as possible using the software and playing with it. While we know that bugs are disruptive in the short term, they will be fixed, and the current deployment is what lets us identify them as things that need fixing.
I found an issue with VisualEditor. How can I tell you to fix it?
If you're willing and able, please report the issue in Phabricator in the "VisualEditor" product. Most large Wikipedias also have a wiki page dedicated to feedback about VisualEditor; see the list on Wikidata. There is also a central feedback page on mediawiki.org.
How do I disable VisualEditor?
To continue to edit the wikitext directly, simply click the "Edit source" button instead of "Edit". On section edit links, you can open the classic wikitext editor for that section by clicking "edit source" instead of the regular "edit" link.
A feature is missing in VisualEditor. How do I ask you to add it?
Some features are currently being developed or planned (like support for poems or musical scores). The Roadmap and the Wikimedia engineering draft goals for 2013–2014 provide some additional information as well. If you can't find any reference to the new feature you'd like to suggest, please submit it using the same process used to report an issue.
Will it still be possible to edit using wikitext after VisualEditor becomes the primary editing interface?
Yes. While VisualEditor will eventually be offered to all users by default, a method for editing the underlying “source” text will continue to exist. There are no plans to remove wikitext editing.
Where do I go to learn more about using VisualEditor?
Please see the VisualEditor User guide.
Can I use familiar wikimarkup like [[ ]] and {{ }} in VisualEditor?
No. Instead, please use the linking and template features. Some of the old markup characters will trigger those though: for example, typing [[ will show the link tool. See VisualEditor User guide for more about how to use VisualEditor.
Why is my browser not supported?
Building a modern editing interface for Wikipedia and its sister wiki is a technical challenge, but it's possible using modern web technologies and standards. Unfortunately, some browsers don't support many of the features we need for VisualEditor. We're doing our best to support the most common browsers: VisualEditor works well with the most recent versions of Firefox, Chrome, Opera and Safari. It also works in Microsoft Internet Explorer 10 and 11. Support for Internet Explorer 9 is planned. Trying to work around the limitations of older browsers would divert resources from improvements that would benefit the majority of users. We encourage you to upgrade to a supported browser and, if you can't, to continue to edit using the source wikitext editor. (See VisualEditor/Target browser matrix for specific details.)
Are you worried by the potential for a large increase in vandalism?
This has not been a problem at any of the Wikipedias currently using VisualEditor.
Does VisualEditor work with Wikisource's ProofreadPage, or Wiktionary's templates, and other features that Wikipedia doesn't have?
VisualEditor is flexible enough to be adapted to all Wikimedia sites. However, Wiktionary's heavy reliance on templates will require significant work by community members to provide TemplateData to their users, and Wikisource's ProofreadPage tool will require some additional work to integrate VisualEditor smoothly.
Can I install VisualEditor on my personal wiki outside Wikimedia?
Yes, at your own risk. VisualEditor and Parsoid extensions are available for download but they're still experimental; note that Parsoid requires nodeJS. If you do install and use them, please let us know what worked and what didn't in Phabricator.
Does VisualEditor make automatic fixes to pages?
In most cases, VisualEditor will not make changes to formatting on lines that are not being directly edited. In cases where markup already on the page is handled incorrectly (for example, with tables that are not closed), it may attempt to correct these.
My question isn't here. Where do I ask?
You can ask on the VisualEditor feedback page on your wiki (see the list on Wikidata) or on the central feedback page on mediawiki.org.