Help:VisualEditor/User guide/Citations

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VisualEditor (VE) permits to use citations in a very powerful way. This page introduces the ⧼visualeditor-toolbar-cite-label⧽ menu and how to use it (insert, modify, reuse a footnote, also with templates). It also introduces how to use ⧼visualeditor-toolbar-cite-label⧽ menu when Citoid, a new tool for automated citations, is enable on your wiki.

The toolbar[edit]

Screenshot of the VisualEditor toolbar
The VisualEditor toolbar appears at the top of the screen when you begin editing. It includes some familiar icons:
VisualEditor - Cite Pulldown.png
VisualEditor citoid Cite button.png
⧼visualeditor-toolbar-cite-label⧽ menu: The "⧼visualeditor-toolbar-cite-label⧽" menu or button is used to add inline citations (also called "footnotes" or "references"). All projects have access to "⧼visualeditor-dialogbutton-reference-tooltip⧽" reference formatting and the ability to "⧼visualeditor-dialog-reference-useexisting-tool⧽" citations here. This menu also gives you quick access to local citation templates and the citoid automatic reference filling service, if these are enabled on your wiki.

(Instructions for adding local citation templates to the ⧼visualeditor-toolbar-cite-label⧽ menu at a specific wiki are available at VisualEditor/Citation tool. Instructions for enabling the citoid service are at Citoid/Enabling Citoid on your wiki.)

VisualEditor Insert Menu-en.png
Insert: The "Insert" menu may be different on some projects. Two options are useful for citations:
  • The "Template" icon (a puzzle piece) allows you to insert and edit templates.
  • The "⧼ visualeditor-dialogbutton-referenceslist-tooltip⧽" icon (three books) opens a dialog in which you can specify where will references be displayed to the reader. Usually this only needs to be done once on every page.

Editing references[edit]

Editing an existing reference[edit]

VisualEditor - Editing references 1.png
To edit an existing reference, click on it where it appears in the text (usually as a bracketed number). You will see either a "⧼visualeditor-dialogbutton-reference-tooltip⧽" icon (bookmark) or an icon (and name) for the template that was used to create this reference. Clicking on this icon will open a dialog where you can edit the reference.

VisualEditor - Editing references 6.png
If what appears is the "⧼visualeditor-dialogbutton-reference-tooltip⧽" icon, clicking on it opens the Reference dialog, where you can edit the reference's contents.

Many wikis use templates to format references. If a template is used in your reference, then all the text in the template will be highlighted when you click on the reference information.

If a template was used and you've clicked on information in that template, then the Template icon (puzzle piece) will appear. Click on that icon to edit the content of the template in the template mini-editor dialog.

VisualEditor - Editing References - Cite Web.png
If, instead of the "⧼visualeditor-dialogbutton-reference-tooltip⧽" icon (bookmark), what appears when you click on a reference is an icon for a standard template for citations, then clicking on that icon will take you directly to the template mini-editor dialog.

VisualEditor - Editing references 5.png
Inside the template mini-editor, you can add or remove types of information or change current content. Only fields (template parameters) that have content are supposed to be shown initially. To add fields, click on "Add more information" at the bottom of the mini-editor.

VisualEditor Apply Changes-en.png
Click on "Apply changes" when you're done.

Re-using an existing reference[edit]

VisualEditor Cite menu re-use.png
If the page already contains a citation that applies to the text you want to source, then you can choose to re-use the existing citation.

To re-use an existing reference, place your cursor in the body of the text where you want to add a new reference (number) for that citation. Then click on the "⧼visualeditor-dialog-reference-useexisting-tool⧽" item from the "⧼visualeditor-toolbar-cite-label⧽" menu.

VisualEditor - Editing references 18.png
In the ⧼visualeditor-dialog-reference-title⧽ dialog, look at the list for the reference you want to reuse, and select it. If there are many references, you can use the search box (labeled "⧼visualeditor-reference-input-placeholder⧽") to list only those references that include certain text.

Adding a new reference[edit]

VisualEditor references more.png
To add a citation using the "⧼visualeditor-toolbar-cite-label⧽" menu, place your cursor where you want to add it in the text. Then select the appropriate citation type in the menu.

Using the "Basic" citation[edit]

VisualEditor - Editing references 20.png
Shown here is what you will see if you select the "⧼visualeditor-dialogbutton-reference-tooltip⧽" item. In the Reference editor, you can add your citation, including formatting.

You can make the reference belong to a given group, although normally this is left blank. (This option is used to display groups of references with the "⧼visualeditor-dialogbutton-referenceslist-tooltip⧽" tool.)

VisualEditor Template Insert Menu-en.png
In the Reference dialog, if you want to include a template in your new reference, click the Template icon (puzzle piece) in the "Insert" toolbar menu within the Reference editor.

VisualEditor - Editing references 9.png
Then, look for the template you want to use, add it and edit it as you would any other template. (See the Editing templates section, below, if you need more information about templates.)

After you're done editing your new template, click on "Apply changes" to return to the Reference editor, and "Apply changes" again to return to the page you're editing.

VisualEditor References List Insert Menu-en.png
If there isn't already a list of references on the page (for example, if you're adding the first reference for the page), you need to specify where the list of references, and their text, will be displayed to the reader.

Place the cursor where you want to display the references list (usually at the bottom of the page), open the "Insert" menu and click the "⧼visualeditor-dialogbutton-referenceslist-tooltip⧽" icon (three books).

VisualEditor references list-en.png
If you are using several groups of references, which is relatively rare, you can specify the group in this dialog. Only the references that belong to that group will be displayed here.

The final step in the References list dialog is to click "Insert".

Using standard cite templates[edit]

VisualEditor - Editing References - Cite Pulldown.png
Your local wiki may have added extra citation templates to this menu. This offers quick access to the most-used citation templates. (Instructions for adding extra citation templates to your local wiki are available at VisualEditor/Citation tool.)

VisualEditor - Editing references - Cite book required fields.png
Clicking on a template icon such as "Cite book" will take you into the template mini-editor for that template. Important information fields may be marked with an asterisk. While the most common fields will be shown, not all of them are required.

VisualEditor - Editing references - Add parameter.png
To add more parameters, scroll down in the template mini-editor and click on the "Add more information" option.

Click on "Insert" when you're done.

Using Citoid[edit]

When Citoid is enabled, the "⧼visualeditor-toolbar-cite-label⧽" menu is different (separation in three tabs) and offers an automatic option for citing.


VisualEditor Citoid Automatic tab.png
The "Automatic" tab displays a simple text area. You can paste an URL or a Digital object identifier (DOI) on this field, and click on "Generate". This will automatically fill the appropriate template (Website, Book, Journal...) with available information from the source.

This tool notably uses Zotero to extract the information. Zotero is mainly used for academic researches and deals very well with DOIs. URL are sometimes partially supported, please see the supported URLs lists on local Wikipedias.


VisualEditor Citoid Manual.png
The "Manual" tab offers the same options and the same workflow as described on the "Adding a new reference" section above.


VisualEditor Citoid Re-use.png
The "Re-use" tab offers the same options and the same workflow as described on the "Re-using an existing reference" section above.

If you previous use of Cite menu was reusing a reference, Citoid will automatically display "Re-use" tab when you will click on "Cite" button in the toolbar.