Help:VisualEditor/VE as the main editor

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About this page[edit]

Here is a quick-start guide so that you can learn how to support your community while the visual editor becomes available by default to editors at your wiki. Some points may not apply to you, because maybe the work has already been done. Yay! Most people don't need to worry about point #1, for example.

Don't hesitate to request clarifications; a "cross-wiki taskforce" of community members who have experience with the tasks listed below is also in the works, and they may be able to provide advice and support. You are invited to join the taskforce today!

Attention, translators: you are welcome to translate this resource. However, please bear in mind that further improvements on it are planned, so your translations may become obsolete soon. Thanks for your understanding!

Tell the Wikimedia Foundation about your intentions[edit]

If the deployment of the visual editor at your wiki hasn't been planned or announced yet, and you would like to have it enabled there sooner rather than later, please file a task with a suggested time for rollout (no commitments until all details in the task are agreed upon!); list "blockers" if any.

  • To help the developers prioritize their work, please file a task on Phabricator (like this one) to flag initial interest or to request an earlier enablement of the visual editor at your wiki, so they can assess any special needs your community may present.
  • Members of your community can help you identify and build a list of "blockers" or others bugs and feature requests that they view as important. Add the list to the task you filed.

Involve your community[edit]

Discuss with community members; announce the rollout widely; update editing-related documentation; set up a dedicated sandbox for testing.

  • You are the expert here. You know about the best ways to involve your community to let them know the visual editor is now available for editors at your wiki —or may soon be— and to get further help with the following tasks.
    • You can start a conversation at your Village Pump in your language and then link to this page, or you can set up a sitenotice, or a watchlist notice for logged-in contributors, or use other methods which are known to work well for your community members. You will certainly receive multiple announcements and updates from community liaisons: please make sure that those are translated or at least summarized in your language.
    • You may want to create a sort of "WikiProject", or anyway a page where the community members who are interested in supporting you can sign up.
    • Make sure that local documentation, especially pages read by new editors such as tutorials for newcomers, editing guides etc., mentions the visual editor and its documentation.
    • You may want to provide a dedicated space (a sandbox in the main or in the User: namespace) where even logged-out editors can try the visual editor. Here is an example of how this was done on the English Wikipedia (note the ?veaction=edit string at the end of the URL).

Check translations status[edit]

The rollout will be smoother once translations for interface and user guide, at a minimum, are in place!

  • There is key documentation to translate, mainly the User guide and the interface itself.
  • If your wiki is getting the visual editor in conjunction with the single edit tab rollout, the related page will help you explain what this change is about.The page you are reading now is also a good resource to consider.

Make sure main templates feature TemplateData information[edit]

Filling infoboxes and Cite templates in particular will be so much easier with the visual editor.

  • Help:TemplateData contains information about how to add TemplateData information to common templates on your wiki. This is important because it will make editing a template similar to filling a form, and just as easy.
    • There is now an editing tool that allows you to add TemplateData in a simpler way.
    • Start with templates that are often used in articles, such as citation and reference templates, as well as infoboxes. The MostTranscludedPages special page on your wiki might help you find out which are the most important templates you need to work on. The ones which are heavily used in the article namespace have the priority.
    • Check how other wikis did this. For example, here is the TemplateData for the {{Cite web}} template at the English Wikipedia. If you recently imported {{Cite web}} from that wiki and didn't customize it further, then copying and pasting their TemplateData will probably work for you.

Add locally popular Cite templates to the Cite menu[edit]

What are the templates that your community uses the most to create citations? The visual editor has a dedicated menu, a sort of shortcut to reach them!

  • Set up a customized Cite menu with the most used Cite templates at your wiki. Note that when Citoid is enabled, such a menu will be available from the "Manual" tab of the Cite dialog. If your wiki uses plain <ref> tags instead, you can consider skipping this step.
  • See the instructions page at mediawiki.org to learn more about this.

Enable Citoid on your wiki[edit]

Auto-citing a source using VisualEditor, small.gif

Interested in easier and painless referencing? With this powerful tool it's as easy as copying and pasting a URL.

  • Configure Citoid, which automatically creates a citation template for you from several types of sources.
  • See the instructions page at mediawiki.org to learn more about this.



Customize the Special Characters menu[edit]

The characters that your community uses the most can get a prominent place in the related visual editor menu.

  • You can add special characters which are relevant to your language to the existing set of characters.
  • See the instructions page at mediawiki.org to learn more about this.

Make developers aware of issues raised locally[edit]

Become an ambassador for your community by making sure the development team knows about problems or wishes you're hearing.

Check how things go after the rollout[edit]

We set up a deployment process keeping your needs in mind. So, let us know what you're observing in the first weeks after the visual editor lands at your wiki.

  • Patrollers might want to keep an eye on the log of edits made with the visual editor for a few weeks. You can reach it from this link (you'll need to change language code and sister project name in the browser's address bar after you click on it!).
  • Experienced users may make more mistakes than expected at the beginning, as they need some time to adapt to the new environment.

Keep yourself and your community up-to-date on visual editor news[edit]

We publish a multilingual bimonthly newsletter so you can learn about new, exciting features as they are made available, and about planned improvements.

  • Sign up for the newsletter, and please add your name to the translators' list so that other people at all projects in your language will be able to read the bulletin in your language on community pages there.

Learn about existing gadgets and how to develop new ones[edit]

In time, community members have developed code to expand the visual editor's capabilities.

In a nutshell—rating of tasks on this page[edit]

Tell the Wikimedia Foundation about your intentions Important
Involve your community Important
Check translations status Important
Make sure main templates feature TemplateData information Important
Add locally popular Cite templates to the Cite menu Nice to have (if plain references tags are the norm for your wiki; if it does use Cite templates instead, then this point is an important one)
Enable Citoid on your wiki Nice to have (but check how it works, and you'll tell us!)
Customize the Special Characters menu Nice to have
Make developers aware of issues raised locally Important
Check how things go after the rollout Nice to have
Keep yourself and your community up-to-date on visual editor news Nice to have
Learn about existing gadgets and how to develop new ones Nice to have

Community-created resources[edit]

Please let the visual editor team know if you have further questions.
Click here to go to the main visual editor page.