Star Citizen:Editing/VisualEditor advanced
This guide is a step-by-step process on more advanced editing in VisualEditor, covering four more complex things: headings, tables, references, and templates.
Headings are fairly simple. They're added from the dropdown at the top:
In general each subheading is smaller than the previous - below 3 and it starts getting comical, so stay away from those.
Tables are a common way to display information compactly. We're just going to cover basic tables here - more advanced ones are better done with source mode, or may already have a template.
Inserting and editing
To insert a table, select "Table" from the "Insert" menu at the tip of the page.
This inserts a blank, 4 by 4 table, with the top row as header cells.
You can type into a cell by simply clicking it and typing; you can add other things like links, images, bold, etc. as normal. Here's a filled-in version that we can work on.
There's a few things to do to this table for demonstration:
- Add some extra rows for the lava whip
- Make the leftmost column header cells
- Merge the cells in the degradable column
New rows and columns
Clicking any cell adds an arrow to the top and left, outside the table.
Clicking these gives the option to add (and remove) rows and columns.
Two rows added and filled.
Header cells can be added and removed using the dropdown in the toolbar. Much like a spreadsheet, we can select multiple cells by clicking and dragging, so we can do the entire column at once.
Headers can be removed in the same way.
Click and drag to select the cells to merge, then click the merge icon that appears in the toolbar under the table. (This is where you can delete the table or add a table caption too, using properties.)
And we're done with this table.
References cover two types of things: citations and footnotes. Citations are used to back-up statements with a source; footnotes add an addendum to a statement.
We have a variety of citation templates which properly format citations, those will be covered more in-depth in the citation guide. We do prefer those to be used for citations, but if you aren't sure how to use them, you can just use a normal footnote and someone else can fix it later.
References are inserted using the cite option.
Pressing the basic option opens the insert reference dialogue.
In the dialogue we can set the text of the reference or assign it a group. For now we're just going to set some text and click the "Insert" button.
Inserting the reference is half of the process, we now need to add the references list - the place where we want all the references to be listed out.
The list for citations should go at the end of the page, under any trivia sections and above navboxes. Footnotes should go at the end of the relevant section - use common sense on where to place it.
References lists are added from the "Insert" menu in the toolbar.
- References lists will list all references (for the selected group) above it on the page up to the previous references list (for the same group) or the top of the page
- If there are no references, the references list will be an error and should be removed
- If there are references, but no references list (for each group), there will be an error at the bottom of the page, so a list should be added
- Templated references (citation templates) won't show up as references in the VisualEditor until the page is saved
Sometimes a reference can apply to several parts of the same article/table/section. Rather than duplicating it, we can have the reference be reused. You can do this by using Cite and selecting Re-use.
Here, a reference has been created, and a second has been started. Select the reference that you want to re-use from the list to insert it.
Now we can select the reference, which then shows up in the references list with additional links to click next to the reused reference.
By default, the "general references" group is used by the editor. If we want to separate out reference types - e.g. citations from footnotes - we use groups.
In the reference creation dialogue, simply type the name of the group into the box. If the group already exists, you can also select it from the dropdown. Fow now, we're going to move reference 1 to group "test":
Be aware that this name is visible, so make it short and descriptive. For notes related to drops, "drops" is a good choice; general notes can use "notes".
Notice the reference says "[test 1]" instead of "", and "" is now "" - this is because reference numbers are group specific. Also notice that the reference is no longer in the list - reference lists are group specific. Also notice that the tooltip now says the name of the group:
Add another references list as before, but select the group to be for "test" instead of general. Add some bolded headers to clarify which list is which.
Templates are the last thing we're going to cover in the VisualEditor, as they really show the problems with it. But first, a quick introduction.
Templates implement a process called transclusion. Transclusion is the inclusion of part or all of one page inside of another page. This allows a number of benefits:
- The same information can be on every relevant page without having to type it each time
- Any time the information needs updating, it can be done so to all pages at once
- It can lend a consistency of style over all pages making them easier to extract key information
In MediaWiki, transclusion is actually more advanced, as you can pass data into the page being included, and it can change itself as a result. This can be as simple as passing a value and that value being displayed, or the entire visual design changing to something completely different.
Templates are made up of two parts:
- One name, which determines which template we are using
- Parameter-value pairs, which define the data passed in to the template. There may be none, one, or many pairs, depending on what is needed by the template
Using existing templates
Click on a template - for example, the large table on the right of a page (Infobox vehicle) - and click the popup to open the template editor.
Here we have a list of parameters and the corresponding values; you can edit them as you like. Click "Apply changes" to finish editing the template, or "Cancel" to revert the edits to the template.
- This guide concludes the VisualEditor guide. There's really nothing more to learn about it, and to do more you need source mode. Luckily, the next guide is Star Citizen:Editing/Source mode basics.
- Star Citizen:Style guide
- Star Citizen:Style guide/References and citations
- Star Citizen:Editing/Citation
- Star Citizen:Template policy