Basic Wiki Help

Problems joining the wiki? See this page.
Problems editing on Forest Service computers? See this note.
Unsure what type of content is appropriate? See this page.

Editing a Page Overview
This section provides a basic overview of the tools available to you while editing a wiki page. If you would like to see editing a page in action, check out Wikispaces' video tours. Also, make sure to check out the Code of Conduct page to review the Living Assessment policies which include neutral point of view, verifiabilty, no original research, and accurate, reliable, and relevant sources.

How do I start?

After you create a profile and log in you will be able to find a button at the top of that page, on the right, that says Edit. Click that button to enter editor mode.

Then, just start typing. Be bold!
Ok, if you are not quite ready to edit in a live page yet, you can gain some experience on this Wiki Practice Page.

Editing a page in Wikispaces is a lot like using a simple word processor — you don’t need to know any special markup languages or wikitext. Use the bold, italic, and underline buttons for simple formatting, or use the Color and Style Editor button to change your text’s size, color, font, and more. Focus more on the content than on the format. We'll periodically review the pages and make format adjustments for readability and consistency between pages.

Additional help on the Editing toolbar can be found here [To be added shortly].

How do I save my work?

It is important that you save your editing periodically. There are several ways. When you are done editing a page, the preferred way is to click the small black down arrow just to the right of the Save button and select Save with Comment. You will be prompted to type a short comment about the general nature of the edits you made. This will help others quickly see the nature of the edits being made. You may also just click the Save button, which will save and end your edit session. If you are still editing but want to save the last 15 minutes of brilliant writing you've just done, click the small down arrow to the right of the Save button and select Save and Continue.

How do I create a heading?

Highlight the text that you want to make into a heading. Select the level of heading from the dropdown list in the editor bar. This may change the formatting of the text. If there is a Table of Contents widget on the page, any paragraphs that are formatted as headings will appear in the table of contents. The preferred format is 14pt for Heading 1 and 12pt for Heading 2.

How do I change the font?

Highlight the text that you want to change. Select the Style Text tool button (the T button next to the Underline button). In the Text Styles dialog you can set the font type, font size, colors and other settings. Note that for font size you can replace the 100% with the actual point size (e.g. 11pt for 11 point font). Be sure to add the "pt" for point or it will default to pixels! Please focus more on the content than on the format of the page. We'll periodically review each page and will make format adjustments for readability and consistency. Remember wiki mean "quick" so don't spend a lot of time fussing with format.

How do I add a comment? Should I comment or add a Discussion?

The focus of the wiki is to provide content that reflects information and knowledge that describes the current condition and trends of the topic areas identified by the planning rule. While the focus is on content, occasionally it may be appropriate to add a wiki comment regarding information that is in the wiki page or about content that is missing. To add a comment, highlight the text in question and click the comment tool. A comment bubble will appear on the right side. Type in your comment. You can also use the Reply link to add a reply to a comment. Keep in mind that these comment bubbles should be focused and specific to a question about specific text in the wiki. More general questions should occur either in a Discussion on the page or in a Discussion on Our Forest Place.

How do I start or engage in a Discussion?

Each page has a Discussion feature that allows for dialog regarding the specific page. When in viewing mode (not editing), the Discussion page is the thought bubble and number tool just to the right of the Edit tool. Please keep discussions here focused on the content of the chapter page. More general discussion should occur on Our Forest Place.

How do I cite a source?

You can add a citation to an article by first clicking on the location in the text where you would like to add a reference on the edit page of an article. Then, select the Widget box on the editing toolbar. Click on "Reference" from the list of widgets, and select "Embed Reference Marker". A box at the bottom of the page will appear - this is where you should include the citation of the source.

Can I copy-paste from a Word or another word processor?

Yes! You can generally copy and paste text, including tables into the wiki. One helpful hint is to have all of the text, including tables, left aligned prior to copying it. Tables that are center-aligned will not copy correctly in most cases. This is referring to the table itself, not the alignment of the text in the cells themselves. If you have figures or images, only a placeholder for them will copy over. You'll need to save the figures and upload them as explained below then link the placeholders to the uploaded images. However, if you are using Internet Explorer 8 or an earlier version you may experience problems when you try to copy and paste text into the "edit" version of a page. This is especially true for Forest Service computers and instructions are posted below to fix the problem. Switch to using Google Chrome or Mozilla Firefox and you should have no problem pasting text into an page. When copying from MS Word or other programs, however, your formatting may not always copy exactly so be sure to check it against your original document. See here for Wikispace's help on copy/paste.

How do I add a link?

Link to an existing page in the Living Assessment

  1. Highlight the text or image that you would like to make into a link.
  2. Select the Link icon from the editor toolbar.
  3. If there already is a page in your wiki named with the highlighted text, you will see the green check-mark in the Page Name field. If this is not the case, start typing the name of the page you would like to link to into to the Page Name field. You can either type the full name or choose it from the dropdown.
  4. Click the Add Link button.
  5. Save the wiki page.

Create a new page in the Living Assessment

  1. Highlight the text or image that you would like to make into a link.
  2. Select the Link icon from the editor toolbar.
  3. Type the name of the new page into the Page Name field.
  4. Click the Add Link button.
  5. Save the wiki page.
  6. Follow the link and begin editing the new page.

Link to another Web site

  1. Highlight the text or image that you would like to make into a link.
  2. Select the Link icon from the editor toolbar.
  3. Select the External Link tab.
  4. Type or paste the URL into the Address field.
  5. Click the Add Link button.
  6. Save the wiki page.

Can I add a video, audio clip, or use other fancy Wikispaces widgets?

Wikispaces provides for adding videos, audio clips, and lots of other fancy widgets such calendars, polls, instant messaging windows, etc. Please do NOT add any videos or audio files or use any of these fancy widgets without first getting approval from the Living Assessment Content Manager. Our Wikispaces account has limited storage space and cannot store large videos or audio clips and we must ensure that copyright is honored. Links to externally stored files are preferred. Our intent is to focus on the content of information related to the conditions and trends of the Sierra Nevada. The use of fancy widgets may detract from the content and make the site difficult to navigate or use by some people and are generally discouraged.

Please resize images so that they are a reasonable file size prior to uploading. This not only saves our limited Wikispaces storage space, but it makes loading images faster over wireless networks on tablets and smartphones. Please contact the Living Assessment Content Manager to uploading files greater than 4 megabytes in size.

How do I add an image?

  1. Place the cursor where you would like the image to appear.
  2. Select the File icon from the editor toolbar.
  3. Click the Upload Files button.
  4. Page through your files, search by file name, or sort by tag.
  5. Click on the image to place it on the page.
  6. Click on the image to get the File Properties popup, and adjust the alignment and size of your image, or add a caption.
  7. Save the wiki page.

How do I add a file?

  1. Place the cursor where you would like the link to your file to appear.
  2. Select the File icon from the editor toolbar.
  3. Upload Files.
  4. Page through your files, search by file name, or sort by tag.
  5. Click on the file to place it on the page. Images, videos, and audio clips can be embedded directly into the page. For other file types — including PDFs, Word docs, Excel spreadsheets, and PowerPoint presentations — the Embed File option will place a link to the file on the page.
  6. Save the wiki page.

How do I replace a placeholder figure or image?

  1. First, be sure to give your files meaningful names. Generally preface the Chapter number and Forest name if applicable. For example Ch1 Picture of X or Ch1 Sierra Picture of Y.
  2. Next upload the file file by clicking the plus to the right of the Pages and Files menu and choose Upload Files. Drag and drop your files.
  3. Click on the placeholder and navigate to the picture name.
  4. Formatting the figures can be a bit tricky. If you need help, contact the Living Assessment Content Manager

How do I use the Wikitext Editor?

If you are an advanced editor, Wikitext is a markup language that you can use to edit a wiki page, instead of using the visual editor. If you are not using Safari, Firefox, or Internet Explorer, you might see the Wikitext Editor by default. Wikispaces does not support other browsers with the visual editor yet.

If you are comfortable with wikitext, use the toggle arrow next to the Save button to switch to the Wikitext Editor. You can find a full list of our wikitext markup tools here

Oops! Some of my text is being converted to an advertising link. What's going on?

You may have an extension installed on your browser. An example is an extension called Coupon Companion. In Google Chrome, select the Settings button (the three bars on the far right) then Tools then Extensions. Look for any possible suspect extensions and either disable them or uninstall them. In Mozilla Firefox, select the Tools menu then Add-ons.

Problems Copying and Pasting on Forest Service computers?

The Forest Service has some locked security settings for Internet Explorer that prevent you from copying and pasting text from other documents into a wiki page. Recently the Forest Service CIO has approved Google Chrome as an approved browser so you don't need to request Technical Approval. You will need to use the Gadgets tool to gain administrative access on your computer then download the latest version of Google Chrome from here and install it. You may not want to make Google Chrome your default browser if you are comfortable using Internet Explorer. In that case, just remember to use Chrome when editing in the Living Assessment.

Still having troubles editing?

Send a brief email describing your difficulty to Don Yasuda, Living Assessment Content Manager: