The Fossil Wiki is a wiki, meaning that anyone can easily edit any unprotected page, and save those changes immediately to that page, making the alterations visible to every other reader. You do not even need to register to do this. After your first edit, you will be a Wiki editor!

Note: You can use the sandbox to experiment with page editing.


Editing most Fossil Wiki pages is easy. Simply click on the "edit this page" tab at the top of a Wikipedia page (or on a section-edit link). This will bring you to a new page with a text box containing the editable text of the original page. If you add information to a page, please provide references, as unreferenced facts are subject to removal. When you are finished with an edit, you should write a short edit summary in the small field below the edit-box. You may use shorthand to describe your changes. To see how the page looks with your edits, press the "Show preview" button. To see the differences between the page with your edits and the previous version of the page, press the "Show changes" button. If you're satisfied with what you see, be bold and press the "Save page" button. Your changes will immediately be visible to all Fossil Wiki users.

You can also click on the "Discussion" tab to see the corresponding talk page, which contains comments about the page from other Wikipedia users. Click on the "new section" tab to start a new section, or edit the page in the same way as an article page.

You should also remember to sign your messages on talk pages with four tildes (~~~~), but you should not sign edits you make to regular articles. In the page history, the MediaWiki software automatically keeps track of which user makes each change.

Minor editsEdit

A check to the "minor edit" box signifies that only superficial differences exist between the version with your edit and the previous version: typo corrections, formatting and presentational changes, rearranging of text without modifying content, etc. A minor edit is a version that the editor believes requires no review and could never be the subject of a dispute. The "minor edit" option is one of several options available only to registered users.

Major editsEdit

All editors are encouraged to be bold, but there are several things that a user can do to ensure that major edits are performed smoothly. Before engaging in a major edit, a user should consider discussing proposed changes on the article discussion/talk page. Once the edit has been completed, the inclusion of an edit summary will assist in documenting the changes. These steps will all help to ensure that major edits are well received by the Wikipedia community.

A major edit should be reviewed to confirm that it is consensual to all concerned editors. Therefore, any change that affects the meaning of an article is major (not minor), even if the edit is a single word.

There are no necessary terms to which you have to agree when doing major edits, but the recommendations above have become best practice. If you do it your own way, the likelihood of your edits being reedited may be higher.

Occasionally your browser will crash. When doing a large edit it is suggested you copy the code of the article you are working on and placing it in a text editor (preferably one without formatting, such as MS Notepad) periodically. This ensures that in the case of a browser crash you will not lose your work. It may also be a good idea to save the page after performing a substantial amount of work before adding additional content to the article.

Wiki markupEdit

The wiki markup is the syntax system you can use to format a Fossil Wiki page; please see Editing for details on it, and Wikitext examples for a longer list of the possibilities of Wikitext.

Links and URLsEdit

The anchor element, <a>, is not allowed. The following are used instead: [[ ]], [ ], ~~~~, ~~~, http, ISBN, RFC & {{ }}.

For further help on images, including some more versatile abilities, see the topic on Extended image syntax.


For a top-level heading, put it on a separate line surrounded by '=='. For example:

  == Introduction ==

Subheadings use '===', '====', and so on.

Invisible text (comments)Edit

It's uncommon, but on occasion acceptable, to add a hidden comment within the text of an article. The format is this:

<!-- This is an example of text that won't normally be visible except in "edit" mode. -->

Table of contentsEdit

At the current status of the wiki markup language, having at least four headers on a page triggers the table of contents (TOC) to appear in front of the first header (or after introductory sections). Putting __TOC__ anywhere forces the TOC to appear at that point (instead of just before the first header). Putting __NOTOC__ anywhere forces the TOC to disappear.


There are two ways to build tables:

  • in special Wiki-markup (see Table)
  • with the usual HTML elements: <table>, <tr>, <td> or <th>.


NUMBEROFARTICLES is the number of pages in the main namespace which contain a link and are not a redirect, in other words number of articles, stubs containing a link, and disambiguation pages.

CURRENTMONTHNAME is the nominative (subject) form.

More information on editing wiki pagesEdit

You may also want to learn about:

Getting started Edit

Helpful tips Edit

Naming and moving Edit

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