Help:How to edit a page

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OpenCongress is a wiki, meaning that anybody can easily edit any article and have those changes posted immediately.

Unlike many wikis, OpenCongress employs two methods for editing pages. OpenCongress is one of the first large wikis to incorporate What-You-See-Is-What-You-Get (WYSIWYG) editing. This Rich Editor is similar to the ones found in most word-processing applications and in many e-mail programs.

The second method is traditional Wiki markup. Editors (that means you) use a special code similar to HTML to display text, links, images, videos, and other media.


How to edit a page

This page is focused on the mechanics of page-editing.
You might also want to learn about:

At the top of every article on the OpenCongress Wiki, you will find several tabs, including one labeled "Edit" (or "Create" if the pages doesn't exist yet). When you want to add some information to an OpenCongress article, just click that "Edit" button.

Normally, this would take you a text box with Wiki markup. With the rich text editor on the OpenCongress wiki, however, it's very easy to edit a Wiki page. Simply click on the "[Rich Editor] or [Open Rich editor in new window]" link at the top or bottom of a Wiki page to change the page. This will bring up the Wiki page, along with a toolbar that will help you format text, add links, and include images.

Just type away, and click the "Save" icon when finished! You can also preview your changes before saving if you like.

Each article has a corresponding "Talk" page where you can discuss its comments and debate editorial decisions if necessary. To see the "Talk" page, click on the "Discussion" link.

You may want to keep this page open in a separate browser window for reference. If you want to try out things without danger of doing any harm, you can do so in the Sandbox.

Editing basics

There are few icons in the Rich editor toolbar you should learn about:


FCK Format.png
The buttons in the formatting section allow you to select text and make it bold, italicized or underlined. You can also align text (left, center, right or justified) and create numbered or bulleted lists.


FCK Style.png
The buttons in the formatting section allow you to select text and use the "Format" drop-down menu to include section and sub-section headings. Select the "Heading 2" format for sections, and "Heading 3" and "Heading 4" for subsections. Selecting "Normal" from the format drop-down menu will create plain paragraphs.

To change the size or font of text, use the appropriate drop-down menus. You can also change the color of the page background or wiki text (though this is discouraged except when using tables or other diagrams or page elements).

You may also use the "Style" drop-down menu to add additional styles.

Links and images

FCK Links.png
The buttons in the links section will enable you to link to other pages within the wiki, or to external links. To include a link, click the first icon, and begin typing a name of an OpenCongress Wiki article (otherwise known as an "internal" link). A list of existing pages will appear, and you can select the correct article from that list. If you would like to link to a page that does not yet exist that's fine too.

If you want to link to a Web site or other document outside of the OpenCongress Wiki (including pages at, simply type in the url (i.e. or copy and paste it from your browser. Click "OK" and you're done.

You can also upload images or insert special characters in the article.

Advanced editing

You can also see the following guides with extensive instructions on editing pages: