Text Formatting

Introduction

Rather than rewrite a perfectly good article on the subject, this page is intended to describe how to achieve the desired appearance of an article using the formatting commands available here, as they sometimes differ from those described in Wikipedia. Most are very similar, and easy to apply, needing no knowledge of things like HTML or CSS.

Why not just use Wikipedia's code - it's freely distributed?
Simply because it's become a huge and complex application, needing the resources of an online SQL database to function. We do not have the resources to run this and and the mountain of data it produces. We can achieve the same with our own code, and modify it more easily to suit our needs.

That said, the Wikipedia editing tutorial is a good starting point for anyone who may be unfamiliar with the concept.

For those more familiar with writing, there is the more advanced Manual of Style.

See also the page on Punctuation and Grammar .

Basic Rules

While many pages can be written without using any text formatting, its use can considerably improve a page's appearance, and add to the information it conveys. Formatting in a wiki is considerably easier than on an HTML web page, and is carried out using fairly simple rules called Markups.

For example, to make text Bold, all that's needed is three apostrophes (or single quotes) at the start and finish of the text to be made bold.

Most of the text formatting options are available from the buttons which appear above the text editing area, while a brief summary of the more advanced options is shown in the are below the editing area.

The following examples show first the markup, and then its effect on the following line within the grid.

Paragraphs

Paragraphs are created simply by separating each corresponding block of text by a single line.

Line breaks

It's important to realise that although most text appears as typed, line breaks are handled a little differently. Because the edited text is being used to create web pages, line breaks created simply by hitting Return do not create a line break on the final page. What actually happens is that the edited text is merely wrapped on the next line to make it easier to read, but remains attached to the text on the preceding line - this can be useful for those very long urls, or web page addresses. To force an ordinary line break, you must add \\ to the end of the line you want to break, as shown:-

Just hitting Return will not give a line break.

This is text where only a Return is used before
the next line. The line just appears to run on without the desired break.

This is text where only a Return is used before the next line. The line just appears to run on without the desired break.

However, by just just adding \\ at the end of the line, we get the desired break.

This is text where [=\\=] is used to mark the end of a line\\
before the start of the next line. The line breaks where we asked it to.

This is text where \\ is used to mark the end of a line
before the start of the next line. The line breaks where we asked it to.

Where text formatted into paragraphs has many lines, this method is inconvenient. In this case, conventional line break behaviour can be forced using the (:linebreaks:) and (:nolinebreaks:) markup to turn them on and off.

(:linebreaks:)
This is text where only a Return is used for
the next line. It just appears as desired because
linebreaks have been turned on at the start,
and off at the end.
(:nolinebreaks:)

This following text after the paragraph has a simple Return before
the next line, and just runs on as usual without the desired break.

This is text where only a Return is used for
the next line. It just appears as desired because
linebreaks have been turned on at the start,
and off at the end.

This following text after the paragraph has a simple Return before the next line, and just runs on as usual without the desired break.

Hard line breaks

There are occasions where other formatting options will prevent the simple \\ line break from being obeyed, and in these cases the more advanced hard line break [[<<]] should be used. Simply use the alternative version in place of the simple version.

This is text where [=[[<<]]=] is used to mark the end of a line[[<<]]
before the start of the next line. The line breaks where we asked it to.

This is text where [[<<]] is used to mark the end of a line
before the start of the next line. The line breaks where we asked it to.

The hard line break is also very useful for formatting page layouts because, unlike a simple line break, the hard line break forces everything, including images, which follows it to appear below it.

Text formatting

Bold text

Enclose the the required text inside a pair of triple single-quote marks.

This is some '''bold text'''.

This is some bold text.

Italic text

Enclose the required text inside a pair of double single-quote marks.

This is some ''italic text''.

This is some italic text.

Headers

Main header

Headers mark the beginning of section, and comprise a Main header, which has a page-wide underline, and is followed by Sub headers, which are bolded to make them stand out. Headers are important because the are automatically listed in page table of Contents, if this is included. Strict hierrachy must be obeyed, with the Main header being used firs, before any Sub headers appear. In general, the majority of articles will need only two levels of header.

Begin the header line with two exclamation marks.

!!Main header

Main header

Never use a Main header beginning with only one exclamation mark, as this is reserved exclusively for Page Names and Title.

Sub header

Begin the header line with three exclamation mrks.

!!!Sub header

Sub header

Sub sub header

Begin the header line with four exclamation marks.

!!!!Sub sub header

Sub sub header

Links

Link to another page in the site

Enclose the other page name within double square brackets.

This was near [[AA Battery Dunoon]].

This was near AA Battery Dunoon.

Link to another page in the site, using different wording

Enclose the other page name inside double square brackets, and add the desired wording after the name, separating the two with the pipe character: | (vertical line).

This was next to the Dunoon [[AA Battery Dunoon | gun site]].

This was next to the Dunoon gun site.

This can also be done using curved brackets, if the words are suitable:

This was next to the Dunoon [[(AA)Battery(Dunoon)]].

This was next to the Dunoon Battery.

Link to an external site page

While external links - links to pages or content on other web sites - should not be included within the body or text of a page or article in the SeSco site, they are listed in the external links section which follows the text.

Enclose the external link inside double square brackets, and add the desired wording after the url, separating the two with the pipe character: | (vertical line).

[[http://www.secretscotland.org.uk/forum/ | Forum]]

Forum

Lists

Lists can be bulleted

Use an asterisk * at the start of the line to get a bulleted list.

* First item in list
* Next item in list
* Another listed item
  • First item in list
  • Next item in list
  • Another listed item

Lists can be numbered

Use a hash # at the start of a line to get a numbered list.

# First item in list
# Next item in list
# Another listed item
  1. First item in list
  2. Next item in list
  3. Another listed item

Lists can define things

Use a colon : at the start of a line (and another at the end of the words being defined) to get an automatically formatted definition list. The line break option described above can also be used.

:Define first:First item in list
:A second:Next item in list
:And another:Another listed item\\
More items\\
And yet more
Define first
First item in list
A second
Next item in list
And another
Another listed item
More items
And yet more