How to format content in MediaWiki

After you learn how to create and edit pages in MediaWiki, you will want to add and format the content in your wiki site. This article is not an exhaustive resource for formatting content in MediaWiki and will only touch on the basic functions like bold, headline, and numbering the text.

Wiki format editing functions

Editing a MediaWiki site is much different than your standard CMS program. Wiki code is designed specifically to use special characters format text in the content. The following section will explain the formatting options available in MediaWiki and what their functions are.

  1. Log into MediaWiki
  2. Default main page in MediaWiki

    Click the Main Page link.

    The Default Main Page will look like the snapshot to the right.

    Clicking the edit button will load the Edit capabilities. Click Edit.

    The following table will explain what code and what each formatting option is used for.

    MediaWiki Formatting Options
    BoldBold Text button in MediaWiki

    Bolds text.
    Code syntax:

    '''Bold text'''
    ItalicItalics buton in MediaWiki

    Makes Text Italic.
    Code syntax:

    ''Italic text''
    Internal LinkInternal page link MediaWiki

    Creates pages and links to internal pages.
    Code syntax:

    [[Link title]]
    External linkExternal link button MediaWiki

    External Link. Must contain the https:// prefix.
    Code syntax:

    [ link title]
    Level 2 HeadlineHeadline button in MediaWiki

    Separates sections and labels as a Header.
    Code syntax:

    == Headline text ==
    Ignore Wiki FormattingNo Wiki Code in MediaWiki

    Negates any code that may contain Wiki formatting.
    Code syntax:

    <nowiki>Insert non-formatted text here</nowiki>
    SignatureSignature button in MediaWiki

    Adds Your signature with timestamp to your talk.
    Code syntax:

    Horizontal lineHorizontal rule in MediaWiki

    Adds a Horizontal line to separate content MediaWiki says to use this sparingly.
    Code syntax:


Bolding and Headlining text in MediaWiki

  1. Log into MediaWiki.
  2. Select the page you want to add content to or create a new page and edit the content.
  3. Headline format in mediawiki

    Enter text for the headline. Highlight the text and click the Level 2 Headlineicon.

    MediaWiki will render that text as a headline.

  4. Bolding Text in MediaWiki

    Add text and highlight text to make the text bold. Click the Bold Iconin the editor.

    This text will now be bolded.

    Code sample of bold and headline MediaWiki

    The code for the bold and headline will look like the image to the right.

    Bold and HEadline preview in MediaWiki

    The view the user will see looks like the snapshot to the right.

How to make a numbered list

  1. Log into MediaWiki and select the page to add the numbered list to.
  2. Code view of the ordered list in MediaWIki

    MediaWiki does not have a bulleted or numbered list code in the editor so the HTML code will need to be used. Add the following code to your page.

    For a numbered list add the following:

    <ol> <li>First</li> <li>Second</li> <li>Third</li> <li>Forth</li> <li>Fifth</li> </ol>

    For a bulleted list add the following:

    <ul> <li>First</li> <li>Second</li> <li>Third</li> <li>Forth</li> <li>Fifth</li> </ul>

    Just change the First, Second, Third, etc. with your bulleted or numbered points.

  3. The numbered list for the users view MediaWiki

    Save the page and the numbered list will look like the snapshot to the right..

How to create subsections in a wiki page

  1. Log into MediaWiki and navigate to the page you want to add a subsection to.
  2. Adding a section in a MediaWiki page

    Enter the text for your subsection and apply the Level 2 Heading to it.

    Add text below the second header you created for the subsection.

  3. Section in MediaWiki page preview

    Save the page and you will see a second section with sub content in the page.

    See image to the right.

4 thoughts on “How to format content in MediaWiki

  1. I’m web developer, i want share code PHP, HTML, CSS. I want the source code contained is a block content. Ex: <code>…….</code>

    1. Hello share code,

      Thank you for contacting us today. In Mediawiki, you can add code formatting by using the nowiki tag.

      Mediawiki’s formatting page, advises it is “good for copying in code blocks”.

      If you just want to share code with others from our site, I recommend submitting a guide in our User Submitted Articles section.

      Adding a Code block to a User Submitted Article

      1. Highlight the text
      2. Formats >> inline >> code

      If you have any further questions, feel free to post them below.
      Thank you,


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