Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Here are some questions and answers about the PmWiki-based wikis that are configured and hosted by Emergency Digital, Inc. Check under the “Wiki Help” link for additional information.


QHow do I encrypt email addresses?

so that evil harvest-bots can’t pick them up and send them spam?

Syntax:
[[mailto:username@mailaccount.com]] OR
[[mailto:username@mailaccount.com | some text that is not an email address]]

Example:

[[mailto:tdowling@emergencydigital.com]]

mailto:tdowling@emergencydigital.com

OR

[[mailto:tdowling@emergencydigital.com | Tegan Dowling]]

Tegan Dowling

NOTE that the conversion to encrypted text doesn’t occur until you Save the page - Previewing will not trigger the change.


Q How do I add hidden (“commented out”) text to a page?

  • (:comment text:) is markup you can use, when editing, to enter hidden text - text that is only visible when the user is viewing the page in ‘edit’ mode.
  • You use it like this:
Blah blah (:comment this text will be hidden:) commentcakes

Blah blah commentcakes

Observe that the words “this text will be hidden” are hidden.


Q How do I delete a page?

Warning: this is one case where a change you make can actually cause you to lose content from your site!

  • Edit the page and replace all of its content with the word “delete” (without the quotation marks).
  • Press your keyboard’s down-arrow key after the word; remove any following line-breaks or spaces you find. Save the page.

The page’s history is gone, along with its listing in indexes etc.


Q How do I delete a WikiGroup?

You don’t. You contact Emergency Digital's support to have them do it.


Q How do I delete an uploaded file?

You don’t. You either

  • contact Emergency Digital's support to have them do it, OR
  • upload something else with the same name to over-write the existing file.

Q How do I rename a page?

Once logged in, you’ll see that the “login” link at the bottom-left of the screen has become “logout”, and that it’s now the first in a new row of links. The first few of these are just the same as the tabs at the top of the page, but there’s also a new link, “rename”.

To use it:

  • first go to the page you want to rename
  • click that “rename” link
  • a form will come up with two fields in it: one for the group the new page is to be in, and the second for the name of the new page.
  • if you aren’t moving the page to a different group, leave the present group in the “group” field, and just enter the new name for the page in the “page” field.
    • Observe the rules for page-names: NO periods, commas, slashes or question-marks are allowed in any page-name.
  • Click the “Rename” button.

Note that what the wiki actually does is duplicate the old page, along with its history, on the new page, and replaces the contents of the old page with a redirection to the new one. Thus anyone following old links from elsewhere will wind up on the new page. To complete the renaming process, you really should find and edit any old links so they point to the new page, and then you should delete the old page. The easiest way to do this is to take care of it as soon as you’ve completed the “rename” steps, above.

So:

  • After you click the “Rename” button, you’ll be taken to the new page, which will display a link at the top of it, which says “redirected from (old pagename)”. Click that link.
  • You’ll be on the old page, in edit mode (because in normal, “view” mode, the redirection code would kick in and take you to the new page again, naturally).
  • You will want to delete this page, but first check for “backlinks” to it:
    • RIGHT CLICK on the “Backlinks” link under “What’s where” in the sidebar’s “Website Activity & Navigation” area. Right-clicking there will allow you to open the list of backlinks in a new window or new tab (depending on your browser).
    • follow each backlink, in turn, to its source, and edit the source page to point the old link to your newly renamed page.
  • Now you can return to the tab or window where you have the old page up in edit mode, and delete the page. See the instructions for deleting a page, above, in the FAQ.


Q How do I make links to other pages?

A basic link to another page in the wiki is made by enclosing its location and name in double-square-brackets — e.g. [[Main.HomePage]] is a link to the page named “HomePage”, located in the group named “Main”.

Here are some examples. All of these link to the same page, but have different ways of displaying on-screen. Where a link takes you when you click on it is the link’s “destination”, or “target”. A link’s “link-text” is what displays on-screen.

# [[Profiles.HomePage]] Note that this displays with the dot between the
page-group "Profiles" and the page-name "HomePage"
# [[Profiles/HomePage]] Note that this hides the location, and displays
only the page-name.
# [[Profiles/home page]] The page name displays as written, with
lower-case first letter of each word.  This can be done as long as you
leave a space between words.
# [[profiles(.HomePage)]] Hides the dot and the page-name; displays the
name of the page-group with a lower-case first letter.
# [[profile(s.HomePage)]] Anything inside the double-square brackets can
be hidden inside parentheses
# [[(pro)file(s.HomePage) ]]pages  Anything that follows the closing
brackets without a space will appear to be part of the link.
# [[Profiles/HomePage | Any old "link-text" you like]] The "link-text" can
be anything at all (even a picture).
  1. Profiles.HomePage Note that this displays with the dot between the page-group “Profiles” and the page-name “HomePage
  2. HomePage Note that this hides the location, and displays only the page-name.
  3. home page The page name displays as written, with lower-case first letter of each word. This can be done as long as you leave a space between words.
  4. profiles Hides the dot and the page-name; displays the name of the page-group with a lower-case first letter.
  5. profile Anything inside the double-square brackets can be hidden inside parentheses
  6. file pages Anything that follows the closing brackets without a space will appear to be part of the link.
  7. Any old “link-text” you like The “link-text” can be anything at all (even a picture).

Take special note of the last example, above: The “link-text” can be anything at all (even a picture), if you

  • place it after the link’s “target” information, and
  • separate the two parts with a “pipe” symbol (the upper-case character on the “\” key), but
  • keep it inside the same double-square-brackets.

So it’s [[destination | link-text]]

See PmWiki.Links for more.


Q How do I link to an external website?

  • Simply type the full web address in the editing view of a page. For example: http://www.yahoo.com .
  • To have a link to an external site force the site to open in a new window, append %newwin% to the address. For example
%newwin%http://www.yahoo.com

http://www.yahoo.com

  • You can also use many of the rules for links to other pages on the wiki, as shown in the previous Q&A, if you enclose the link in double-square-brackets.

See PmWiki.Links for more.


Q How do I re-size an image file for upload to my site?

You may already have software on your PC that you can use to do the job. If you have a scanner or digital camera, for instance, it probably came with some software that will work. You might look through the menus or run searches for terms like “resize”, “resample”, “attributes”, “dimensions” and “reduce”. You’ll need to play around with it a little, doing “Save As” tests and checking your results to see how big your resulting files are, and so forth.

If you do not already have software to do this work, you may want to download a free image-management utility such as IrfanView, which is a wonderful multimedia-display software developed by Irfan Skiljan, originally of Bosnia, now living in Austria. The software is free for personal and educational use, and the author accepts donations via a paypal account.

Another alternative is to use one of the free online utilities that have recently become available — e.g. http://www.SnipShot.com.


Q How do I add white space to a page?

It seems no matter how many times I press Enter on a page, the result is the same - just one empty row. And no matter how many times I hit the space-bar, I still get just one horizontal space between words.

The wiki will ignore extra white space in your text - both vertical and horizontal white space will be collapsed to one unit, unless you use code to fill the space.

  • Vertical space: use two or more back-slashes “\\” (without the quotation marks).
    • beyond two, each additional back-slash adds another row.
    • if the back-slashes come at the end of a row or immediately below a row, they will pass the formatting of the previous row forward to the next, keeping both rows within the same paragraph. If that’s what you are after, that can be useful, but if you want a fresh paragraph, put the two or more back-slashes two or more lines below the previous text.

  • Horizontal space:
    • to add space before the first character of a new paragraph - that is, to indent the text, use “->” (without the quotation marks). Additional dashes will increase the depth of the indent:

-> = Single dash indent
---> = Triple dash indent

Don’t put an empty space at the margin.

  • to add space elsewhere, use the hidden “no break space” special character “ ” (without the quotation marks).

Q I’d like a different font

what kinds are available?

The fonts that a visitor to your site can see will be limited to the fonts installed on the visitor’s computer. Fonts come in five general categories or families: serif, sans-serif, mono-space, cursive and fantasy. You can specify any font you like, but we’ll need to provide a fall-back generic family name to tell the wiki what to display if your visitor’s machine lacks the font you ask for.

  • Serif:

This is a sample of the serif type (generally Times New Roman). You can specify another serif font if you want, but many visitors will be unable to see whatever you specify, and they’ll wind up with one of these.

  • Serif:

This is a sample of the serif type (Palatino Linotype, if you have it installed). You can specify another serif font if you want, but many visitors will be unable to see whatever you specify, and they’ll wind up with one of these.

  • Serif:

This is a sample of the serif type. You can specify another serif font if you want, but many visitors will be unable to see whatever you specify, and they’ll wind up with one of these.

  • Sans-serif

Arial: This is an example of the sans-serif type (Arial, if available). You can specify another sans-serif font if you want, but many visitors will be unable to see whatever you specify, and they’ll wind up with one of these.

Helvetica: This is an example of the sans-serif type (Helvetica, if available). You can specify another sans-serif font if you want, but many visitors will be unable to see whatever you specify, and they’ll wind up with one of these.

Verdana: This is an example of the sans-serif type (Verdana, if available). You can specify another sans-serif font if you want, but many visitors will be unable to see whatever you specify, and they’ll wind up with one of these.

Generic: This is an example of the sans-serif type (generally Verdana, Arial or Helvetica when available). You can specify another sans-serif font if you want, but many visitors will be unable to see whatever you specify, and they’ll wind up with one of these.

  • Monospace

This is an example of the fixed-width type (Courier New). You can specify another monospaced font if you want, but many visitors will be unable to see whatever you specify, and they’ll wind up with one of these.

  • Cursive
    • This is an example of the cursive type. You can specify a cursive font if you want, but many visitors will be unable to see whatever you specify, and they’ll wind up with this.
    • This might show up on your machine as “Comic Sans”, or it might just be generic cursive.
    • This might show up on your machine as “Zapf-Chancery”, or it might just be generic cursive.

  • Fantasy
    • This is an example of the fantasy type. You can specify a fantasy font if you want, but many visitors will be unable to see whatever you specify, and they’ll wind up with this.
    • This might show up on your machine as “Desdemona”, or it might just be generic fantasy.
    • This might show up on your machine as “Capitals”, or it might just be generic fantasy.
    • This might show up on your machine as “Western”, or it might just be generic fantasy.

Q I would like to dress up the font of the text part of my logo.

Can I create something and upload it as an image?

Yes; upload either a .jpg or a .gif. You can create a text logo, or combination image file and text logo with any font you like, and capture it with “print screen” or in some other manner, and then upload it and add it to the Site.Logo page in place of whatever is there now. If you use a gif, and set the background to be transparent, then only the text will show up against the existing background color.


Q How do I put an image on a page of my site?

First, you have to have the image file on the computer you’re working from - either on the hard-drive or on removable media such as a disc or jump-drive. You may have to download the image from a scanner, camera, email or some location on the internet. Before you begin the upload to your site, you should know where the image file is.

  1. Edit the page on which you might want to show the image in question.
  2. click where you want the image to appear, then
  3. click the paper-clip button, which will put this on the page: Attach:file.ext.
  4. replace “file.ext” with the name and extension that you want your image to have when it’s on your site. Note that this does not have to be (and often should not be) the same as the image’s file original name on your source.
  5. Don’t forget to give the file its correct extension (images are usually .jpg or .gif or .png).
  6. Other than the dot between the filename and the extension, the file-name should not include any: spaces, ampersands, commas, exclamation points, periods, question-marks or slashes.
  7. Save the page you’ve added the Attach: link to, then
  8. Click the new Attach: link to go to the uploads page, and follow the instructions there.

For more information, check the PmWiki.DocumentationIndex - find the links to sections on Images and Uploads.

Notes About Resizing
Once you’ve uploaded the picture, if you find it’s too big for the spot on the page where you want it, you can edit the page, and scale the image-display down by preceding the Attach: link with %width=XXXpx% or %height=XXXpx%, where XXX = a number of pixels. Preview, change and preview again until you get the result you want.

If your picture is too big to upload, it’s probably also too big to use on-screen, and, you can resize it before adding it. There’s some help with that above, under “How do I re-size an image file…?”. If you know that you are going to have pictures, and especially other documents (pdfs, etc) that will be too big to upload, let us know that you want your upload limit raised.

Last edited by TeganDowling. Based on work by Tegan Dowling and JeffBarke.  Page last modified on November 29, 2007

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