Wiki Life: 5 Tips to make your Wiki article look better

Since the TechNet Wiki is designed to be populated with data from many different people, there are a lot of layout and designs on the different articles. It seems like most people have their own way of doing things, and some even copy others and at least try to make things look similar. So that brings out the point of this blog post. What is the top 5 ways to make your article look better and be more user-friendly.

Tip 1: First of all, when creating articles that contain more then one page of data and several headlines, a "table of content" is recommended. If you don't already know, the code for adding the table of content is " [toc] ". Add this at the top of your article and it will give you an automatic generated table of content based on  the set of headings used in the article.

A table of content looks like this on a Wiki page:

Tip 2: Horizontal rules, splitting up some of the paragraphs or main headings/topics with a horizontal rule will make the layout look a lot cleaner and it will also help the reader to know when a new topic ends. 
Horizontal rules can be added by clicking on the following button in the tools box  when editing or adding Wiki Article.

Tip 3: The Move to top feature, Whenever articles get bigger and bigger its important to make the page easier for people to maneuver around, adding the functionality to get to the top of the page will make the article user-friendly., use the <a> anchors for sending people to the top of your article.

To do this, go to the top of your article and create a new anchor, you can do this by hitting the "link" button, and choose the Anchor pane. Name the anchor "topOfPage" or any other thing so you'll know what to look for when referencing to the anchor.

This "link" does not need to be connected to any text, it can simple be blank, however it needs a name.

When this is done, you need to add the physical link to the top. For instance after a topic you can add the string "Go to top", link the string to the anchor (drop down list) found under the hyperlink pane for links.

Tip 4: Using the dedicated format for fonts, text-sizes and colors.
Often when people copy paste information from a word documents or even their own blog, the format may follow, you do have an option to remove the formating when using the copy and paste function. Sticking to the original format for the Wiki makes everything easier to read and gives us a seamless design and grants the entire Wiki a better look.
When pasting from outside the Wiki it is recommended to strip fonts, there are two ways to do this, the one when you paste immediatly by using the "paste from Word, strip font"  or you can choose the other option:

You can strip pretty much anything hare, mark the text you want and select the format-strip you want to use.

Tip 5: Last but not least. Tags, the usage of tags should contain information regarding the content. I would love to see the usage of tags for articles that goes "hand in hand". For instance articles related to certifications should have the tag "certification" as a main-tag if i may call it that that runs through all those  articles related to that topic, It will make it easier for the reader to find articles related to that topic, in this case certifications.

So, to give you one article that does all five of these tips, (there are many) but I choose to give you this example, as a good point of view and proof of concept!

Exam 70-515 - TS: Web Applications Development with Microsoft .NET Framework 4 (en-US)

And remember, sharing is knowledge!

 - Norwegian Ninja Tord (Blog, Twitter, Wiki, Profile)

Comments (9)

  1. I found myself clicking on the TOC image. =^)

    Great job, Tord! This is a good list.

  2. Tord, you should also convert this into a TNWiki article. Maybe "Wiki: Tips to Make Your Article Look Better".


  3. Luigi Bruno says:

    This is a good post, I agree with Ed.

  4. Nice, these days I can't live without the TOC tag

  5. Over 1,000 views on this post! It's a start. =^)

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