User:Planotse/How to Write a Wikibook and How to Use Wikibooks

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Getting Started with Wikibooks[edit | edit source]

If you're a casual reader of Wikibooks, there is plenty of guidance on Wikibooks for you here on this page. This text, How to Write a Wikibook and How to Use Wikibooks, is my personal help for those who want to do some serious writing on Wikibooks without struggling so much with all the technicalities here at the site.

Hello, my name is Tony. I work as a Software Engineer and I live in Plano, Texas. The TSE in my user name stands for Tony - Software Engineer. You might have guessed it right, outside of my professional hours, which include time to raise my son, I spend time with Wikibooks. Whenever you have the urge to contact me, never hesitate. This page has several handy contact links for your use.

Step A. Set up your user page[edit | edit source]

Back to work, the first thing I want to show you how to do is to quickly create the content for your user page. For the purpose of this discussion, let's consider your user name as Stefalyn and your user page is User:Stefalyn. For my text, instead of using your page at User:Stefalyn, I use this page. Go there, edit that page and you should see the following line. Copy the entire line over to your own, real user page and replace Stefalyn with your own, real user name. Do not include any space. All is case sensitive!


Userpagelikeplanotse is the name of a wiki template. The result should be three red links similar to what you see here:

  • User:Stefalyn/Nav
  • User:Stefalyn/Showcase
  • User:Stefalyn/Userboxes

Step B. Set up your navigation bar[edit | edit source]

Click on the first red link, User:Stefalyn/Nav, then enter the following text but use your own user name, nickname and email address.


Step C. Set up your showcase[edit | edit source]

Click on the second red link, e.g. User:Stefalyn/Showcase, then enter the following lines or use your own imagination:

=== Attention People ===
This is my showcase.
=== Another Shelf ===
This is another shelf in my showcase.

Step D. Set up your userboxes[edit | edit source]

Click on the third red link, e.g. User:Stefalyn/Userboxes, then enter the following text, but delete any line not applicable to you. For more choices, see Userboxes.

=== Attention People ===
[[File:Tony Software Engineer.jpg|thumb]]
{{User facebook|yourfacebookid}}
{{User gmail|yourgmailid}}
{{User yim|youryahoomsgrid}}
{{User skype|yourskypeid}}
{{User twitter|yourtwitterid}}
{{User wordpress|yourwordpressid}}
{{User Texas}}
{{User American English}}
{{user language|en|N}}
{{user language|vi|N}}
{{user language|de|3}}
{{user language|fr|1}}
{{User BS}}
{{programming language|csharp|4}}
{{programming language|vbn|4}}
{{User dog owner}}
{{User coke pepsi}}
{{User newspaper}}
{{User chess}}
{{user contribs|2000}}
{{User Wikipedia}}
{{User windows}}

Step E. Link up with others[edit | edit source]

Place the following line at the bottom of your user page. Add more such line for other subjects.


Step F. Help other users[edit | edit source]

You can help other users to do the same. All you have to do is click on the Discussion link on their user page, click on the Add Topic link near the top right corner, then paste the following text string in your message to them. You must include all four curly brackets as shown:

{{Use the template Userpagelikeplanotse to set up your user page in a hurry}}

Step G. TBD[edit | edit source]

This topic is intentionally left blank.

Step H. Create a Notepad and a Sandbox[edit | edit source]

A notepad is where you can save your notes. Remember, all writing, including your own notes are public. There is absolutely no privacy here! A sandbox is like a notepad but its purpose is to experiment with some writing or even scripting. Do the following steps to create your notepad and sandbox:

  1. Go to your user page
  2. Append "/Notepad" behind your user page's URL then press enter to create a notepad page, e.g. User:Planotse/Notepad.
  3. Do the same, append "/Sandbox" behind your user page's URL then press enter to create a sandbox page, e.g. User:Planotse/Sandbox.

Step I. TBD[edit | edit source]

This topic is intentionally left blank.

Step J. Create an easy access to your pages[edit | edit source]

By now you should have created the following pages but with your own username, not mine:

You can create a personal menu for easy access to your pages, in two different ways, either J1 or J2.

Alternative Step J1. Create a menu based on an existing template[edit | edit source]

If you do not want to deal with scripting, go to your showcase page, e.g. User:Planotse/Showcase, then enter the following line of text. Save the page then go back to your main user page and see the result.


Alternative Step J2. Create a menu based on your own code[edit | edit source]

If J1 does not work or you do not like the result from J1, use the following code at the top of you showcase page. Replace my Planotse with your own user name. Change the captions Sand, Note and Show to whatever you want.

<font size=1>[[User:Planotse/Sandbox|Sand]] &nbsp; [[User:Planotse/Notepad|Note]] &nbsp; [[User:Planotse/Showcase|Show]]</font><hr>

Step K. Review what you've done so far[edit | edit source]

Showing you how to create a user page similar to mine is a way to show you how to get started in writing on Wikibooks. Below is a list of concepts you've touched so far:

  • User Page
  • Wiki Template
  • Text Headers
  • Subjects & Categories
  • Notepad & Sandbox
  • Wiki-style Menu Links

Making a Smarter User Page[edit | edit source]

Learning how to make a smarter user page is a way to learn how to write a better wikibook. The prior section shows you how to get started with Wikibooks by quickly creating a basic user page. Now I show you how to turn your user page into a personal writing toolbox.

Step L.[edit | edit source]