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Welcome to the University of Otago Wiki Service

Consult the User's Guide for information on using the wiki software.


How to get a wiki on the Otago Wiki Service

Information on how to get a wiki, including a link to the application form

Quick Start Guide

Starting a new page

Using Wikilinks

MediaWiki makes it very easy to link wiki pages together using a standard syntax.

[[PageName|Link text]]creates a link to a page called PageName, with the clickble text Link Text.

If you (or anyone else) creates a link to an article that doesn't exist yet, the link will be coloured red, like this.

Clicking a red link, will take you to the edit page for the new article. Simply type your text, click save and the new page will be created.

Once the page has been created, the link will change from red to blue (purple for pages you've visited) indicating that the article now exists.

Using the URL

You can use the wiki's URL for creating a new page. The URL to an article of the wiki is usually something like this:

  •    or

If you replace ARTICLE with the name of the page you wish to create, you will be taken to a blank page which indicates that no article of that name exists yet. Clicking the "edit" link at the top of the page will take you to the edit page for that article, where you can create the new page by typing your text, and clicking submit.

Formatting Text

You can format your text using wiki markup. This consists of normal characters like asterisks, single quotes or equation marks which have a special function in the wiki, sometimes depending on their position. For example, to format a word in italic, you include it in two single quotes like ''this''


Mediawiki ignores normal line breaks. To start a new paragraph, leave an empty line. You can also start a newline with the HTML tag <br/>.


Some HTML-Tags are allowed in MediaWiki, for example <code>, <div>, <span> and <font>.

Description You type You get
applies anywhere
Italic text ''italic'' italic
Bold text '''bold''' bold
Bold and italic '''''bold & italic''''' bold & italic
Escape wiki markup <nowiki>no ''markup''</nowiki> no ''markup''
only at the beginning of the line
Headings of different sizes

=level 1=
==level 2==
===level 3===

<h1>Level 1</h1> <h2>Level 2</h2> <h3>Level 3</h3>

Horizontal rule


Bullet list

* one
* two
* three

  • one
  • two
  • three
Numbered list

# one
# two
# three

  1. one
  2. two
  3. three
Definition list

:item 1
:item 2

item 1
item 2
Preformatted text

  a space at the
  beginning of the line
  preformatted text

a space at the 
beginning of the line
preformatted text


To add an internal link, enclose the name of the page you want to link to in double square brackets. When you save the page, you'll see the new link pointing to your page. If the page exists already, it is displayed in blue, empty pages are displayed in red. Selflinks to the current page are not transformed in URLs but displayed in bold.

The first letter of the target page is automatically capitalized and spaces are represented as underscores (typing an underscore in the link has the same effect as typing a space, but is not recommended).

Description You type You get
Internal link [[Page]] Page
Piped link [[Page|different text]] different text
External link
External link,

different title

[ MediaWiki] MediaWiki
External link,


[] [1]

Adding images

Uploading files

First upload images,then include the code to them on your page. The username and password for the wiki are stored in the ususal place.

Using Images

To use an image or other file which has been uploaded to the wiki, use:

  • [[Image:piglet.jpg]]

If you add a pipe (|) and some text after the filename, the text will be used as alternative text for text-only browsers:

  • [[Image:piglet.jpg|Picture of a piglet]]

If you don't want to display the image, you can link to the file's description page, by adding a colon:

  • [[:Image:piglet.jpg]]

To bypass the description page and link directly to a file , use the "Media" pseudo-namespace:

  • [[Media:piglet.jpg]]

You can also make piped links if you want some other text to be used:

  • [[:Image:piglet.jpg|link text]]
  • [[Media:piglet.jpg|link text]]


Description You type You get
Embed image
(with alt text)



Link to description page



Link directly to file



(centered, 50 pixels
wide, with caption)

[[Image:piglet.jpg|center|thumb|50px|Ain't piglet cute!]]

Ain't piglet cute!

External guides to managing Wikis