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A Facelift for the Edit Page

Do you remember your first edit? Did you stumble around a bit? (I know I did.)

Editing is at the heart of the wiki experience -- and here at Wikia we are striving to make it smooth, easy, and fun! To encourage everyone to be comfortable contributing, we will soon upgrade the editor to make it more attractive, more intuitive, and easier to use.

What are our goals? Quicker access and better placement of the most popular tools, and a clear layout designed to make your editing experience easier.

Want more details? Some of the changes you’ll immediately notice:

Editor-infographic
A rough sketch of the new editing layout
  • Expanded tool space. To date, we’ve left the right rail of the editing page empty, and now we are ready to use that space. We've spread out the tools, so everything you need is now in easy reach. Your editing space has also moved up the page, keeping all the important parts of the edit page right where you can see them.
  • Custom view tool menu. With expandable areas for each tool set, you can click to view or hide tools, depending on your preference.
  • Preview and publish. The Publish button and Edit Summary have moved up the page so that they are always in easy reach. You can also see the page preview in a lightbox so there is no need for a page reload. If you like what you see, you can now publish directly from the lightbox.
  • One less scroll bar. One of the problems with the current editor is that is has two scroll bars -- which can make it difficult to navigate around the page. The new editor only has one scroll bar.

Extra notes for our long-time editors:

  • Full-width source mode. We know that many of you are accustomed to editing in source mode, and having the whole width of the page to work in. It will be possible to hide the default side rail toolbar with one click and that setting will be stored until you choose to revert it.
  • Source mode still available. For those that have disabled visual mode, or if you switch to the source mode tab, the functionality of the editor will remain as before. The design around the edit box will be updated, but this will not affect the way the editor works.
  • Main page version. The editor for the main page will show full-width to better reflect the layout of the main page.
  • Monobook untouched. As we explained in the fall, we are not making any upgrades to the Monobook skin. If you have your preference set to use Monobook, you will not see any of these enhancements.
  • Various messages seen on the edit page are preserved (for example, MW:Newarticletext, the license text, and various notices and warnings).


So when will you see all these improvements? Soon.

Our product design and engineering teams are in the final phase of development and have begun user testing. We’re aiming to release the new editor site-wide in mid-May but will keep you posted on the exact date on the staff blog. Please share this news with your community, and post your questions in the comments.

Want to receive updates on the latest Staff blog posts? Then click here to follow this blog.

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