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We're working hard to get content from the old wiki transferred and information updated, but things will move along faster with your help. This section of the site provides useful information on how to properly create and edit pages. We'll try to keep things as simple as we can, but we also want a good-looking wiki that stays clean and consistent.

While we've tried to provide links below wherever feasible, the forum's Help: Contents page is also a good place to search for information.

Who Should Edit?

Anyone who is familiar with the toolset and has technical knowledge to contribute. Good command of the English language is also helpful as it will minimize the amount of "clean up" editing admins will have to do to maintain appropriate levels of quality.

Editors should always keep proper scope in mind. The wiki has two objectives:

  • Teach people how to use the toolset to install or create mods
  • Compile information learned by the ME3Explorer modding community into a comprehensive knowledge base

We post regular updates about the progress of and plans for the wiki on our forums. Editors should keep up with those threads to have a better idea of the status of articles; reading only the Talk pages here will result in insufficient information. Anonymous edits are appreciated, but since we do discuss things on the forum, we prefer (but don't require) that editors log in to edit. It's nice to know who has edited what so it's easier to converse in forum posts.

Protected Pages

Certain pages on the wiki are protected and only editable by the admins (FogGene and Giftfish). These pages are either high-traffic, contain sensitive information about personnel, or are templates and include:

This adheres to Wikia's guidelines on how to use Page Protection to stay in line with the Terms of Use.

TOC and Adding Pages (Articles)

All articles on the wiki (or intended to be) are listed in the Table of Contents on the main page. Blue links lead to created pages, red links are empty and awating the page's creation. New pages can be added by using the Contribute button on the top right of any page and choosing Add a Page from the dropdown menu. Article titles should be as short as possible and accurately represent the article contents.

We've added the TOC explicitly to help ease navigation of the site, but also to help convey the scope of the wiki. Any new articles should fit the scope and fall clearly into one of the five defined categories and be assigned as such:

  • General Information — All articles not directly related to utilization of the toolset or that apply to both toolset users and developers (i.e., the Getting Started guide).
  • User Tools — All articles about a specific "User Tool" in the toolset. Article names should match the toolset menu.
  • User Resources — All articles to further help users with mod installation via the toolset.
  • Developer Tools — All articles about a specific "Developer Tool" in the toolset. Article names should match the toolset menu.
  • Developer Resources — All articles to further help developers with using the toolset to create a mod.

Additional categories shouldn't be necessary. Since the main page is protected, FogGene or I will add links for new pages to the TOC once we see they've been created. If a page isn't added in a timely manner, please feel free to leave a post on either (or both) of our Talk pages.

Adding Images

Most, if not all, articles will benefit from using at least one high-quality Image to showcase the tool or explain the information presented. Below is a brief overview of how to add images, along with some information specific to this wiki.

Uploading

Images can be added to the wiki in three ways:

  • By selecting Photos from the top menu and clicking Add a Photo once on the Photo page
  • By clicking Contribute on the top right of any page and selecting Add a Photo
  • By using the Add a Photo feature while creating or editing a page

For step-by-step instructions on using the photo dialog look here. Be certain when uploading an image that you fill out the fields as completely as possible. This means doing the following:

  • Provide a new file name for the photo that is explicit. File names cannot be changed after upload.
  • Provide a brief but descriptive caption.
  • Select the proper licensing information. If licensing information isn't added when the image is initially uploaded, it must be created manually by editing the image page directly and adding a "Licensing" heading (use H2).

Galleries, Slideshows and Sliders

Multiple images can be placed into a gallery, slideshow, or slider, each which has certain advantages and disadvantages:

  • Sliders are the most aesthetically pleasing, but are the least versatile with formatting. Their width cannot be adjusted and they are always centered on the page. Users cannot click on the image to make it larger, so only less-detailed images are appropriate. Sliders are also restricted to a maximum of four images. Due to the nature of the information conveyed on this wiki, sliders will rarely be useful and should generally be reserved for the main and Mod Spotlight pages.
  • Slideshows will be the most ideal way to present multiple images on this wiki. Unfortunately, Wikia is trying to do away with them. Their appearance is somewhat dated, but they are very practical. The user can quickly cycle through images and click on them to make them larger, if necessary. The formatting of slideshows is highly-customizable.
  • Galleries can be useful, but are also somewhat dated-looking. The images are also small, which means a user must click on them to get a closer look. This means a slideshow works better in almost all cases. Wikia is in process of testing a new gallery layout (which we can convert to), but there are two serious drawbacks. One, it converts existing slideshows to galleries, which in our case isn't desirable. Two, the format of the new galleries isn't conducive to the types of images that will be displayed on this wiki ("how-to" type pictures with small text).

For step-by-step instructions on using the gallery/slideshow/slider dialogs look here. For details on modifying them with wikitext, consult this page.

Using the Editor

There are three editing interfaces that can be used on Wikia: Source, Visual, and Classic. Here's a basic summary of each, with some links that lead to additional information:

  • VisualEditor — This is the default editor. It is the "updated" version of and Classic, so they are mutually-exclusive with each other. While they can mostly do the same things, their dialogs do have some different options. This is one reason Source Mode comes in so handy.
  • Classic Editor — A classic rich text editor. Test it and the VisualEditor to see which you prefer. Don't confuse the "Visual mode" in the Classic Editor with using the VisualEditor. If you see tabs at the top right of your editor, you're using the Classic Editor. To always use this instead of the VisualEditor, change the setting in your Preferences. Otherwise, you may also elect to edit particular articles with the Classic Editor by selecting it from the Edit drop down menu adjacent to the article title.
  • Source Mode — Both the Classic Editor and VisualEditor provide easy access to Source Mode. In this mode you use a combination of wikitext and CSS to properly format articles. It doesn't take long to get the hang of, but there's something of a learning curve, depending on past experience. Source Mode also provides convenient access to certain special characters and wikitext that the other edit modes lack.

It's worth pointing out that Classic and VisualEditor both lack a significant amount of text formatting buttons.There is no easy way to change text color in either, nor is there an easy way to add special characters. The VisualEditor lacks a simple indent button. For these reasons and many more, it will be necessary to use Source Mode when making/editing an article.

Article Layouts

Consistency of article layouts is important to keeping the wiki organized and intuitive to navigate. This Style Guide article provides a good example of how to use headings, sections, subsections, bulleted lists, and more. Use it and the other articles to help guide you during article creation.

For clarity, here are some general rules:

  • Article Name — Should be as sort as possible and accurately reflect article contents.
  • Introduction — Immediately under the article name place a few sentences about what the article is about. For very short articles without multiple sections, this may be all you need (e.g., Plot Database).
  • Sections — Divide article contents into sections to help organize the information presented to the reader. Main sections like this one on Article Layouts use the "H2" heading format form the backbone of the article TOC at the top left. They also automatically create the horizontal lines when used. Section line "dividers" should never be interrupted by images.
  • Subsections — Complicated sections may need subsections. The first subsection created should not be indented and should use the "SubheaderH3" template (more on templates below). Additional subsections should each be indented and can use whatever text formatting keeps them distinguishable and easy to read.
  • Images — All images and slideshows should be 380px wide, inline with text, and right-justified when possible (see Texture Tool for an example). If it's useful to have an image appear larger, set its alignment to where it makes visual sense in the context of the rest of the article. If left-justified, images/slideshows should be indented if they correspond to text that is also indented.
  • Tables — Tables should be left justified unless they are very wide, in which case it might make sense to center them. Long tables should incude a collapse element to reduce the amount of scrolling necessary (more on this in the next section). A sort element can also be useful.
  • References— Always cite references when appropriate. This is done in the body of the text via footnotes, with the references section at the bottom of the article. More information on this later on in the guide.

Templates

Much of the formatting in an article can be controlled by Templates. Templates automatically edit the text you insert for you, which creates consistency and saves time. All templates currently available on the wiki can be found on the Category:Templates page. Information on the function of most of those templates can be found on the corresponding Template Documentation pages.

Using Templates

If a template exists, please use it; it was created for a reason. They may be inserted via a graphical dialog in the Visual/Classic Editor or by typing their name in manually via Source Mode. More on this will be covered in the Formatting Text section below, but here's a brief overview of how to insert a template using the Add other templates on the right side of the Editor:

  • Click Add other templates.
  • Type the first few letters of the template name to make it appear in the dropdown menu. Select it and click Insert.
  • Fill in the left-hand Parameters field with the desired text.
  • Click Preview to ensure it's correct.
  • Click Ok when finished.

Adding New Templates

If text will need to be formatted across several articles in a manner that requires more than simple boldface/underline/italics, then a template should be created. Please observe the following details when creating a new template:

  • Add Template Page — Add a new page to the wiki with the name "Template:TemplateName." From there, you'll need to consult the Template Parameters and Wikitext articles on how to properly format the template. The Template Help article is also a good reference. Enclose the template code inside <onlyinclude></onlyinclude>
  • Usage — Rather than creating a separate documentation page for new templates, include details on the template's usage on that same page. To ensure the usage information does not become a part of the template, it must be enclosed in <noinclude></noinclude> tags.
  • Syntax — Also include the Source Mode Syntax on the template page. To ensure syntax information does not become a part of the template, it must be enclosed in <noinclude></noinclude> tags.
  • Categorize & Sort — To place the template in the "Category:Templates" category, you must use certain notation during creation. Use <noinclude>[[Category:Templates|{{PAGENAME}}]]</noinclude>. The "<noinclude>" tags prevent categorizing all pages using the template in the template category. Please also note the |{{PAGENAME}}, which will sort the template by it's name, rather than by the "T" in Template.

Here's an example of the code for the Tip template, that does all of the above:

 <onlyinclude>
                 <div style="background-color:#404040; color:#E0E0E0; width:auto; border: 1px solid #336600; padding:0.5em; margin-top:1em; margin-bottom:1em;">[[Image:Tip.png|28px|x]]{{{1| Tip:}}}</div>
                 </onlyinclude>
                 <noinclude>
                 [[Category:Templates|{{PAGENAME}}]]
                 ==Usage==
                 Use the Tip template to bring attention to especially helpful information for the reader in a situation when the "Warning" template isn't appropriate.
                 </noinclude>

Formatting Text

Formatting text is by far the most complicated and time-consuming thing about creating an article. As discussed above, much of it can be controlled through templates, but certain things must be done manually. This section will attempt to cover how to format most text relevant to this wiki. Keep in mind that there are various keyboard shortcuts that work on Wikia, this includes many of the Windows shortcuts (Ctrl+B = bold, etc). Magic words are also useful.

Author Boxes

DevName — This template should be used on the Mod Spotlight and various Tool pages to identify the lead developer for that mod or tool.

Code The developer's name should be placed here. The text and box will dynamically adjust to page width.
   {{Template:DevName|The developer's name should be placed here. The text and box will dynamically adjust to page width.}}

Basic Text Styles & Punctuation

Simple text styling with boldface, italics, and underlining can be used at any time for proper emphasis or to improve readability. Please also follow the conventions below:

  • Italics
    • Mass Effect game titles — Mass Effect 3
    • Mass Effect DLC titles — Leviathan DLC
    • Names of GUI Elements when writing instructions (toolset or this wiki) — "Click Ok at the bottom of the window when finished."
    • Ship Names — Normandy SR-2, SSV Normandy
  • CAPITALIZATION
    • Always capitalize proper nouns and proper names.
      • Tool Names — Soundplorer
      • Game Classes — Sentinel, Vanguard
    • Never capitalize common nouns.
      • Alien Races — drell, asari, hanar, salarians, turians
    • Also capitalize file extensions when not placing a period before them (.pcc or PCC)
  • Punctuation
    • Bulleted lists — Items should be followed by an em dash
    • Toolset Menus — Use an angled bracket ">" between menu names (Developer Tools > Soundplorer). Note that this also uses a template.

Bug Boxes

Bug — This template should be used when bringing attention to a bug in the toolset.

Bug Custom text that explains the bug should be placed here. The text and box will dynamically adjust to page width.
   {{Template:Bug|Custom text that explains the bug should be placed here. The text and box will dynamically adjust to page width.}}

Code Text and Boxes

Text should be "code-stylized" when appropriate can be displayed using standard "<code></code>" tags. To place the code inside a black box like the one below, simply put 4 spaces in front of your code in Source Mode:

   <code></code>

Colors

Unlike on many forums, there is no easy way to change colors for text. Instead this requires CSS and the use of "<div>" (multiple paragraphs) or "<span>" tags (one paragraph) along with html color codes.

Columns

Placing text into columns on the wiki requires 3 templates, one to begin the column, one to end the column, and a third to specify the number of columns. Currently, there are templates created to format text into two or three columns.

Credit Boxes

Credit — This template can be used when you want to credit someone for their involvement in a tool or article, and a reference-style citation isn't appropriate.

Paragon250 The name you are crediting should be placed here with a note. The text and box will dynamically adjust to page width.
   {{Template:Credit|The name you are crediting should be placed here with a note. The text and box will dynamically adjust to page width.}}

Directories/Paths

Directory — This template should be used for directory/path/folder names, like \CookedPCConsole.

   {{Template:Directory|\CookedPCConsole}}

Do Not Enter Boxes

DoNotEnter — This template should be placed at the top of articles currently under construction, and to mark deprecated/broken tools that are still in the toolset.

Donotenter Do not enter! This article is currently under construction and should not be used for reference. If you need help, visit the forums.
   {{Template:DoNotEnter|Custom text can be placed here but may not be necessary. The text and box will dynamically adjust to page width.}}

File Names

Filename — This template should be used for filenames, like BioD_Nor.pcc.

   {{Template:Filename|BioD_Nor.pcc}}

Horizontal Lines

Horizontal lines can be a useful formatting tool. Their wikitext is 4 dashes:

   ----

Hyperlinks

Internal (within the wiki) and external links are easily added via the button at the top of the page. They will be automatically formatted for you. External websites referred to in an article should always be linked upon the first use. Subsequent links are at the author's discretion. When referencing another article in the wiki, always place a link.

To insert an external link manually in Source mode use the following code:

   [URL DisplayedText]

To insert an internal link, use the following code:

   [[PageName|DisplayedText]]

If the text you want displayed is identical to the page name, then you can skip both the text and the vertical line.

NoWiki Tags

If you're trying to show an example of wikitext or CSS in your article that you don't want to actually function, enclose it inside "<nowiki>" tags. This is what I've done several times in this section.

Manual Breaks

If you need to insert manual breaks to improve readability, do so by placing two "break" tags to ensure the spacing "sticks."

   <br /><br />

Subsections

Subsection — This template should be used for all subsections under the main sections defined by the H3 header. The template ensures adequate spacing for readability and keeps the text distinct. What you are reading right now is text within a subsection; he main section defined by the H2 element is "Formatting Text."

   {{Template:Subsection|Subsection}}

Tip Boxes

Tip — This template should be used to bring attention to a helpful tip for the reader.

Tip This text can be changed. It and the box will dynamically adjust to page width.
   {{Template:Tip|This text can be changed. It and the box will dynamically adjust to page width.}}

Tool Names, Section/Subsection References, and More

ImportantName — Wikis can become difficult to read when too much of the text is altered. One of the purposes of this template is to prevent that from happening. "ImportantName" should be used to bring attention to a proper name, when you don't want to detract too much from the surrounding text. Examples are when using a tool's name on its page, referring to a section/subsection in the text of wiki, or, if appropriate, items in bulleted lists. Formatting Text

   {{Template:ImportantName|Formatting Text}}

Toolset Menus

Menu — This template should be used when providing instructions referring to toolset menu names. Developer Tools > Soundplorer

   {{Template:Menu|Developer Tools > Soundplorer}}

Unmaintained Boxes

Unmaintained — This template should be used on various User/Developer Tool pages when there is no primary coder for a tool. While the contents of the box can be edited, they probably don't need to be.

Unmaintained Coder? This tool is not actively maintained and needs a new developer. Visit the main page for more information.
   {{Template:Unmaintained|If you change the text, do so here. It and the box will automatically adjust to the page width.}}

Warning Boxes

Warning/Attention — This template should be used when a piece of information is especially important for the user/developer to know, and ignoring it could have negative consequences.

Caution This text can be changed. It and the box will dynamically adjust to page width.
   {{Template:Warning|This text can be changed. It and the box will dynamically adjust to page width.}}

Tables

Tables are somewhat complex to create, but are the best way to present correlated data in an organized manner. They should be used when appropriate; don't use a table when a simple bulleted list or 2-3 columns of text would work just as well (or better). Use your best judgement and take a look at how other articles use tables versus bullet lists versus columns.

The simplest way to add tables until you become familiar with wikitext is by selecting Table from the Add features and media option. This will bring up a dialog that steps you through the main configuration options. Step-by-step details on this dialog can be found here. Keep the following details in mind as you set up a table:

  • Alternate row colors will automatically be created via the wiki's CSS
  • Please place the column headers in caps
  • Consult Article Layouts on how to align the table.
  • Templates to format text can and should be used in tables; this may require editing in Source Mode
  • Use "+" and "-" to show presence and absence, respectively.
  • When necessary, provide a caption within the content text area or via the table dialog to describe the table contents

If you prefer to use wikitext, full details can be found in this article. MediaWiki also has some very good information on how to create and customize tables. Here's a quick cheatsheet of the basic markup:

    
  {|  begin table
  |-  new row
  !   header
  |}  end table
  colspan="#"  cell spans multiple columns
  

When it makes sense, tables should be sortable and collapsible, which requires editing in Source Mode. Making edits in source mode also allows you to customize the table with options the dialog doesn't present. Here are three separate examples:

   
  {| border="0" cellpadding="0" cellspacing="1" class="article-table mw-collapsible mw-collapsed" style="width: 925px;"
  | colspan="8" style="text-align: center; background-color:#305983;"|'''BioD PCCs'''

Long tables may benefit from "section headers" that can be created by merging cells, however this will prevent proper sorting. If you create section headers, use this background color for the cells:

   background-color:#305983

The various File articles on the wiki and DLC Content article provide several good examples of tables if you need further guidance.

References

Always cite references when appropriate. Wikia uses footnote-style references in the text that link to a separate references area at the bottom of the article. To insert a footnote, use "<ref>" tags in your text:

   <ref></ref>

References can also be given specific names by expanding this code:

   <ref name="UDK Resource Guide">footnote text</ref>

Finally, to insert the references section at the bottom of the page, insert:

   <references />

Consult this page if you have further questions on citations.

External Resources

Below are some external resources that contain helpful information on how to edit the wiki:

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