WikiMedia wiki text – best formatting for step-by-step instructions with graphics for each step?

Getting into the trenches of wiki editing has certainly taught me a lot. My learning has mostly been by trial and error and experimentation. I’m playing around with the best way to use Wikimedia wikitext for step-by-step instructions with graphics for each step. (And wishing that Wikimedia was just HTML based, I know the rules there.)

I’m learning a couple of things. One is, add in any new line and the wiki thinks you’re starting over your numbered list. For example, I was trying to do a numbered list with graphics after each number.

Doesn’t look like I expected

# From the Home view, launch Browse.
[[Image:Launchbrowse.jpg|none|thumb|150px|Browse Activity]]
# Type and press Enter.

This wikitext gave me 1. first step blah blah blah followed by 1. second step blah blah blah. Woops! Not what I wanted. So instead, I put a space instead of a new line.

Works like I was going for

# From the Home view, launch Browse.[[Image:Launchbrowse.jpg|none|thumb|150px|Browse Activity]]
# Type and press Enter.[[Image:Browsegoactivities.jpg|none|thumb|150px]]

This wikitext gave me 1. first step 2. second step.

Now what to do

But then I tried to get fancy with the <gallery> tag to combine graphics for one of the steps. That restarted my numbered list at 1 after the gallery tag.

<gallery caption="Downloading an .xo file">Image:Jigsawxo.jpg|First click the link on the Activities page
Image:Versjigsawxo.jpg|Then click the link on the resulting page</gallery>

Numbering restarts at 1 after 4

I’m feeling a little lazy so I won’t research very far. The Extended image syntax page on Wikipedia had the most detail that I’ve found so far. I’ll probably just put the second XO download screenshot on the same line as the other so that the list numbering will work. Or try it for yourself at the OLPC Simplified User Guide, Installing New Activities section.


  • December 22, 2007 - 11:48 pm | Permalink

    I think instead of using a # numbered list, you should use ==sections==. Then you’ll conveniently get a clickable TOC with autonumbering that doesn’t screw up.

    If you really want a numbered list doing
    # Item 1 [[image:blah.jpg|thumb]]
    # Item 2 ..

    may work, as a bit of a hack.

  • December 23, 2007 - 10:57 am | Permalink

    Ah, now that’s another idea I hadn’t thought of. It lets you harness the power of the automatic clickable TOC. Good thinking! Might come in handy for other ideas too.

  • avi
    December 27, 2007 - 12:28 am | Permalink

    Could it be the wikifying your documentation is not about getting fancy at all? 🙂
    After all, you want your SMEs to click “edit” every now and then without fearing to ruin anything, right?
    (I moved to SharePoint 2007 two weeks ago and immeiately started a Wiki, at last… 🙂

  • December 27, 2007 - 12:16 pm | Permalink

    Hee hee. Yes, Avi, you’re so right. And these layouts are not the least bit portable either!

    My latest idea is to use the gallery tag and number the caption on each screenshot. I don’t get auto-numbering, but the layout is nicer. That page is way too big right now anyway. 🙂

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