Tip of the Week #16: Beginner's Q & A

24 Apr

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As PBwiki becomes a more unified and simple-to-use product, it naturally grows outside of the scope of tech-junkies and computer-geeks, creating a target audience that includes everyone from SUPAH L33T TECHNO-DWEEB’s like me to somebody’s grandma trying to share her latest knitted masterpiece. Therefore, today I address five of the beginner questions I’ve seen most recently in the PBwiki forums and elsewhere. Even though many of these questions are basic for some of you, remember that everybody has to start somewhere, even when making a peanut-butter sandwich.

(For friends who are further along, I ask that you wait patiently until tomorrow, when I’ll put up something more to your tastes…Thanks!)


How do I create a new page?

The simplest way is of course to click the New Page button at the top of every wiki page (you won’t see it if you’re not logged in). This will take you to a page which will request a page name and depending on how you signed up, will allow you to select a number of starting templates.

Another useful thing to note is that you can link to pages that do not yet exist. For example, let’s say I have a wiki about pets and I have yet to start a page about golden retrievers. If I go ahead a create a link to a new page in the Point and Click editor and name it “golden retriever”, the text on the final page will look like golden retriever, with the red underline. If you click this link, it will open up the new page for you to start editing, and the red underline will be replaced with a normal one.

You can read more about linking to other pages in the previous tip.

How do I get a list of the pages I’ve created?

At the bottom of your wiki, in the middle column of the footer section, you’ll see a category called Wiki Information. In that column, you’ll see a link to view all pages:

Show All Pages

You’ll notice that links to a page called AllPages. This page exists in all PBwiki wikis and is a surefire way to retrieve a listing of all pages in that wiki. If you’d like to make that more visible, you can put a link to it somewhere in your SideBar (people are more likely to look there than at the very bottom of the page).

In a previous tip, I also mentioned that AllPages occasionally lagged, and sometimes, people wanted to see all their pages at once. I wrote a script for that tip that generated a page like this. If you’re interested, check out Tip #13: “Where WAS that page?”

How do I delete or rename a page?

There are two ways to perform this task. The first happens when you are already on a page. The first column of your footer will look like this:

Rename and Delete

Click on either of the links as shown above to perform the required task. You can also access these functions for every page by visiting AllPages. Besides the link for every page is a little red + as shown here:

Expand page options

If you click it, it will expand, showing every single revision of the page and also giving you options to delete the page and rename it. I’ll talk more about managing revisions below…

How do I revert a page or track the changes in a page?

If you click on any of the old versions listed, you will go to that version of the page, and it will be proceeded with the following box:

Reverting a page

If you really want to go back, you can click this link, but be aware that all versions made after this one will be lost permanently.

You can also track an individual page’s history by clicking the [ history ] link as shown in the picture above. One neat function of this page is that you can compare the changes made between any two revisions.

Can I change the name of the FrontPage?

The FrontPage is the designated first page for all PBwiki wikis and is therefore unchangeable. If you want to change the contents, you can simply click EDIT and create new content or copy it from another page.

Also, note that the FrontPage is linked to when you don’t specify anything (since it’s the homepage). Therefore, http://dochuyen.pbworks.com links to the same place as http://dochuyen.pbworks.com/FrontPage.

So, short answer is “no.” If you’d like to change the heading beside the wiki name, however, you can look into using the unofficial Widget extension, which includes a number of hacks for that purpose. Remember, although I’m a co-author of this tool, it is a third-party script that is not PBwiki-endorsed, and PBwiki claims no responsibility for it.

Conclusion

That’s all folks! I’m going to try to push out another update tomorrow and possibly one Thursday too, to make up for the week or so I was away, so expect something for everyone this week!

As always, you can e-mail me or leave a comment here. If I don’t get back to you right away, feel free to e-mail again and say “hey punk, answer my e-mail.” Thanks!

Click here to see all my past tips.

Jason Nguyen

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