On this page I will add links to useful sites, tips and answers to frequently asked questions about wikis.

Getting help

Remember, Wikispaces does have a built in Help feature, which should always be your first port of call. It is on the upper right of the page, between "My Account" and "Sign Out."


Watching the Wikispaces video tours is a great way to get started. These are each less than 3 minutes. There are also a few Wikispace video tutorials on the Wikispacetuts Channel on YouTube. For the more adventurous go to Wikispace Tutorials.

Very important points

File naming

We will be following certain class wide conventions for naming files. This is to make things easier for YOU, so please follow them. So that your team's files are all grouped together and, therefore, easier for you to find, start all of your file names (pages and images) with your team's initials , followed by your topic, followed by a one word descriptor. For example, if Dora and Amanda are doing ancient architecture and they have created a page on Egyptian pyramids, the page name might be "DA Architecture Pyramids" and they might have an image named "DA Architecture Pyramid " Since all pages and files are listed alphabetically, your pages and files will all be grouped together. It also eliminates the chance of another group giving a file the same name as one of yours.

Finding images

For images that have a Creative Commons License and are free for you to use (but you still must acknowledge the source), go to:
  • Wikimedia Commons
  • Google advanced image search - Under Usage Rights select Labeled for commercial reuse with modification from the drop down menu
  • Alternatively, go to Creative Commons Search and select any popular image search engine. In the tick box at the top of the page, make sure that "modify, adapt, or build upon" is selected before doing the search.

Image resizing

For web delivery, images really need not be more than 50 KB and 300 pixels wide or high. Graphic images in black and white or with limited colour are best delivered in the GIF file format. Photorealistic images are best delivered in the JPEG file format. If images already conform to these specifications, then it can be used with no further modification. If it needs to be resized, use GIMPshop.
GIMPshop is open source software and free for anyone to download. Click on the download link from the GIMPshop home page for either PC or Mac versions.
  • Always remember to copy any images you want into an "images" folder in your network folder before modifying.
  • Open GIMPshop (from the school computers operating with Windows 7, go to the Start icon, select All Programs, select the Art and Graphics folder, click on GIMPshop).
  • Select File>Open from the small "The GIMP" window and navigate to the image you wish to resize.
  • Once the image is open, select Image>Image Size... from the drop down menu. The Image Size dialogue box should open.
  • Set the image dimensions. A width of 400 pixels is a reasonable starting point. If it is already less than this, leave it as it is. Click on the Scale button. The image may appear to be very small. If so, set the view to 100% using the scale at the bottom of the image window.
  • Select File>Save As... Rename your image appropriately (see below), select File Type as "JPEG image" and click on the Save button.
  • From the "Save as JPEG" dialogue box, set the Quality to 70. Click the OK button.
For a short, silent video screencast of the process, download the video, but note that it is a large file (7 MB).
Resizing images using GIMPshop

Writing a bibliography

All sources, both information and images, must be acknowledged.
  • For web sources:
    author's surname and initials. 'Title of article', Title of the site, date of last site update, URL, (date last accessed)
    Broome, R. 'Aboriginal Melbourne', eMelbourne: the city past & present, 2010, http://www.emelbourne.net.au/biogs/EM00001b.htm (last accessed 17 October 2010)
  • For books:
    author's surname and initials. Title, name of the publisher, place of publication, date of publication, number of pages in book or pages used
    Presland, G. First People: The Eastern Kulin of Melbourne, Port Phillip & Central Victoria, Museum Victoria Publishing, Melbourne, 2010, pp. 148


How do I add an image to a page?

When adding an image to a page, it is important that you upload the image properly to wikispaces so it is stored on the wikispaces servers. If you find an image on the Internet (one holding a Creative Commons license, of course), right click on it and select "Save Picture As..." Save the picture to your network folder if you are at school, or to your computer/USB memory stick if you are at home. Remember to use the naming conventions mentioned above. Within wikispaces go to the page you are editing, select the "File" button and follow the instructions for uploading and inserting a file. A few people have found their files won't load using this method. As an alternative, select the "Manage Wiki" link in the top sidebar on the left. Select the "Files" icon in the "Content" section and follow the instructions for uploading files. If you are still having difficulties, select "click here to use our single file upload tool" and follow the instructions. Once the image has been successfully uploaded, go to your page, select the "File" icon and follow the instructions for inserting a file. Ideally, files should be on the order of 20 - 30 KB. I have seen a few that are quite large and, consequently, slow to load. Look at the instruction above for reducing the file size of an image.

Why can't I just copy and paste an image?

You can just copy and paste an image, but there are a couple of problems. Firstly, the image isn't actually housed on the wikispaces site; it is still being hosted by the original site where you found it. If the site is blocked at school, you won't be able to see it. If the site is taken off-line, your image is taken off-line, as well. Secondly, when anyone views your page, the internet traffic is directed to an external site. I wouldn't expect there would be a lot of traffic across our wiki, but it is good web practice not to direct traffic through other host's servers for your own benefit. One of the things that we are hoping you are all getting from this is an understanding of good practice.

What is the Wikitext Editor?

Behind what you see on the page is code that gives formatting information. It can be useful to look at that code as you are editing. To do this, click on the down arrow next to the "Save" button on the editing toolbar. From the drop down menu, select "Wikitext editor." This will change the page from the WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) visual editor, to the wikitext editor. If you don't know what all the formatting code means, click on the "Help" link between the "My Account" and "Sign In/Out" links and select "Wikitext" under the "Reference" heading.

Why can't I put a blank line between paragraphs?

I don't have a good, simple answer to this. I know some of you have been having difficulty with putting lines between paragraphs. A blank line will appear to be there when you are in the visual editor, but the line will disappear after saving. I don't know why it happens, but I do know that if you use the Wikitext Editor instead of the Visual Editor, the extra lines will stick around after saving. If anyone comes up with a better solution to this problem, let me know and I will post it here.

How do I confirm my email address?

To confirm your email address select "My Account" from the links along the top of the page. Look at the "Details" section of the "Settings" tab. If it says your email is confirmed, you are done. If it doesn't, enter an email address that you can check regularly. "Save" your changes and check your email account. You should receive an email (if it is not there immediately, wait a few moments and check again). Follow the instructions in the email for confirming your email address.

How can I receive notification of changes to pages?

To monitor changes to any page, click on the "notify me" tab on the page. Select the "Page Edits" option if you want to monitor all edits that are made to the page. Select the "Page Discussions" option if you want to monitor anything added to the Discussion tab. If you want to monitor all edits (not recommended) or all discussion, go to the Manage Wiki in the side bar, scroll down to the "Tools" heading and click on the "Notifications" link. Tick the box next to "Discussion" and click on "Update." I would highly recommend that you at least monitor "Page Discussions" on each of your own pages and monitor "Page Edits" for this page (Tips and Help!). To do this you will need to have confirmed your email address and regularly check your email. You can also get notification through RSS feeds if you prefer.

How do I create a numbered or dot point list?

Numbered and dot point list tools
Use the "list" tools from the editing tool bar. This will automatically create well formatted lists and will renumber appropriately if you add or delete something from a list.

How do I import my mindmap?

To add your mindmap to a page, you will first need to save it as an image file. Open up your mindmap in Inspiration. Click on the "File" drop down menu and select "Export..." Click on the Graphics File tab and select the File Format as GIF (if just text) or JPEG (if it includes images). This can then be uploaded to your wiki as an image. The screen captures below illustrate how to do this within Inspiration.
Selecting the Export option
Selecting the File Type