How to create an account and enable visual editing

Anyone can create a user account in Wikipedia. You should choose your username carefully as this is the name by which you will be known within Wikipedia and that will appear on all the edits that you make.

  1. Go to English Wikipedia
  2. Click Create Account in the top right corner of the screen.
  3. Type your chosen account name into Username.
  4. Type your Password and enter it again in Confirm Password. Don’t use your online banking password!
  5. Add your Email address if you want to be notified about pages you create.
  6. Complete the Captcha Security check.
  7. Click Create your account to finish.
  8. You will return to the Wikipedia homepage, logged in as your new user account.

There are some restrictions placed on new user accounts in English Wikipedia. You cannot publish a new article into Wikipedia’s live space until you have had your account for four days and made at least ten edits (number of edits can be seen in the Preferences menu). After these four days have elapsed then you can publish to your heart’s content. Until then, any new article is placed in the Articles for Creation queue for review by another editor. You can, however, edit existing articles no matter when your account was created.

Enable the Visual Editor in your editing preferences

The Visual Editor is a user friendly way of editing Wikipedia that works just like a word processor.

  1. Login to Wikipedia
  2. Click Preferences in the menu at the top right of the screen.
  3. Select the Editing tab.
  4. In the Editor section, uncheck Temporarily disable the visual editor while it is in beta if it is checked.
  5. In Editing Mode, choose Show me both editor tabs.
  6. Click Save in the bottom right corner of the screen.
  7. That is Visual Editor switched on!
Switching on Wikipedia’s new Visual Editor interface. (Screengrab by Stinglehammer, CC-BY-SA)