Mastering the Visual Editor – Drafting your 1st article in the Sandbox

Your sandbox is your personal draft space where you can create articles before they are transferred to Wikipedia’s live space without fear of being interfered with by other users.

Create your Sandbox

  1. Click on the red ‘Sandbox’ link at the top of the screen.
  2. Click Create at the top of the page to use the Visual Editor.
  3. Place your cursor below the grey box and type ‘This is my new sandbox’ in the space indicated in the pic above. Once you have typed at least one character of text onto the sandbox you can save it.
  4. Click the blue ‘Save changes’ button in the top right.
  5. Type a short but descriptive Edit Summary e.g. ‘created sandbox’.
  6. Click ‘Save changes’. Your sandbox is now created!

Draft any new article in the sandbox first and use an exemplar page as your guide. You should use an exemplar to begin with and there are many excellent articles out there to keep you right, particularly Featured Articles.

The information you write in your draft article & its structure will depend on what you can backup from the reliable published sources you are using. But you should consult Wikipedia’s Manual of Style to get a sense of what Wikipedia is expecting in terms of style & structure to keep articles consistent.

When your article has a few solid, well-sourced paragraphs giving a good overview of your topic, it’s time to move it into Wikipedia proper.

Moving draft articles into Wikipedia’s live space

  1. First think of a title for your new article – the simplest approach tends to work best. Check there is no other article with the same title.
  2. Go to your Sandbox.
  3. Click on the More menu.
  4. In the More menu, select the Move menu option. This will take you to the Move page screen.
  5. “User” is the default setting. Change this to (Article).
  6. Change the title of the article from “YourUsername/sandbox” to the title you have decided for your new article.
  7. Type a reason as to why you are moving the page e.g. creating an article.
  8. Click the gray “Move page” button.

That’s your article published!

Please note: there is a restriction on new user accounts whereby new users are not permitted to publish to Wikipedia’s live space until their user account has been in place for 4 days and they have made at least ten edits to Wikipedia. Therefore it is best to prepare your article thoroughly in the first 4 days of a new account and then publish to Wikipedia.


  1. Moving your article out of the sandbox (pdf classroom handout).
  2. Moving your article out of the sandbox (an alternative method).
  3. Ask questions of other Wikipedia editors at the Teahouse. The Teahouse is a friendly place to help new editors become accustomed to Wikipedia culture, ask questions, and build community relationships.

Further Tutorials

If you would like to find out more about editing Wikipedia then you can also:

  1. Try the Wikipedia Adventure tutorial. A fun self-guided tutorial that you can do at home in roughly 45-60 minutes.
  2. Explore the Wikipedia training library tutorials. Includes short practicals that let you play around in your sandbox (your draft space on Wikipedia).
  3. Learn how to edit in under 25 minutes (video tutorial).