Style and Presentation

From the Family Tree Forum Reference Library


Please follow the conventions as listed on this page when creating new pages or editing existing content on any page in The Wiki.

You should refer to the Help:Notes for Editors and Formatting Text for further information about the conventions of Wiki presentation style.

Pages in The Wiki Guide also give examples of other useful code such as using galleries, tables and the various ways of using images.

Any alterations to County pages should follow the Template for County Pages. Any pages with lists of links should follow the same format. This will ensure that the presentation and layout of links wll be consistent throughout The Wiki.

Unless it is clear that the page is being actively worked on, if text or code is in the Wiki then it is considered as editable, therefore if any deviation from these conventions or any grammatical inaccuracies is spotted, it will be corrected.

Page creation and editing

General Principles

  • If you want to create a page - do it, but please try to ensure its content is valid and that it follows the layout and style of already published pages.
  • If you edit a page, use the Summary pane at the bottom of the edit box to give a brief overview of why you have edited.
  • If your content has been edited and you feel it shouldn’t have been, check the summary box first for an explanation. If there isn’t one, and the reason for the edit is not obvious by looking at the page history, you should contact the member involved and ask them.
  • If you are working on a page, you must use the "WORK IN PROGRESS" image to let others know. If this image is missing the page is classed as open for editing by all.


  • If you feel that something needs to be changed on a locked page, please contact the originator of that page.

N.B. Unless it is clear that the page is being actively worked on, if text or code is in the Wiki then it is considered as editable. Therefore if any deviations from these conventions or any grammatical inaccuracies are spotted, they will be corrected.

To avoid pages under construction being overwritten, please refer to New Pages

Writing style in "The Wiki"

  • Write formally in complete sentences or bullet points, following the standard rules of written English rather than the more chatty style of the forums.
  • Prepare your text in advance and check it for spelling and grammar before pasting it into the Wiki, otherwise it may be edited without any consultation or warning.

Please use the following conventions for punctuation:-

  • Use one or two spaces after a full stop and there should be no spaces before a full stop.
  • Use one space after a comma and there should be no spaces before a comma.
  • Capital letters (upper case) should only be used for the beginning of a sentence and proper nouns. All other text should be in lower case.

  • Section Headings should be in Title Case.

Please Note:-

Text pasted from Word loses its formatting, therefore lists such as addresses need <br> after each line.

Text which needs an extra line to separate it from the line above also needs an extra carriage return.


Hyperlinks in "The Wiki"

To add a hyperlink please see: Coding a hyperlink for the Wiki

Descriptive text following a hyperlink in a list should be avoided.

However, if it is absolutely necessary it is allowed provided the following conditions are met:-

  • The link plus its descriptive text will occupy no more than two lines and preferably only one.
  • The descriptive text must add value to the link.

For example:
Maps of England - many English maps can be found here
is not acceptable, whereas
Maps of England
on its own is adequate.

  • The link should reflect the content of the hyperlinked website.
  • It may be necessary to alter the text which shows on the page if you copy the URL from the address bar in your browser.
  • Care should be taken when copying and pasting links direct from posts in the Forums.


Any links not conforming to these conventions will be edited.

Any links and descriptive text which can be shortened without changing their meaning or impact will be edited.

Layout and Presentation of County Pages

See Template for County Pages

The top section of each county page is constructed in a table of two rows.

This can mean that the the line spacing will vary on each page and will depend on how much text is present.

N.B. Unless you are confident in editing the code, please do not edit this area of the page.


Please refer to the Help:Notes for Editors and Formatting Text for the conventions for the use of code for layout and presentation.

Organising links on any county page in “The Wiki”

Please note

In order to minimise problems when other sites change, any links which come from websites with national coverage, such as GENUKI, Familia or the IGI, should not be placed on the County Pages.

These websites are already listed on the appropriate national or regional page of The Wiki.

If found, they will be removed.

Duplication of links

The aim for the adding of hyperlinks is for zero duplication HOWEVER as it is not easy to come up with a definitive rule for the adding of hyperlinks which cover more than topic or county or country please follow this guideline:

As a rule of thumb:
If the link to a site would only appear on a few (preferably no more than 5) county or state pages, then it can be added to the pages for the relevant counties/states, adjusting the title to fit the content.
If a website covers more county areas or states and/or is likely to become more varied in coverage then it should be added to the appropriate national page.

Primary Reference

In the Primary Reference section, please make sure that links are in alphabetical order. The exception to this is the county record office, which goes at the top of the list under the Primary Reference Links heading, and is formatted in bold type.

N.B. Only the following should appear in this section and in this order; all other links should go in the appropriate sections:-

  • County Record office
  • County Family History Society
  • County Library
  • County Look-up Exchange
  • Relevant Online Parish Clerk


Countywide Interest

In the Countywide Interest section, links should be alphabetised according to keyword/topic.

N.B. Only links which cover the whole or most of the county should appear here.


Specific Town and Village Interest

In the Specific Town and Village Interest section, links should be alphabetised according to town/village/location.


Maps and Photographs

In the Maps and Photographs section, links to maps should be listed first. These should then be followed by links to collections of photgraphs and then by links to local photographers. Within this order, links should be listed in alphabetical order by location.


Books of local interest


Spacing for lists of links

See Template for County Pages as an example.


Layout of addresses


Other Help Pages

Minibad.jpg The Wiki Guide