Help:Difference between Visual Editor and Wikitext

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What is a Visual Editor and what is a Wikitext?

All of the pages created by UBC Wiki is composed of wikitext - Or in other words- Wiki mark up. Wikitext is like a simplified version of HTML.

For example:

Wiki mark up looks something like this in wiki texteditor: when you save the page, it will look something this:
This is an '''example''' of a [[Help:Formatting in wikitext|wiki mark up]]. This is an example of a wiki mark up.

In UBC Wiki, there are two types of editor that you can choose to use, which are Visual Editor (default editor )and the traditional Wikitext editor.

Visual Editor

interface of the Visual Editor

Visual Editor is the default editor in the ubc wiki. In visual editor, you can edit ubc wiki article in "rich-text" or "WYSIWYG-like" online text editor.It is similar to editing a word document in Microsoft Word. Using the formatting toolbar, you can easily do basic formatting. If you feel, you need more control with the styling, or you want to do more advanced formatting like embedding video, you can always switch to wikitext mode anytime.

Wikitext editor

interface of wikitext editor

Wikitext editor is the more traditional way of editing wikitext. You will be formatting the text using wiki markup. Learning wiki mark up can be a bit of a learning curve, but once you learn, you can have more control with styling and add advanced features.

Comparison Chart - Visual Editor vs Wikitext

Whenever you are editing a wiki page, you can always switch the editor to either Visual Editor (default editor)or Wikitext anytime. Depending on what you are adding on the wiki, it may be more appropriate to use one or the other.

In general:

  • Visual Editor - Good for basic formatting. In most cases, you can edit the page without using the Wikitext editor.
  • Wiki text editor - Good for advanced editing such as embedding widgets(such as video and slides) ,adding Dynamic Page Lists ,etc.

Below is a brief comparison of

Feature Visual Editor Wikitext Editor
Basic Formatting (Headings, text decoration, bullet points) See Help:Formatting for help. Advanced Formatting can be limited Yes. See Help:Formatting_in_wikitext
Adding Tables Table can be created and easily with Visual Editor. See Help:Tables. For advanced styling such as changing color of table, you may want to switch to wikitext after creating a table. Adding tables in wikitext may have a learning curve but it allows advanced table stylig. See Help:Tables_in_wikitext
Embedding Widgets(Slides,Video,PDF) Yes. However, embedding video in Wikitext Editor can be more intuitive. See Help:Widgets Yes. See Help:Widgets
Adding Categories Yes adding categories are easier with Visual Editor. It will also show category suggestion when you enter the category. See Help:Categories#Editing Categories on Visual Editor for more details. Yes. See Help:Categories#Editing Categories with the wiki markup
Adding footnote and references Yes, You can add footnote and references in visual editor and there's a template that will help you add citation. See Help:Footnotes and References Yes. See Help:Footnotes_and_References_in_wikitext
Adding Dynamic Page List(DPL) It is recommended to switch to wikitext when adding a DPL. Yes. It is recommended to add DPL in wikitext mode. See Dynamic Page List(DPL) for help.
Adding Math/Chemical Formula Yes. In Visual Editor, you can add math/chemical formula intuitively. See Help:Visual_Editor#Adding_Math.2FChemical_Formula to learn how to add Math and Chemical Formula. Yes. To learn how to edit math equation using Tex, see Help:Editing Math Equations using TeX . To learn how to edit chem equation using mhchem, see Help:Adding Chemical Formula in wikitext mode .
Adding mbox templateto your page. Yes. In Visual Editor, you can add mbox through insert>template. See Template:Mbox#Ading mbox in Visual Editor Yes. See Template:Mbox
Adding templates Yes. You can add templates through insert>Template. When the template you are using has a templatedata, it will also provide you with an interface that is easy to customize the template parameter. See Help:Templates for more details. If the template does not have a templatedata and you add a parameter to the template, it will be easier if you use wikitext mode. Yes. See Help:Templates
Creating templates, including creating infoboxes. Template: namespace does not allow Visual editor. If you find it convenient to use visual editor, you can create the template in a sandbox page, and copy and paste the wikitext. Yes. See Help:Templates to learn how to create templates.