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Preloadable formats can greatly speed the process of writing an article from scratch. Using one of the standard preloads will also ensure you're using the latest, admin-approved format for an article. Preloads only work in the Wikia skin, though, so we recommend that you don't start articles while using Monobook.

When you start a new article, you're given a choice at the top of the page to preload a format. You can either choose one from the drop-down menu, or you can enter a page name in the input box to the right. Doing either will ensure that you're making pages about similar subjects look the same across the wiki. It will also save you a great deal of time.

Finding the preload system

PreloadMain

The preload system lives just under the preview and publish buttons on your Oasis editing screen

The preloadable formats are only available in the Wikia — otherwise known as Oasis — skin. To find them, make sure you're in Oasis, then start a new page. You'll find the preload area at the top right of the editing window.

If you're not seeing something that looks like the picture to the left, click here.

Option 1: the drop-down menu

PreloadDropdown

See all the kinds of pages that are available from the drop-down?

You'll probably want to start your page with a skeleton format. This will allow you the greatest flexibility in writing. So we've prepared a series of formats for you to use across a wide variety of articles. Of course, all our formats are just rough guides. Sometimes, you have more information than what the pre-set format allows for; sometimes you have less. You'll therefore need to tailor the format to fit the amount of information you have. Nevertheless, the pre-set formats give you a good starting point from which to build your article. Just pull down the menu and select the one you want.

It's really important, however, that you use these preloads. We try to keep the preloads relatively updated, so that they reflect the format currently approved by the Tardis Manual and other related pages. You'll also find that these preloads helpfully have a lot of templates and categories already in place. Also, in the case of the magazine preloads, the formats also include a bit of fancy programming to make sure that you don't have to do anything to ensure that the "previous" and "next" navigation is correct.

Imagine you were starting DWM 1000. All you'd have to do is pull down to the "DWM issue" preload and the page would automatically link to DWM 999 and DWM 1001, and it would include a number of other "standard" elements as well.

The preloads in the drop-down take all the guesswork out of starting a new article. Even if it's your first day editing with us, you can almost certainly start an article properly by using one of the preloads.

Option 2: the input box

Though most occasions will likely call for the use of the drop-down menu in order to select a "bare bones" format, there are times where it may be more convenient to copy over a fully-formed page, and then make minor adjustments. This can be done by entering the exact name of a page which already exists, and then pressing insert. Let's say that you were doing a series of Doctor Who Adventures issues and they all had basically the same content, except for minor variations. You'd start with, say, DWA Issue 56 and get that ready as the generic template for the next 10 issues. Then, you'd start a new page for DWA Issue 57 and type "DWA Issue 56" into the entry box under the number 2. The entire contents of DWA Issue 56 would then spring up on DWA Issue 57. You could then make a few changes before pressing submit and moving on to DWA Issue 58. The savings in keystrokes — at least to anyone who's ever worked on such pages — is obvious.

Need a new template?

We've tried to include a wide range of preloadable formats. However, if you think there's a need for a new format, please contact an administrator with your suggestion.

I can't find it

NoPreload

If the top right of your edit screen looks like this, you have to take a couple extra steps.

There are times when you're editing in the Wikia/Oasis skin, and yet you don't have access to the preload system. Your edit screen may very well look like the picture at the left.

You're getting this screen almost certainly cause you hit a button somewhere that said "add page" or "new page" or "+ page" — or because you went directly to Special:CreatePage. The preload system requires that you click on a redlink to start your page.

But you don't have to create a redlink then click from it. Instead, you just have to get to the closest redlink from where you are. So, go to the top of your page, next to the Tardis Index File logo.

EditMasthead

In this case, the page name is "Test". You'll be taken to a page that probably has a picture of a floating Fifth Doctor and a message about the zero room.

ZeroRoomMessage

Click on the words "edit this page" and you'll magically be transported back to an edit window for the page "Test" — only this time, the preloads will be there.

Notes to administrators

Basic functionality

The system works because of javascript code which shouldn't be touched. However, the actual page formats are freely editable and work like this:

  • The actual format is stored in files following the nomenclature Template:<format>/preload. Thus they are subpages — though, technically they don't need the main page (that is, Template:<format>) to exist. Let's imagine you wanted to create a format for Locations on Skaro. Don't do it, but imagine. You would have to type up the barebones format and place it on a page called Template:Locations on Skaro/preload.
  • The format is placed into the dropdown menu by editing Template:Stdpreloads. If you wanted to place your new format in the drop-down, you'd have to find the "Locations" section and then add "-- Locations on Skaro". The name must exactly match that part of the title between the colon (:) and the slash (/).

How to use categories with preload templates

Don't intentionally put the template itself in a category

When creating new preload templates, do not attempt place the template within a category. Everything you place on the template will be transferred over to a new page when a user selects that template — including any attempts to put the template itself into a category. Thus, the traditional coding of

<noinclude>[[category:Preload templates]]</noinclude>

will result in every page that uses the preload template being assigned to category:preload templates. This is clearly not desirable. Fortunately, as category:preload templates makes clear, these preload templates don't actually need to be in a category to be easily findable.

Don't inadvertently put the templates in categories

Any categories on the template page should be ones you intend for articles using that template to be in. For instance for the template, Confidential/preload, you want to make sure category:Doctor Who Confidential is on the template, so that pages which use it will end up in that category.

However, this will mean that the template page itself gets placed within the category:Doctor Who Confidential. Using the converse coding to the above situation,

<includeonly>[[category:Doctor Who Confidential]]</includeonly>

will keep the template out of the category — but it will also keep any pages that use the template out of the category, as well. This is not desirable, either.

Templates out of categories, articles in

What we want is coding that will keep the template un-categorized, but will allow the pages that use the category to be fully categorized. We therefore have to build an exception into the programming, using an #ifeq statement. What we'll say is that if the PAGENAME is equal to the template pagename, then nothing happens, but otherwise put the category on. Hence:

{{#ifeq:{{PAGENAME}}|Confidential/preload
||
[[category:Doctor Who Confidential]]}}

so

{{if the pagename is equal to|Confidential/preload
|| <do nothing, indicated by nothingness between the two pipes>
else, slap on the category}}

Note that when we try to match the PAGENAME, we don't include the namespace. So the pagename is Confidential/preload not Template:Confidential/preload.

The bit to cut and paste

So, after all that, here's what you need. If you want something easy to cut and paste into a new preload template, it's this:

{{#ifeq:{{PAGENAME}}|name/preload||[[category:name]]}}

Cut and paste that for every category you want to auto-include in a new preload template, being sure to change "name" to the values you want.

More help on the category "problem"

You can also visit category:preload templates for a less technical explanation of this issue.

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