How-to: Enable the Visual Editor

Perhaps you are one of those wonderfully geeky souls who learned to use wiki markup & still enjoy the opportunity to practice it whenever the opportunity presents. If so, you are in luck -- Wikipedia (& sister projects) still support wiki markup by default.

But -- perhaps instead you remember wiki markup as a complicated and frustrating barrier to easy participation in Wikipedia. Or perhaps you have no idea what "wiki markup" means. If this is the case, you are also in luck because Wikipedia now supports a Visual Editor which functions pretty much like any other modern text editor on the internet today.

Wikipedia's Visual Editor is not enabled by default but it's very easy to make it your default text editor. Here's how to do it:

  1. log into your Wikipedia account (if you haven't done so already)
  2. look at the very top menu, on the right side. Click on Preferences.
  3. Click on Set your global preferences 
  4. You will see a bar of tabs across the top; click on Editing 
  5. view the Editing section; then view the drop-down list under Editing mode (you may have to check the box to the left of Editing mode if this appears to be greyed out)
  6. now you can choose to either Always give me the visual editor if possible or Show me both editor tabs (if you want to practice your wiki markup skills occasionally)
  7. be sure to hit the Save button before you close your Preferences.

NOTE: the Visual Editor is a bit fussy about browsers. Chrome & Microsoft Edge are usually just fine but sometimes Firefox is problematic. 


Want more information about the Visual Editor? Or would you like a chance to "try before you buy"? This page: Visual Editor User Guide provides both.

Last modified: Thursday, 30 July 2020, 2:30 PM