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Most basic formatting can be accomplished via the toolbar located above the editing window. If you'd like to practice any of these formatting techniques, feel free to test them out in the sandbox.

Simple Formatting

First, we'll cover the text equivalents of some of the more useful items in the formatting toolbar.

Note that the way to type the hash/quotation marks you see in the table below is to type a series of single quotes to complete the number required. For instance, two single quote marks on either side of what you want to italicize, three single quotes on either side of what you want to bold, etc. If you want to both bold and italicize, you would use five single quote marks on either side to achieve this.

On the other hand, you can also simply highlight the text you wish to format with your mouse, and then click on the appropriate button in the toolbar that sits on the top left of the actual edit window. This will auto-type the necessary formatting marks for you.

What You Want What You See What You Type
Italics But David flosses hourly. But ''David'' flosses hourly.
Bold I hear Tom flosses daily. I hear '''Tom''' flosses daily.
Link to another Investment Wiki page They agree on free cash flow. They agree on [[free cash flow]].
Link to Fool.com or other sites It's Seth. It's [http://caps.fool.com/player/tmfbent.aspx Seth].
Add an image inline
*You must upload the image first
Error creating thumbnail: Unable to save thumbnail to destination

Headers and Subheaders

Headers are the best way to organize information on a page. They also control the labeling on the Table of Contents that appears at the top of well-developed pages. In order to generate a header, use the following syntax in the editing screen:


For subsequent subheaders, simply add an equals sign each time you want to go a level deeper. For example:



That's it really. Headers and subheaders are best used to group similar information. This makes it easy for readers to quickly find what they're looking for when they get to a new page.

New Lines

While easy to add, creating new lines is not the most intuitive process. Pressing Enter once on your keyboard will not create a new line on the article page itself. You have two options for creating a new line:

  • Press Enter on your keyboard twice.
  • Type <br/>.

Both will generate the same result: a new line on the article page.

Bulleted and Numbered Lists

What You Want What You See What You Type
Bulleted (or Unordered) List Things TMFMoby Likes:
  • Pizza
  • The Motley Fool
    • Investment Wiki
    • CAPS
  • Sleep
Things TMFMoby Likes:
*The Motley Fool
**Investment Wiki
* Sleep
Numbered (or Ordered) List Ways That TMFMoby Rocks:
  1. Hard
  2. Foolishly
    1. At Work
    2. At Home
  3. Slow
Ways That TMFMoby Rocks:
##At Work
##At Home

Advanced Linking

The wiki software makes linking fairly easy once you learn the syntax. Internal links are case-sensitive so links to Free Cash Flow and free cash flow will go to different places. The software will auto-capitalize the first word in a link so the best bet when linking to a specific article is to make it all lowercase unless it's about a proper noun, in which case you should capitalize it as you normally would.

What You Want What You See What You Type
Basic link to another Flossary article I don't think free cash flow is free. I don't think [[free cash flow]] is free.
Link to another Flossary article with
different linked text
They're spewing free cash baby! They're spewing [[free cash flow | free cash]] baby!
Link to a section of a Flossary article Fool articles on FCF Fool articles on [[Free cash flow#Related_Fool_Articles | FCF]]
Link to a new, non-existent Flossary article
*This is just a normal link, note the red text indicating the page hasn't been created.
Has Fool Mars launched yet? Has [[Fool Mars]] launched yet?
Basic link to Fool.com or external site Need a broker? [http://www.fool.com/investing/brokers/index.aspx Need a broker?]
Footnote link to Fool.com or external site
* Most often used for citing a source
Brokers have fees [1] Brokers have fees [http://www.fool.com/investing/brokers/index.aspx]


LaTeX is the markup language used for this. For simple equations, just enter the equation between the <math> and </math> commands (or click the formula button).

  • In order to force a space (e.g. between words): \<space>
    • "Net\ income" will show up as "Net income"
    • "Net income" will show up as "Netincome"
  • For fractions: \frac{<top value>}{<bottom value>}
  • For supersripts: ^{<superscript value>}
  • For subscripts: _{<subscript value>}
    • Note, for super- and subscripts, if there is a single character to be moved up or down, the curly braces are not needed. Thus ^2 will put in the "squared" superscript by itself.
  • For square roots: \sqrt{<square root value>}
  • Note, these can be nested, like so:

    m = \frac{m_o}{\sqrt{1-\frac{v^2}{c^2}}}

which will be displayed (when placed between the "math" commands) as:

<math>m = \frac{m_o}{\sqrt{1-\frac{v^2}{c^2}}}</math>


For simple tables, there is a template page from which you may copy/paste some common examples.

Most tables can be created in Excel and converted to wiki format by pasting into this awesome tool. After using it, the data might need to be massaged to make it fully compatible.

If the tool or templates come up short, the Wiki Contributors Forum boards are your best bet. For more advanced tables, you may also reference the Mediawiki table help pages since we share the same formatting techniques.


Categories are a great way to group similar articles together. Creating or adding an article to a category is just as easy as linking to another article. To add an article to a category:

  1. Go to the edit screen of the article you wish to add
  2. At the bottom of the editing window type: [[Category:Category name]]. For example, on this page it's [[Category:Help pages]].

Articles may also be added to multiple categories by repeating the syntax above for each category you want to associate that article to.

The category page will automatically pull in the terms that relate to it. You can edit the description of the category just like you would a normal article page.

If you want to try out some of your newfound formatting techniques, feel free to test them out in the sandbox.