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Wikipedia: The Missing Manual by John Broughton

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Chapter 21. Easier Editing with JavaScript

You can customize Wikipedia in ways that make your editing easier with user scripts, which are written in JavaScript code. As you’ve seen in Power Users’ Clinic boxes in this book, user scripts let you do things like color code your User contributions page, or remove pages from your watchlist by just clicking a box on your watchlist report, or adding additional links on the left side of the screen. As you explore Wikipedia, you’ll find many more user scripts that editors have created to make editing work easier.

Here’s how it works: When the Wikipedia server builds a page to send to your browser, it includes any JavaScript code stored in your personal JavaScript page at Wikipedia. Your browser follows the JavaScript instructions when it shows you the page, controlling how the Wikipedia page looks and works.

Best of all, you don’t have to understand JavaScript to use it. You just need to know the process for cutting and pasting chunks of code to your personal JavaScript file. This chapter shows you how.

Setting Up Your Browser

User scripts don’t work if JavaScript isn’t turned on. JavaScript is automatically turned on in most every Web browser, so you don’t have to change the standard settings. If user scripts aren’t working for you (you’re just seeing the regular Wikipedia screen after you implement some JavaScript), this section shows you how to check your settings.

How you check the settings depends on your browser:

  • Internet Explorer. The

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