Help:Sections

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Headings organize your writing into sections. The Wiki software can automatically generate a table of contents from them. They are useful in long stories to separate parts, possibly complete with chapter names.

Headers are written as a separate line with a number of equals characters (=) at the beginning and end. The number of equals is used to set the "level" of the header, from level 1 to level 6. Note that level 1 headers should almost never actually be used, however; the level 1 header is automatically used by the title of the page.

The following is a simple set of example headers:

==Header level 2==

This is the content of the first section.

=== First header level 3 ===

Using more equals signs creates a subsection.

=== Second header level 3 ===

And so on.

One should avoid skipping levels. For example, one should not follow a level 2 header with a level 4 header. Most stories will probably only need simple level 2 headers in any event, without multiple levels of header.

If a page is divided up into sections using headers it becomes possible to edit just the contents of one section rather than editing the entire page. Section edit links will appear next to the section headers as "[edit]". This is particularly useful when dealing with extremely long stories, making the edit form quicker to load and easier to scroll through. In a few rare cases older browsers may not be able to handle more than around 32 kilobytes of text in an edit form and section editing becomes necessary for editing pages longer than that.

Separator dingbats

Instead of textual section headers, you may wish to use one of the graphical section separator dingbats available on Shifti.

Inter-paragraph divider dingbats
Template code Without text With text
{{Separator|d}}
Separator d.png
Separator d left.png Text Separator d right.png
{{Separator|f}}
Separator f.png
Separator f left.png Text Separator f right.png
{{Separator|j}}
Separator j.png
Separator j left.png Text Separator j right.png
{{Separator|k}}
Separator k.png
Separator k left.png Text Separator k right.png
{{Separator|r}}
Separator r.png
Separator r left.png Text Separator r right.png
{{Separator|x}}
Separator x.png
Separator x left.png Text Separator x right.png
{{Separator|stars}}
Separator stars.png
Separator stars left.png Text Separator stars right.png

To insert one of these images, simply copy the image tag given in the left-hand column of the table and put it on a separate line in your story where you'd like the image to appear. The image's width in pixels is defined in the tag and can be changed if you like. See Help:Templates#Decorative dingbats for more detail.

Table of contents

A table of contents is automatically generated if there are four or more section headers present in a page, and it is automatically placed right before the first section header. However, you can override this automatic behavior if you want.

To prevent a table of contents from being generated automatically, place the following "magic word" at the top of the page (it can actually be located anywhere but putting it at the top makes it easy to keep track of):

__NOTOC__

Note that there are two underscores at the beginning and two underscores at the end.

To force a table of contents to be generated, place the magic word __TOC__ at the place in the page where you want the table of contents to appear.

It isn't possible to pick and choose which individual section headers appear in the table of contents. Separator dingbats don't count as section headers and so won't appear in the table of contents, though one could place a dingbat image inside a section header if one wanted.