Article Editing Interface in World Anvil Codex | World Anvil

Article Editing Interface

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  The article editing interface is the most essential and basic feature of World Anvil. It lets you edit the contents of any article as well as managing its preferences. This guide will walk you through the different parts of the interface.  

General layout

This is an overview of the different parts of the interface. It's an interactive image, so feel free to zoom out, zoom in, and click on any part of the interface!  
Article editing interface


Under the text box for the title, there are several tabs to toggle different settings and preferences for the article:  

  The number of tabs and options you see will depend on you guild level as well as the article template (for example, the Organization template has a unique Diplomacy tab). This guide will not go through the template-specific tabs.  


This is the default tab, and it's where you edit the main content of the article. You can use the text box at the top or, if you need ideas, click the Show Template Specific Prompts & Connections button at the bottom. This will reveal several additional text boxes for specific topics that you can fill in if you want.  


Three more tabs will appear when you click Sections: Sidebar Sections, Footer Sections, and Header Sections.  
  • Sidebar Sections: content panel sections will appear inside a highlighted box, while the top and bottom sections will appear over and beneath this box. You can also choose associated Manuscripts to be displayed in the sidebar.
  • Footer Sections: these sections will appear at the bottom of the article and beyond. Author's notes, for example, appear in the comments box (not the article content box). All sections have small tooltips that explain exactly where they will appear.
  • Header Sections: the subheading will appear directly under the article header. The credits also appear under the header, and they are to be used to credit the people who worked on the article.
  Tip: Check out the Anatomy of an Article page to see where each section will appear!  


Upon clicking this tab, three new tabs will appear: Basic, CSS, and SEO. Use this tab to tweak how the article looks and behaves.  
  • Basic: use it to set the cover image, as well as the excerpts and extended tooltip (more information on Guide to Tooltipster and Excerpts), as well as the related image gallery.
  • CSS: Guild members can write article-specific CSS, as well as setting an additional CSS class that you can use in the world CSS to change the appearance of specific articles. More information in the CSS Guides.
  • SEO: You can edit the SEO title and description on this tab.
  Use this section to configure various navigation and organization features for the article:   You can set the category or parent article, the article's weight, and a custom URL slug (for Sages of the Guild). An article can't have both a category and a parent article. The weight defines the position of the article inside the article list: the higher the number, the higher the article will appear in its category.  


This is where all the configuration checkboxes are.  
  • This article contains NSFW and/or 18+ Content (Default: Unchecked)
  • Use this option if your article contains any content that can be considered sensitive for users under the age of 18.
  • Allow comments (Default: Checked)
  • By selecting to allow comments you will be able to receive feedback from the community regarding your work.
  • Display the authors on the top of the article (Default: Unchecked)
  • This option can be used by authors that wish their name displayed on the top of the article under the articles's title.
  • Display the title of the article in presentation mode (Default: Checked)
  • Show in Table of Contents (Default: Checked)
  • If checked, this article will be shown in the Table of Contents of your world or your books depending on the chosen category.
  • Show articles under this in the Table of Contents of the World (Default: Checked)
  • If checked this the children article of this article will show in the Table of Contents.
  • Emphasize in Table of Contents (Default: Unchecked)


For Sages of the Guild (and above), this section lets you specify a password for the article, overriding the public status of the article. If the article is private, only subscribers will be able to see it; if you want anyone with the password to read it, make sure it's set as public. Editors and co-owners can access the article regardless of the password settings.  


You can use this section to create a new secret. It will appear in the Secrets section of your world and you will be able to use it on the same article right away. More information in the Guide to Secrets.   The sidebar of the interface has some additional tools that give you more control over the article.  

Top panel

The top panel has several buttons and options you can use:
  • Draft, visibility, and WIP toggles: Click on each of them to toggle between the different options. Draft becomes Published, visibility can be Public or Private (Guild-only), and WIP becomes Done.
  • Preview, View, and Save: the Preview button (Guild-only) will let you view the article in the same interface. The View button will open the article in presentation mode in a new tab. While the Save changes one will manually save the article. Note that you don't need to click it —articles are auto-saved, but the button forces a save in case you're not sure the auto-save worked.
  • Tags: they are a great way to organize your articles! More information in the Guide to the Tagging System.
  • Scrapbook: whatever you write here will only be seen by you and your world's editors.
  Under this top panel there is an Advanced Tools & Options toggle. Click it to reveal these panels:  

Notification options

There are two buttons:
  • Update Discord (Guild-only): this will send a notification using your Discord webhook. More information in the Guide to Setting up a Discord Webhook
  • Notify followers: click it to send a World Anvil notification to all of your world's followers! Pro tip: don't spam this button, or you will start losing followers.

World search and preview

This panel has a single search bar —use it to look up any article in your world. Click on the title to open the article on the same page (without losing track of your progress). You can then click the red Close button in the top right corner of the article to close it and go back to writing. You can also click the pencil icon next to the article title to edit it in a new tab.  

Referenced in...

When you click the Load References List button, a list of all articles containing links to the one you are currently editing will appear.  

To-do list

This panel lets you both view and interact with your to-do list. Re-order or delete items, and create new ones. You can read more about this feature in the Guide to the to-do list.  

Special actions

This panel has some additional actions for the article:
  • Apply custom article template (Grandmaster+): if you have designed any custom article templates in your Studio, you can pick one to change the article's template.
  • Select new author (Guild-only): the article's author is its creator by default. But you can change it to any other co-author here. More information in the Guide to Authors
  • Move article to another world (Guild-only): choose one of your worlds —the article will be moved there. Tip: for better results, remove any categories or parent articles from the article you want to move.
  • Export article (Guild-only): the article will be open on a new tab in basic HTML formatting. You can use this to print the article or download it.


This panel has two parts:  
  • Copy links: The first part of the panel lets you copy the BBCode tags for linking the article, both as a block or as a plain link.
  • Stats: this shows several article stats, such as word count, author, creation date, and more.





The article is not saving! Why?
This could be because of two reasons. First, the editor doesn't like special characters like emojis or Cuneiform characters. Additionally, if you pasted content or used the toolbar buttons to insert format, you might need to manually type a character for the auto-saving feature to trigger (you can delete the character afterwards).
How do I know if people can read my article?
Check to make sure your article is no longer a draft and has a star with the word "Published" next to it. (Click on it if says "Draft" in red) Then see if the next word is "Public" (If you do not want the article to be public, then click on "Public" so it reads "Private." There will be a plus-symboled button under the word Private where you can assign Subscriber groups who can read the article).
If your readers are still having difficulties, make sure the Category your article is in can be read by the public or your subscriber group, and that the public or your subscriber group(s) can read your world from the Configuration page.
Is there a distraction-free mode?
Yes! While editing an article, click the Enable Focus mode button beneath the main content text box. This will remove both sidebars and the top bar, leaving you only with the text box and the tabs.
How do I add a portrait to my character article?
Character templates have an extra text box in their sidebar top panel. There, you can type the name of the character portrait (assuming you have uploaded it) and a list of images whose names start with your query will appear. Click one of them to set it as the portrait.
What is the difference between WIP and Done, between Draft and Published, and between Private and Public?
WIP is a marker that adds the article to the list of work in progress articles (Done removes the article from the list). Draft articles are only viewable to you, while Published articles are visible to anyone with the proper access level (for example, you can have a published article that is private so only subscribers can see it). Private articles are viewable to only you, and any co-authors and subscriber groups, and Public can be seen by anyone.


Please Login in order to comment!
Oct 26, 2020 22:30

How do you edit a character's personal history? I haven't been working on World for a while and realized I had a typo in this character's personal history area. When I tried looking for it, I couldn't figure out how to edit it.

Oct 27, 2020 09:38

Hi! You can click the "Show Template Specific Prompts & Connections" button at the bottom of the edit page. This should reveal all available text fields, including personal history.

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Nov 11, 2020 21:49


Nov 29, 2020 03:49

I may have just missed this from the guide but how would one change the prompt titles in the "Template Specific Prompts & Connections"? Say for example from 'Current Residence' to 'Place of Burial'

Nov 29, 2020 12:30

Hi! You can't change the title of the pre-defined prompts, but you can create your custom ones. These prompts either appear as regular heads in the page, or as smaller text fields in the sidebar. To replicate the sidebar fields, just type

(using the BBCode editor), and replace KEY with the field name (e.g. Place of Burial) and VALUE with the field content. Hope this helps!

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Dec 10, 2020 00:59

Thank you for making this, one of the few downsides of this site is that it takes a while to figure out how everything works.

Dec 26, 2020 22:21

Hey! It says you can update the introduction to your world, but how do you do so? Probably super obvious, but I am super new here lol.

Dec 27, 2020 12:14

Hi! If you mean the introduction on the world main page, you can do so from the world configuration! Hope this helps :)

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Dec 29, 2020 01:07

Thanks! Figured it out! Really appreciate it!

Jan 18, 2021 13:25

is there an undo button? i accidentally erased alot of text.

Jan 18, 2021 15:38

Ctrl+Z should work as normal!

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Jan 18, 2021 19:42

Thank you! I´ll keep that in mind next time, it was to late now. Is there anywhere you can see previous versions of an article?

Jan 20, 2021 19:02

Unfortunately, version control is not a feature currently!

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Jan 21, 2021 10:04

Ok, I´ll make sure to back up my writing in the future. Thanks for the help!

May 10, 2021 00:50

I also just lost an unreasonable amount of work with a single keystroke and I wasn't able to undo. Literally copy pasted something in the wrong spot and tried to ctrl-z immediately, but it didn't work. Absolutely infuriating, and pretty much guarantees I'll be looking for another service as soon as possible.

Aug 26, 2021 22:41

Same thing as __sedge__ , Same reaction. Just lost over 10 pages of work with no backup to 1 mistake of Ctrl-A, before I could deselect all the text, I accidently hit a random letter key, and all the work was instantly gone, no Ctrl-z could save it.

Feb 11, 2021 16:52 by Lyraine Alei

I recall there being some issues with "non-standard" characters being typed in and causing issues with the save/autosave function. Symbols like Ancient Sumerian characters. Could there be a mention of that (I don't know if there is a full list, and I think it has something to do with security)

Lyraine, Consumer of Lore, She/Her, primary project: Corive
Feb 14, 2021 18:22

Good point! I've added a mention of this in the FAQ. Thanks!

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Feb 14, 2021 19:35 by Lyraine Alei

Happy to help - I've not seen anyone asking in the discord about it, but remembered some people getting frustrated over losing a lot of work as a result.

Lyraine, Consumer of Lore, She/Her, primary project: Corive
Feb 14, 2021 19:35 by Lyraine Alei

Well, not in a while at leas.t

Lyraine, Consumer of Lore, She/Her, primary project: Corive
Mar 3, 2021 19:05 by Joshua Jacobs

I'm having an issue with my sidebar panels appearing at the bottom of my article and not on the side. I'm not sure what I did wrong. The width of the text in them isn't too long, mainly bullet point info, but I can't seem to fix it. Problem shows up on PC, not mobile (which would make sense given the smaller screen.) TIA for the help

Mar 3, 2021 20:47

Hi! This usually happens when there are unclosed BBCode tags. Make sure that every opening tag has a closing equivalent! For example, a [li][/noprase] should have a [noparse][/li] closing each item. Same for [noparse]

    [/noprase]s and others. Let me know if that helps!

    [they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Mar 3, 2021 22:13 by Joshua Jacobs

You're amazing; it worked. Thankfully, I didn't have to read through 50,000 lines of code. This is why I tell people coding is hard! Thank you so much

Mar 4, 2021 16:03

Good to know you managed to fix it even though I messed up the format in my own comment! :P   Tip: you can use the WYSIWYG editor to avoid having to type BBCode tags! The editor is not as flexible when it comes to formatting, but if that's not a priority for you, it's pretty handy!

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
May 10, 2021 00:51

Reposting from inside a thread for visibility:   I also just lost an unreasonable amount of work with a single keystroke and I wasn't able to undo. Literally copy pasted something in the wrong spot and tried to ctrl-z immediately, but it didn't work. Absolutely infuriating, and pretty much guarantees I'll be looking for another service as soon as possible.

Aug 27, 2021 12:04

Hi! We're aware of specific issues with the editors and the auto-save. Copy-pasting specifically causes issues sometimes —so sorry you got caught up in that. We're still in beta, so bugs are expected, but we're definitely looking into these issues, we know they're important. If you're interested in helping us improve, feel free to report the bug with all the details you can remember to our bug tracker. Thank you!

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Aug 31, 2021 14:50

If I changed the name of a character, is there a way I could change the name that shows up in every link to that character?

Aug 31, 2021 16:49

Not automatically, but there's a way to get a list of all articles that include a link to the character. Find the "Referenced in..." box in the additional tools of the right side panels while editing your article. Hope this helps!

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Oct 9, 2021 13:13

how do i delete one

Oct 9, 2021 14:06

while editing the article, Preferences -> red "Delete Article" button

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Mar 15, 2022 14:02 by K. W.

How do you add the big upper picture?

Mar 16, 2022 10:15

You can set the article cover image from the Design tab while you're editing it. Simply type in the name of the image file you've uploaded and select the correct one from the results.

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Jun 29, 2022 01:04

For some reason i can't get the preview text of my Character to update. Before i go to the Character Page, if i only Click on the Folder with my Character Name, there's a short text being displayed. No matter if i change it on my Character Sheet or not, it stays the same old text i typed there initially.

Jun 29, 2022 01:07

Nvm. i found my mistake :) The option i was looking for was in the "Design" section of my Character's Category.

Nov 11, 2022 00:04

Is linear navigation no longer working? All of the articles I have set up with it no longer function, and the option for setting them up is no longer appearing.

Nov 11, 2022 09:07

It's been disabled at this moment in time, but it's currently under investigation and the devs are working to try to find a solution. You can see the progress on this in the bug report page.

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Nov 11, 2022 15:50

Okay cool, thank you for letting me know!

Apr 21, 2023 10:36

How do you set the previous and next articles displayed on each side of the category?

Apr 21, 2023 10:42

Go to the Articles interface (from the left sidebar), click on an article and on the right panel, click on "Show additional options" and use the Previous article and Next article options there.

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.
Apr 21, 2023 13:10

Thank you very much!

May 26, 2023 19:36

Is there a way to add a wiki-like table of contents to an article so that a reader can jump directly to the section they're interested in?

May 29, 2023 08:11

There is! Use the [articletoc] code to generate a table of contents based on the article headers. I usually put it at the top of the sidebar!

[they/them] Creator of Black Light, a science-fantasy universe.