Help:Beginner's guide to Index: files

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How to create "Index pages" (or "Index files") on Wikisource. These are used as part of our proofreading system. For more information, please see the advanced help page.

Screenshot of an Index page
An example Index page after it has been created with completed fields.
For more help, see Help:Index pages

Index: pages, managed by the Proofread Page extension, are a powerful way to allow side-by-side proofreading of documents in Wikisource. This document describes the fastest way to set them up on Wikisource.

Index pages are the main page for each proofreading project on Wikisource. Each one will have links to all the individual pages in the book, issue or other text being proofread. The page will also show the progress of the proofreading and a quick summary of the text's details (such as title, author etc). These details can link to other pages such as the final version in the main namespace and the author page.

Quick version


Requires: A scanned text on Wikimedia Commons. For example, File:Filename.djvu.

Always strive to upload complete and workable source files. Flawed files with missing pages, blurred images, duplicate pages and similar defects that may hinder the proofreading process should be addressed prior to uploading whenever possible.

Actions on Wikisource:

  1. Replace the "File" with "Index" in the page title and go to this page. For example, if the file is called File:Filename.djvu, enter the page title Index:Filename.djvu. Enter this title into the search box on Wikisource, and press "enter.
  2. On the resulting page, you will find a link to "create" this page. Click that link.
  3. Save this page.

Notes: The fields on the Index page should also be completed but this can be done at any time. The index page will automatically generate a page list and display the first page of the file (usually the cover). Both of these can be changed as described below.

Any known problems or defects with the source file should be noted as they are discovered either in the remarks (table of contents) section of the Index: page or on the Index's talk page.

Uploading content into the Wikimedia Commons

  1. Upload your PDF or DjVu file to the Wikimedia Commons. This is the easiest step of all: the commons has an excellent Upload Wizard. If you have any problems during the upload, get help at the Commons' help desk.
    • Name this file with the full title of the document as you want it to appear in Wikisource. If the full title is very long, a shortened title may be appropriate. It might be a good idea to add the edition and year of publication to make it easier to upload multiple editions of the same document.
    • Use categories to categorize your upload in the Commons.
  2. You should now have a PDF or DjVu document on the Wikimedia Commons. Some examples of such documents are File:Wind in the Willows (1913).djvu (DjVu) and File:Field Notes of Junius Henderson, Notebook 1.pdf (PDF).

Creating an Index: page on Wikisource

  1. In your browser (perhaps in a new tab or window), type name of the file you just uploaded. For example, if the document you uploaded to Commons was Wind in the Willows (1913).djvu, then you would want to type in in the Willows (1913).djvu. Using copy/paste for the name of the file is the best choice — it is very easy to type something wrong, mix up upper and lower case letters, and so on. Using copy/paste can avoid these pitfalls.
  2. Wikisource will indicate that "Wikisource does not have a page with this exact name". Click "Create" (or the "add Index:file name to Wikisource") to create this document.
  3. A page with fields to enter information about this document will appear. See the Wind in the Willows for an example.
  4. Populate each of the fields as in the table below.
  5. Click the "Show Preview" button near the bottom of the page. An Index: namespace page with an image of the book you just selected should appear. If the image does not appear, make certain that the name of the page is identical to the name of the file on the Wikimedia Commons. Once you see the page and make any corrections which become apparent in the preview, click "Publish page".
  6. Congratulations! You now have an Index: page for the work you'd like to transcribe on Wikisource.

Index: page fields
Field name Description Example
Author The name of the author. This can be wikilinked to an Author: page on Wikisource, such as Author:Kenneth Grahame. [[Author:Kenneth Grahame|Kenneth Grahame]]
Title The title of this work. It's a good idea to create a page for this work on Wikisource (such as The Wind in the Willows (1913)), and then link to that in this field. [[The Wind in the Willows (1913)]]
Year of Publication The original year of publication of this edition of this work. This is important to establish what copyright protection might exist for this work. 1913
Publisher The publisher of this work. This can be wikilinked if a portal exists for the publisher. If not, the name of the publisher is enough. [[Portal:Charles Scribner's Sons|Charles Scribner's Sons]]
Key The sort key. See w:WP:SORT for more details about using this field to affect sorting of this title in categories. This can often be left blank if the title does not start with words like "The", "An", "A" and so forth. Wind in the Willows[1]
Source The type of image file: djvu, pdf, jpg, jpeg, gif, and so on. djvu
Cover image The page of the document which has the cover image. In most cases, this will be page 1; however, in some scanned material, the actual cover might be on a later page.

Note that you can also use [[File:Wind in the Willows (1913).djvu|150px]] to use a custom image.

Pages The <pagelist> command is a powerful way to let people know how the pages in this work are structured. You can just use <pagelist /> to use the order of pages in the uploaded file.

However, you can also use it to indicate pages which shouldn't be numbered; for instance, <pagelist 1to2=- 3=1 /> will cause pages 1 and 2 to be represented as unnumbered pages ('-'), and page numbering will start by setting the third page of this document as page 1. Play around with this feature, and use Preview to check what the pages list looks like.

See the Proofread Page documentation for more details.


Table of Contents A table of contents for the text. Usually this will link to the chapters as they are in the main namespace.

The table of contents can be typed in here directly. However, if the text includes its own table of contents, this can be shown instead by "transcluding" the pages from the text (use the name of each page, wrapped in two curly brackets—or braces—at either side).

See Help:Index pages#Table of Contents for more details.

{{Page:Wind in the Willows (1913).djvu/13}} {{Page:Wind in the Willows (1913).djvu/15}}

See also

  • Help:Adding texts has information on adding texts without a scanned image, as well as general advice on ensuring that Wikisource can host the text you have uploaded.
  • Help:Proofread for more information about the proofreading process, including information on navigating your newly indexed upload.
  • Wikisource:Transcription Projects has a list of transcription projects. Once texts have been transcribed, they may be added to the Wikisource:Proofreading list of projects looking for proofreaders.
  • has information about the Proofread Page extension specific to (all language) Wikisources.
  • The Proofread Page extension has a help page on the Mediawiki wiki.


  1. This will cause this document to be sorted into 'W' (from Wind ...), instead of 'T' (from The Wind In ...).