It was brought to my attention that using templates in pages was a little hard to figure out, so, although I'm no expert, I thought I'd collect together some of my thoughts on the subject for people to consider. This is by no means a comeplete guide, nor one for the creation of templates-- just a few pointers on using them that will hopefully help people who are having trouble getting started.

Although templates are extremely helpful and easy to use once there's an established precedent, trying to understand them from scratch can be very intimidating. There are a few articles about them in the Wikia help section, but to be honest, they kind of beat around the magic bush of just simply using them in an easy, utilitarian way. As someone who has used them this way pretty often, then, there are a few rules of thumb that may get people started faster.

First off, when it comes to templates, it's best to get used to working with source code rather than visual editing. Source code can look extremely messy and unintelligible when you're making things from scratch, but once templates come into play, the roles of the two means of editing are reversed. Source code becomes remarkably simple and precise, while trying to mess with visual editing becomes a hassle. This is because with templates, all the things that would normally make working with source code so unpleasant, such as tables and cosmetic touches, are already taken care of and folded into the identity of the pre-made template.

Really, when you want to make use of a template on a page, copy/paste is your biggest ally. Looking at a template page, such as this one for the MHFU Armor List, you can usually see an entirely text-based section below the visual example of the template, which is called the documentation. Amazingly, this text, aside from the placeholder names after the equal signs, is exactly how the source code for your use of the template is going to look. All you have to do is select it all, copy it, go to your page and switch to using source code, then paste. Then you can begin to replace the placeholder text with the appropriate information, which is what your only real work is going to be. Usually, the documentation of the template has some level of instruction on how to do this, so if you take note of that, your template should look fine. As always, you can make sure that it does by pressing preview.

Now, once you've used the template in at least one page, you no longer have to go back the the original template page to copy the documentation. All you have to do is go to the page you already used the template in, press the button that says you're going to edit it, then just copy the source code for the template from there to use in your next page. Better yet, you can save the source code to a text document on your own computer and pull it off of that everytime you want to use it-- just change the necessary information, paste it into the source code of the new page, and viola, you're done.

So, in short, I would suggest that people who want to use a given template just take a look at the way it's used on a page you think looks good, copy it, then paste it either directly into your new page's code or a text document and edit it there. As long as you don't mess with anything before the equal signs, it should come out looking exactly the same, save for the changed text information or pictures.

Anyway, I hope that helps for now. I'm no template expert, but if you have any other questions, I'd be happy to try to answer, and if anyone has something else to add, also, please do so.

Happy editing!

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