How to Write Entries in GuideML

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Writing entries in GuideML (the markup language of the Guide) enables you not only to take advantage of the extensive markup features of GuideML, but more importantly it means your entry can be processed to pull out more information. GuideML is not hard to learn, and if you want help we recommend a visit to the GuideML Clinic where it is explained in thorough.

Switching to GuideML Mode

If you're posting to a Conversation, then you can only write your Postings in plain text as opposed to GuideML. However, if you're writing a Guide Entry, you have a choice of two modes:

To create a Guide Entry in GuideML mode, simply click the 'GuideML' button below the main entry window in the Guide Entry Editor, and click on the 'Change Style' button.

How to Write in GuideML Mode

The GuideML Clinic is the best place to learn GuideML, but here's a very quick introduction to GuideML.

GuideML is a markup language based on XML which allows you to add meaning to what's in your entry, rather than just having text, and makes your Guide Entry presentable to the reader. You add 'tags' which are surrounded by angle brackets <> which give structure to your entry.

All h2g2 GuideML entries have the same basic structure. They consist of one <GUIDE> element which contains the sections that make up the Entry. The one section you must have is a <BODY> section which contains the main text of the Entry. So a GuideML Entry with no content in it would look like this:


Within the <BODY> element you can put whatever text you want, and you can use other elements to add more structure and functions to your entry, such as:

  • <HEADER>This is a header</HEADER> will put a header in your entry.

  • Link to another Entry on h2g2 with the following: <LINK H2G2="A123456">Link to help</LINK>.

  • Link to another Researcher's Personal Space with the following: <LINK BIO="U6">Link to someone</LINK>.

  • <B>Bold Writing</B> will turn your writing bold.

  • <I>Italic Writing</I> will italicise your writing.

  • <P>Writing In A Paragraph</P> will make your writing in a form of a paragraph.

If you need to add an 'entity' such as a degree sign (°), you can use an entity such as &deg; or an entity code such as <ENTITY TYPE="#176"/> – see the list of entities for more details. As the ampersand symbol is used to add entities, any other uses of the ampersand are 'forbidden' in GuideML. If you want to add an ampersand, you can type &amp; instead.

Learning GuideML

If you are an expert on HTML then you will fit right in with learning GuideML but one of the best ways to learn how to use GuideML is to see how other Researchers have done it. If you would like to see what the GuideML looks like in entries, simply type in the URL where 123456 is the A number of the entry you wish to view the GuideML for. The A number can be found in the 'entry data' box in the top right hand corner of each entry. So, for this entry, A44381531, you'd look at - remembering to leave out the letter 'A'.

If you want to look at the GuideML for someone's Personal Space, then type in the URL where 123456 is the U number of the Researcher you wish to view the GuideML for.

GuideML Resources

Check out the GuideML Clinic, if you have any questions about GuideML, or want to find out more about using it in your entries.

If you're looking for pictures to use in your GuideML Entries, you can find a list of pictures and instructions in the h2g2 Picture Library.

If you are still confused then ask our Gurus or Aces who will be more than happy to help out and answer any challenging questions.

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