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Navigating in the Encyclopedia

The NAWCC Encyclopedia provides improved organization of material of a more permanent nature than the question and answer or conversational format of Forum posts. Several new ways of looking for information are introduced by the Encyclopedia software. This articles focuses on reading and navigating existing articles. The article [main]Writing and Editing Encyclopedia Articles[/main] discusses the production and editing of articles.

Basic Encyclopedia Elements


The encyclopedia is divided up into a number of areas which are called namespaces. Most of these namespaces are used to organize the artices which make up the Encyclopedia into broad categories; for example, encyclopedia articles, tutorials on how to use the encyclopedia, and images.

Some namespaces are used create structural relationships between articles; for example, combining a number of articles together into a book. Also, there are a few special purpose namespaces, such as the Templates namespace.

The most important namespaces are:

Article namespaces

  • Encyclopedia
    The Encyclopedia is the default namespace for all encyclopedia articles, including tutorials.
    It is subdivided into categories which cover particular topics and are equivalent to shelf areas in a library.
  • Images
    The Images namespace holds the images that are used in articles. Images can be digitized photographs, scans of printed material, etc.
    Each image has its own article in which it is embedded, and the article provides information about the associated image.
    Although other types of information, such as text documents, can be placed in this namespace, it is recommended that it is only used for images.
  • Help
    The Help provides a convenient location for very brief articles about words, phrases or proper names. Functionally it works just like the Encyclopedia, but the intent is to provide short explanations rather than reference articles.

Structural namespaces

  • Books
    Books contain related articles. A book provides a table of contents to the articles (chapters) and, when one is reading a chapter, links to the next and previous chapters are provided.
  • Categories
    Articles can be organized into subject areas and these areas can be subdivided. For example, an article in the category Watches may belong to the sub-category Pocket watches and then to the category American pocket watches within that category. Thus categories provide a method of organizing content into hierarchies of subject areas:
    Watches:pocket watches:American pocket watches​
    Articles can be assigned to multiple categories, and the above example might also belong to the category:
    To see other articles in a category you may click on a category name at the bottom of the article you are currently reading. You may also directly visit the Category Namespace and view the category listings there.

Encyclopedia drop down menu

The Encyclopedia drop down menu is located in the Message Board Navigation Bar near the top of the page along with other useful links such as the FAQ, Search and Log Out links. The drop down elements which you can see depend on your privileges. For example, guests will only see the Article List item, but NAWCC Members and others who have been given authoring privileges see the full set of options.

The drop down elements are listed below with a brief description of each of them.

Article List

The article list you see if you click on this button is the list of articles in the namespace of the Encyclopedia you are viewing, or the Encyclopedia itself if you are not viewing Encyclopedia content; for example, if you are reading in a Message Board forum (this is the same view you would see if you navigated to the same location from the top level of the Message Board).

Post New Article (If Authorized)

Clicking on this link starts the article creation process. This is discussed in the article on [main]Writing and Editing Encyclopedia Articles[/main]. The article will be created in the category that is currently being viewed. If you are not viewing an Encyclopedia category, the article will be created in Encyclopedia default area and will need to be moved to the appropriate category by an Administrator or Moderator.

Members of the NAWCC are authorized to post articles. Other registered users of the NAWCC Message Board may receive authoring privileges on request to the Encyclopedia Administrator.

Articles may be edited or deleted by the Encyclopedia Management Group or moderators if the content is inappropriate. The Encyclopedia is intended as a reference source for Horology. Conversations and other discussions should be held in the NAWCC Forums, Social Group discussions, or the blogging facility on the NAWCC portal system (which has its own drop-down menu in the navigation bar).

Special Pages

Image RegUserSpecial.gif
Special Pages View for Registered Users​

Image MemSpecial.gif
Special Pages View for NAWCC Members​

Special Pages shows a list of reports and that are useful for understanding the Encyclopedia and its current status. The reports listed depend on the privileges the user has.

These reports include the list of Encyclopedia codes (Wiki codes) that can be used both within Encyclopedia articles and within regular message board forum posts to reference Encyclopedia articles. These codes are explained in the article [main]Writing and Editing Encyclopedia Articles[/main]

Other reports include lists of Books, Categories and other organization elements of the Encyclopedia.


Clicking on the Books link will display the contents of the Book Namespace. Books are an organizational structure for Encyclopedia Articles. Articles that develop a specific subject can be gathered into a Book as chapters. The book provides convenient links between the chapters as well as a table of contents that lists the chapters in the book.

Categories and Links can be used in a similar way to book organization by classifying articles and connecting articles to one another in a useful way.

Recent Changes

Recent Changes shows a list of articles that are either new or have received recent updates. The articles are displayed in reverse chronological order with the most recent appearing first. There is no cutoff except for the maximum number displayed on a screen.

This information is similar to New Posts information in the discussion forums, but because Encyclopedia Articles are "edited in place" by potentially many different authors, the edit information is handled differently.

Each Encyclopedia Article also maintains its edit history under the History Tab. The use of the History Tab is discussed later.

Upload New File (If Authorized)

Upload New File is similar to Post New Article. It initiates the process of creating an Article in the Image Namespace. The Image Namespace differs from the main namespace where Encyclopedia Articles are stored. Images are most often photographs or other graphical content, but the files can be of any format that is supported by the Encyclopedia.

The rules for uploading Images are in the article [main]Creating images for the Encyclopedia[/main], and how to use them within an Article is discussed in [main]Writing and Editing Encyclopedia Articles[/main]. The two pictures of Special Pages are thumbnails generated from articles in the Image Namespace.

Navigating Articles

Encyclopedia articles contain additional formatting and organizing elements beyond those available in message board forum articles.

Headings or Headlines

Headings are used to divide the content of an article in a way similar to a book with section numbering. They provide up to 6 levels but you will probably not see more than two or three used in most articles.

Table of Contents

The author may place a Table of Contents at the beginning of an article that lists the headings used in the article. By clicking on a heading in the table of contents the view will jump to that section of the article.


Because the Encyclopedia is a reference work, it is important that articles cite source references for the assertions and observations reported. These references or citations appear in the text as numbers enclosed in square brackets. If you click on one of these numbers, the cursor will move to the associated reference at the bottom of the section or the bottom of the article. In most articles all the references are gathered at the bottom of the article.

When you are reading a reference, there is a corresponding carat (^) or lower case letter symbol that is displayed as a reference link. Clicking on the link will take you back to the reference location in the article. (The letter form of back link is used when there are more than one citations of a single reference).

Article Tabs

Above the article there are a number of tabs. Normally the Article tab is selected to view the article.
Which tabs you can see depends on whether you are a guest, registered user or have other priviledges. The other tabs are:
  • Discussion: This tab displays any discussion about the article. The discussion is similar to normal message board posts and its main purpose is for people to comment on the article and make suggestions.
  • Edit: This tab opens up the editing window to enable writers to make changes to the article. Editing is explained in the article [main]Writing and Editing Encyclopedia Articles[/main].
  • History: This tab displays a list of all the changes that have been made to the article, in order from the most recent editing to its original creation, and the names of the people who have contributed.
    Using this tab it is possible to compare the different versions of the article.
  • Watch: This tab enables you to watch the article so that you receive an email notification whenever the article or its discussion change.
  • Book: This tab opens up a window to enable the article to be added to a book in the book namespace. This is explained in the article [main]Creating and editing books[/main].
Encyclopedia articles can be referenced in message board forum discussions and in other Encyclopedia articles to provide background for the discussion. When a link to an Encyclopedia article appears in a forum post, moving the cursor over the reference will show a popup window with the first few lines of the article. Clicking on the reference will transfer to the article.

When an Encyclopedia article name is used in another article or regular forum post, a link to the Encyclopedia article is automatically created; then the name is shown in blue and underlined. That is the reason why Encyclopedia article names tend to be a bit formal; it would be annoying to have them popping up in unwanted locations. (If you are writing a forum post and an unwanted AutoLink is created, you can prevent this action by using the special code [plain][/plain] around the words that form the title.)

Articles may contain explicit links to other articles in the Encyclopedia. In this case, the reference to the article is not necessarily the article name, but moving the cursor over it over it or clicking on it will behave just like a simple article reference.

It is possible to have links to articles that do not exist, in which case the link is in red. This facility is used when someone believes an article should be written on a topic. When the article is created, the link automatically changes color to blue.

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