Kathleen all I can say is I agree with you. I'm currently working on the PGM profile for George Aldrich:
I'm getting ready to add my 20th citation and many of them are used many times each. So that means probably about 70 - 100 <ref>'s total in one biography.
Editing this way is not fun. And because the text is not very readable during editing I think it makes the final text more prone to grammar and spelling errors, etc. too.
I have over 25 years of experience with computer programming and I have no problem doing it by hand if I have to. But this is 2015 - why the heck don't we have a WYSIWYG tool for citations? This is so 1990's :)
I also worry that otherwise qualified genealogist who would like to help but don't have these skills are getting weeded out of projects were we need them most.
I'm not sure if this is an issue that WikiTree can fix but possibly we could start an open source project on sourceforge.
In the meantime Kathleen we have to just put up with it! Are you in? :)
Let's take an example:
I state a fact in this sentence.<ref>John Doe. The book. (JD Publsihing. Boston, MA. 2015). p 4.</ref>
You see how this works? Just put a <ref> on either side of the citation but the end one you add the "/" like this </ref>. That's really all there is to it.
The citation between the <ref> and the </ref> markers will turn into a nice footnote. So you’ll want to practice this.
Now get fancy with it!
The next trick is adding “Name=” so you can reuse the same citation again:
I state a fact in this sentence.<ref Name=John>John Doe. The book. (JD Publsihing. Boston, MA. 2015). P4</ref>
Now I can reuse it later by just adding this:
I state a new fact in this sentence.<ref Name=John/>
And that’s it! The <ref Name=John/> thingy will bring up the same citation.