WT Section Preference: Bold or Subheaders with =?

+5 votes
124 views

I've noticed that  birth, death, etc. information imported via GEDCOM seems to be automatically formatted using boldface (e.g. Born: 1856) rather than formatting them with the subheaders using three equals signs (e.g. === Born ===). Does WikiTree have a preference which format we use?

asked in Policy and Style by Sharon Casteel G2G6 Mach 8 (86.2k points)

4 Answers

+4 votes
You will see both used. However the use of 2 equal signs is the correct use not 3 as previously used.
answered by Marion Poole G2G6 Pilot (185k points)

Hi Marion,

Per the current Bio Help Page, the only recommended level 2 headings (2 equal signs) are: Biography, Research Notes, Sources, and Acknowledgements. "Any other elements or subsections should go below one of the recommended sections". So based on that, I believe that Sharon's example of a Born subheading "should have "level three" headlines as opposed to the "level two" headlines for the main sections. That is, they should have three equal signs around them instead of two." But I can't answer which is recommended for WikiTree, the bolded Born: or === Born === subsection.

The number of equal signs denotes the heading level.  We start at level 2, that is reserved for the sections Rick listed.  We can use 3 and 4 to create a hierarchical structure, outline style, for subheadings.  Each level is slightly smaller font size and indented slightly more than the one above it.

There is no style preference for how to make subheadings - use bold or even just an upper case title, or a section heading, as you wish.  Be aware, though, that if there are more than 3 headers (of any combination of levels) then it will automatically generate a table of contents at the top.
Next time, they'll do it the right way round

========= Great Big Heading =========

======== Next level down ========

...

= Lowest level heading =
But RJ, that would be the opposite of the way we think of an outline structure.  We always start at the highest level and then make subdivisions under it and more subdivisions under each subdivision, etc.  We think of level 1 as the highest level, deserving the biggest heading.  It works the same on paragraph numbering (count the dots and add 1 for the level number) -

1 Top level paragraph
    1.1
          1.1.1
           1.1.2
     1.2
2

etc.
+3 votes
Using === will cause a Contents section to appear at the top of the Biography. On a short profile this really seems like annoying overkill, so I prefer to use bold. If using === is the Wikitree preference I wonder whether some intelligence could be built into to the display of Contents. e.g. 'don't show if only one subsection / bio shorter than X words', or similar. Or maybe the Contents section could be collapsed by default, so you have to click on it to see the subsections?

Or perhaps others just find it less annoying than I do!
answered by Deborah Pate G2G6 Mach 2 (23.7k points)
You are not alone. I am always very sparing with the headers in profiles, so as to avoid having an unnecessary Table of Contents.

I don't do GEDCOMs, though - tried a couple of small  ones in the beginning and didn't like the result. So I enter profiles manually - I am quite fond of the WikiTree bio text field, which allows me to make a narrative presentation based on the sources I have. So, as an example, I don't repeat the birth data as a section of it's own in the bio, but instead paraphrase what the birth book says.

As for headers and Tables of Contents, I find them very useful on freespace pages, which I use quite frequently for making overviews of some family tangle. Those pages tend to get long; it will often be convenient to work on them section by section.
You can prevent the Table of contents from displaying by placing __NOTOC__ (that's two/2 underscores on each side) anywhere within the bio section of the profile.
Oh! Thank you!
Hope you find it useful, Deborah - sorry for not suggesting __NOTOC__ I use sometimes, but very rarely.

I find the headered sections for data as imported by GEDCOM as annoying and space wasting as the ToC itself ;-)
Definitely, I only did one small GEDCOM myself and hated the result!
Oh, absolutely agree on GEDCOMs. Way too much "garbage" gets imported with the useful bits. It really is just easier to enter them by hand.
I appreciate the table of contents.  Helps me navigate a long profile.
Yes, it it IS really long, for good reasons - then see my comment about freespace pages.
+2 votes
I would regard == etc as defining a heading that appears on a line by itself. Since the Born is part of a line I would keep it formatted with bold. If you want to rearrange the formatting, feel free.

    Tim
answered by Tim Partridge G2G6 Mach 2 (24.5k points)
+3 votes
This is the 2nd greatest thing to me about WikiTree, the Global Tree is numero uno to me.  We can call them the way we see them, well to a point, or how we present our information in the Biography of our Profiles.

I do not write histories for my Profiles unless they did something really fantastic. Don't really care that Great Aunt Fannie had one ear bigger than the other. ;)  I am here to produce chart of my ancestors if you will and just use a time line Bio.

My order is:

Name(s), Birth, Death, Burial, Residence(s). Marriage, Military Service. I just highlight them in Bold.

I don't use the Heading syntax of the == or ===, etc as i don't like the Table of Contents that much myself.

So my answer is if you want a ToC to appear, then use the equal signs to delineate the Headings. If you don't want a ToC, just make them Bold.

Now for the look, I find the == and === to be rather large and obtrusive anyways.  The 5 ===== and 6 ====== are not as large and can be used nicely in a Bio without overwhelming the eye.  And as Deb wrote, just use the __NOTOC__ if you don't want the Table of Contents to appear.

Go ahead and play. Put '''Born'' on your Bio and below that just keep adding ==Born==, ===Born=== out to 6 heading levels and hit preview.  See what you like best and go for it.
answered by L J Russell G2G6 Mach 7 (79.4k points)

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