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User and Contributor Manual

Using Mindat Markup Language (MML)

Mindat.org uses a special simplified and extended version of HTML tags for creating your articles and other content, which we call Mindat Markup Language (MML). It's used in a lot of places on mindat.org now, including locality descriptions, articles and member home pages.

You don't need to understand HTML to create articles and blogs on mindat. By typing a normal block of text without any special codes at all, it should appear fine on screen. (If you do understand HTML, the primary difference between mindat.org markup and HTML is that you do not need to encode line breaks.)

There are a few simple standard HTML codes you can use such as <b> for bold, and <u> for underline, and some special ones we have created that will help you add images, tables, chemical formulae, etc. to your pages.

Each of the special them require you to enter special tag codes, such as <pic> into your text. These are automatically replaced with the special content listed below.

These grey boxes below give you examples that you can copy/paste or type in to your articles to try out the commands

<M> - Link to Mineral Pages

This is a simple tag that allows you to add a link from a mineral name to the correct page on mindat.org - it's much simpler than trying to add in a link manually.


This text has a link to galena, when you click it, you go straight to the page on mindat.org relating to galena (note that I did not add the tag to the second use of the mineral name. The code to add the link is very simple:


In this example, we want to highlight the word opalized and link it to the mineral opal, we do this by adding =opal into the m tag as shown here:


New: If you want to link to a synonym page, you'll find it won't work, linking to chalybite goes to the siderite page as you can see. The solution is to use the = without a second name, for example:


<L> - Link to Locality Pages

This is a simple tag that allows you to add a link to a locality page. You need the ID for the locality page.


This links to the page for Wheal Gorland

<l id=939>This links to the page for Wheal Gorland</l>

<PIC> - Adding Photos and Images

You can add any image that has been uploaded to mindat.org to your pages by getting the image ID number and adding a PIC tag. By default, it adds a small thumbnail image box that links to the full photo, but you can use parameters to insert a larger version of the image.

The <pic>tag takes the following parameters:

id - the ID of the mindat.org photo to be displayed
float - optional position (left or right). Default is centered.
width - optional width in pixels, or 100% for full width.
height - optional height in pixels.


Each example is followed by the code in bold used to generate it. You can copy/paste this and change the ID number if you want to use the same type of image in your pages.

<pic id=18513>My Pic</pic>

At 100% width

<pic id=18514 width=100%>At 100% width</pic>

<PBOX> - Group 2,3 or 4 <PIC> thumbnails in a row

Sometimes you might want to have 2 or more thumbnails neatly arranged in a row, and PBOX does this. The PIC elements inside must be set to float=left for this to work. You set the WIDTH parameter to the number of photos you wish
to group, 2, 3 or 4.


Pic 1
Pic 2
Pic 1
Pic 2
Pic 1
Pic 2

<PBOX width=2><PIC id=18510 float=left>Pic 1</PIC><PIC id=18514 float=left>Pic 2</PIC></PBOX>

<ARTICLE> - Adds a link to an article

If you want to add a link to an article (maybe to chain articles together, or to reference an article in the description text on a locality page), you can use the Article tag. The id parameter is the ID number for the article. You'll see that as part of the URL when you view an article, so for example, with this article:


the ID number would be 113 (emphasised above).


This is a link to Daniel Russell's article on Sterling Hill

<article id=113>This is a link to Daniel Russell's article on Sterling Hill</article>

<C> - Clears space after a floating image

If you use floating images (see below), you might need to start other content below this, so that it isn't affected by the floating image. Before your block of content you want BELOW the floating images, start with a <C> tag. This will probably only make sense to you once you start playing with floating images. When you do, and things go strange, you'll remember to come back, read this, and try this out!

<DATA> - Add a table of data

The DATA tag allows you to create a table of data using a simple list of comma-separated values.

You can also use separator=";" inside the data open tag (so it would appear <data title="My title" separator=";">, in this example the ; character, but you can try others) if you want to set a different character to the comma for the separator value in tables. This is important if you need to actually display a comma within a value, which you might want to do when formatting numbers, for example.

Additional codes you can use include:

notopheadings=1 - disable the top headings highlighting

noleftheadings=1 - disable the left headings highlighting

align=left - change the default alignment of data cells to left aligned.


Table 1. Ore Production by year (tonnes)


<data title="Table 1. Ore Production by year (tonnes)">

<FOOTNOTE> - Adds a numbered footnote to your article

This tag lets you add a numbered footnote such as this one[1]. You add the footnote where you want the numeric reference to show, and then you later use <listfootnotes> (see below) to show them as one list (usually at the bottom of the article[2]).

Here is the code used to add the two footnotes listed in the above paragraph:

This tag lets you add a numbered footnote such as this one<footnote>This is our first footnote</footnote>. You add the footnote where you want the numeric reference to show, and then you later use <listfootnotes> to show them as one list (usually at the bottom of the article<footnote>This is another footnote.

<LISTFOOTNOTES> - Print a list of footnotes

This is a simple tag, it prints out a list of footnotes that have been entered using the <FOOTNOTE> tag (see above). Normally you would put a <h> heading before this and put it at the end of your article. Here is how it looks:


1.This is our first footnote
2.This is another footnote


<QUOTE> - Add a quotation box

This is simply a formatted box for text - the same one we use on this page to show the source code that you need to paste into your articles. You can use these boxes very efficiently for things such as quotations from other articles, for example:

My first specimen was this pebble containing some very rough Quartz crystals, from Tintagel in Cornwall, which I found when I was 6 years old in the summer of 1976. It was a family holiday to Cornwall, we were staying in a bungalow in the village of Egloshayle, near Wadebridge. Looking at the specimen more recently, I noticed it had dozens of tiny but perfect Anatase crystals throughout it! Here is a macro photo taken by my brother of one of these sub-millimetre crystals.

<quote>Putting your text in here will make it use one of these grey boxes</quote>

<H> - Adding Headings

You can use the <h> tag to add headings to your articles. The line above is an example of a heading created in this way. An example of using this would be:

<h>This is my heading</h>

<TOC> - Adding a Table of Contents

The Table of Contents at the top of this article (the white box) lists all the headings you have created within your article and adds handy short links to them, very useful in a long article such as this. Use the <toc> tag along with the heading you wish to use, for example:

<toc>The Table of Contents</toc>

<F> - Adding chemical formula

Mindat.org uses a special coding system to write chemical formulae so that they can be displayed correctly by the site, and this tag allows you to display a formula using this system.




or (to show the formula for mineral ID 1576 - which is fluorite)

<f id=1576></f>

or (if you prefer to use the name)

<f name="Fluorite"></f>



<MI> - Miller Index formatting

If you want to add a reference to a miller index, you know you have to put an overbar character over certain numbers. This can be done by using <mi> and preceeding every character that requires an overbar with a _.




<VID> - Embed a YouTube video

You can embed a video from YouTube using this tag. It has parameters of float=left or float=right as with <pic>. Inside the tag listed below, replace the code with the YouTube URL of the video that you wish to show in your page. Note the original VIDEO tag is now VID as VIDEO is a HTML5 tag in its own right.

How do you add a video that's uploaded to mindat.org? Simple, you just use the <pic id=XXXX width=600></pic> tag as you would a static image.

<ADS> - Adds mindat.org banner ads to an article

I decided that it would not be compulsary to add mindat.org banner adverts to your
articles, but if you want to, you can choose to add them. Why would you do this? Well, it helps promote those dealers who support mindat.org. But you absolutely don't have to do this - it's primarily for my use. But if you want to put one or two banners on your article or blog then you're free to do so.




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