Below the edit box is a Show preview button. Pressing this will show you what the article will look like without actually saving it. It is strongly recommended that you use this prior to saving. This allows you to check what the page will look like first and to check that you haven't made any errors. It also prevents the need for multiple saves. Saving the same article a large number of times in quick succession makes it harder for people to check what changed, and clogs up the page history.
It is helpful, however, to save the page before moving, breaking apart, or combining sections of the article, if you have been making small edits to the article. The difference display is not good at showing paragraph moves, and will not display the small edits clearly if sections are then moved around.
If you are logged in, you can set your preferences to show the preview positioned before the edit box instead of after it. If you select this option, the preview will be displayed above the edit box when you click the "Show preview" button while editing a page.
Preference "Show preview on first edit": - when pressing the edit button or otherwise following a link to an edit page, show not only the edit box but also the rendered page, just like after pressing "Show preview". This is especially useful when viewing a template, because even just viewing, not editing, typically requires both. When preloading wikitext on page creation, the preview of the preloaded wikitext does not show up automatically.
In the case of automatic conversion of wikitext the preview shows the rendering, while the button "show changes" shows the new wikitext. In the case of recursive conversion of wikitext the preview before/without making manual changes to the wikitext is not the same as the rendering of the current page.
Using show preview also prevents your login timing out, which would mean your edits would not be attributed to your user name. Clicking preview regularly will restart the timer, so you remain logged in. Also, if you are no longer logged in, showing a preview will make you aware of this so you can log in and save your work after that. You can check this by seeing if your user name appears in the upper-right corner when you press preview. If you are not logged in, open Special:Userlogin in a separate window (right-click "Log in" and hit "Open link in new window" or similar). Log in, then go back to your editing and hit "preview" again to make sure all is well. Note that this will clear the minor edit and watch checkboxes, so make sure they're set appropriately again before you finally save the page.
When utilizing this feature during a major edit, consider copying the content into your clipboard. On rare occasions servers may have hiccups, and you could lose your work.
When pressing "preview", also a preview of the edit summary is obtained. Thus links can be checked, including existence detection and the working of piped links. Also, while the summary may be too long to be seen in the input box without scrolling, its preview is fully shown up to the total capacity of the input box.
Limitations, detecting preview mode
If a page transcludes itself (as in often the case in the noinclude-part of a template page) the preview is based on transclusion of the old version. Thus previewing the effect of changes in the transcluded part of a template is only possible without parameter definitions; the preview shows the result for the default values, if provided.
This page is derived from the MediaWiki help page on Preview