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Wiki Tutorial

Frequently Asked Questions

(If you got here via search, you may prefer to start at the Wiki Tutorial page.)

How Do I Create a New Topic?

See HowToCreateNewPages.

How Do I Rename a Topic?

See WikiTutRename.

How Do I Move a Topic to Another Web?

See WikiTutRename.

What are all those little grey question marks?

or How do I turn off automatic WikiWord links?

Please do NOT click on any of the ? in the following section!

By default, the Wiki tries to make links to everything it thinks are WikiWords. Unfortunately, FreeBSD, MySQL, and a host of other terms may appear to be WikiWords. If the Wiki sees something it thinks should be a link but doesn't have an associated topic, it appends a ? after the word, e.g. MySQL?. If you click on the ? you can easily create a page with that name.

Unfortunately, you may not want to create pages for MySQL, FreeBSD and other apparent WikiWords. You probably won't enjoy seeing all of those ? either. You can choose to exercise some control over what gets linked and what doesn't, especially when a default link doesn't actually have a page to link to.

You can use <nop> or the ! character to turn off automatic linking for one word at a time.

Try this

You can also wrap an entire page content in <noautolink> tags:

to turn off all Wiki.WikiWords linking (between the tags).

(Note: With the exception of the section immediately above, this page is enclosed in <noautolink> tags.)

How Do I Include a Table of Contents (TOC)?

One of the most handy Wiki variables is !%TOC%. This generates a table of contents from all ---+ headers on the page. You can control the depth of the TOC with the depth parameter, e.g. !%TOC{depth="2"}% will only include level-1 and level-2 headers.

You can also include the table of contents for another topic page by specifying that topic name as an attribute, e.g. !%TOC{WebTwo"}%.

How Do I Exclude a Header from the TOC?

To exclude a header from the page Table of Contents, append the string !! to the header formatting code. For example,
---+!! Topic Name

How Do I Embed a TOC from Another Topic into the Current Page?

For faster access to the contents of linked topics, embed that topic's TOC in the current page, e.g.

How Do I Prevent Text from Being Rendered (Munged)?

if you've used HTML, you know about <pre> for pre-formated text. In Wiki-land, however, Wiki will "look" inside a <pre> block. If you want to protect some content from Wiki munging, use <verbatim>. It's like <pre> only more so. You'll see lots of examples on tis page.
  Text inside <verbatim></verbatim> tags looks like this.

How Do I insert < and > ? They Keep "disappearing"!

I've seen a lot of cases where some document refers to a variable field, such as might be found in a pathname, by wrapping it in angle brackets, e.g., snod_<propertyname>.

If you do this, be sure to use the HTML entities, &lt; and &gt; rather than the keyboard characters, < and >. Remember that HTML will parse strings wrapped in angle brackets. So if you type (verbatim)
into a Wiki page, this is what you'll actually see (oops).

Wiki wants to turn * into bullets or | into new table cells. Help!

This is similar to the problem people have with < and >. There aare times when you jusst need to resort to HTML. These weird complex codes are called HTML Entities. You can finds tables of them on the web or in books that teach HTML.

Can I use Plain Old HTML?

If I can use HTML for "entities" can I just use HTML everywhere?

Yes, you can, although are a few caveats. Here's what the authors of Wiki have to say on the subject:

Working in Wiki is as easy as typing in text - exactly like email.Wiki shorthand gives you much of the power of HTML with a simple coding system that takes no time to learn.

You don't need to know HTML, though you can use it if you prefer. You can use just about any HTML tag without a problem - however, there are a few usability and technical considerations to keep in mind.

  • On collaboration pages, it's preferable NOT to use HTML, and to use Wiki shorthand instead - this keeps the text uncluttered and easy to edit.

  • Recommendations when using HTML:
    • Use XHTML 1.0 Transitional syntax
    • Do not span a tag over more then one line. The opening and closing angle brackets - <...> - of an HTML tag must be on the same line, or the tag will be broken.
    • Remove all empty lines.Wiki inserts <p /> paragraph tags on empty lines, which causes problems if done between tags that do not allow paragraph tags, like for example between table tags.
    • If you're pasting in preformatted HTML text and notice problems, check the file in a text processor with no text wrap. Also, save without hard line breaks on text wrap, in your HTML editing program.
    • NOTE:Wiki is designed to work with a wide range of browsers and computer platforms, holding to HTML 4.0 and XHTML 1.0 compatibility in the standard installation - adding raw HTML, particularly browser-specific tags (or any other mark-up that doesn't degrade well) will reduce compatibility.

*Wiki converts shorthand notation to XHTML 1.0 for display. To copy a fully marked-up page, simply view source in your browser and save the contents.

Can I Get Rid of the Left Side Bar?

To make the left side bar disappear, add the following line to the end of your topic content:

<link rel="stylesheet" href="%PUBURL%/Help/WikiTut/noleftbar.css" type="text/css" media="all" />

What are Wiki Variables and How do I Use Them?

You can do a lot in Wiki using (Wiki variables. These special text strings expand on the fly to display user data or system info_. There are Preference variables that you can configure as well as predefined variables, many of which act more like macros or small functions than conventional variables. You can also define custom variables (although these can't act as macros) with new names and values.

Wiki variables look like this

How Do I Quickly Change a Variable's Value Without a Full Edit Cycle?

I want to allow for a user to click into a field and edit a string, and upon saving that, have it update a Wiki variable which is used throughout the page. I want to try to make it quick and easy to edit small sections of a page, rather than requiring users to open the whole page for edit, and then needing to find the one line they need to touch.



The Version is 2.9

How it's done

%EDITTABLE{changerows="off" editbutton="Change Version number" format="|label|text|"}%
| *Version:* | 2.9 |
   * Set VERSION = %CALC{$GET(Version)}%

Version is  %VERSION%

See Also: WikiTutStatusUpdate for an example using Wiki forms.

How do I Add (or Move) a Column in a Wiki Table?

The Edit Table Plugin, as well as the Wiki editor, make it easy to add a new row. But how do you add or (gasp!) rearrange columns?

Appending New Columns To the End of Each Row

If you're adding one or more columns to the end of a row, here's a trick:

1. Make sure the table is editable. Add
immediately above the header row if it's not already an editable table.

2. Add one (or more) new empty cells at the end of the first row like so:

if this is your original table
 | *Column 1* | *Column 2* | *Column 3* |
 | data  | data  | data  |
 | data  | data  | data  |

to add three new columns would look like ths
 | *Column 1* | *Column 2* | *Column 3* | | | |
 | data  | data  | data  |
 | data  | data  | data  |

3. Save

4. In Wiki "View" mode, the table will look a little odd. It now has new cells on the first row. This is what you want to see.


5. Click the "Edit" button below the table. Wiki will notice the new columns on the first row and will add columns to every row to match.

6. Save

Inserting Columns in the "Middle", Deleting, or Rearranging Columns

If you need to inserting columns in the "middle" of a table, delete one or more columns, or rearrange columns, you can do this by hand. However, unless you're very careful (and very experienced at this sort of thing) I recommend using Excel. Follow the instructions at WikiTutTableColumns.

How Do I Convert From MS Word to Wiki?

If you're using Windows, try the instructions at Word2TWiki.

On Mac OS X or *nix, however, this probably won't work. If your Word document is complex, you may want to find a copy of Windows.


If the Word document is simple, the easiest thing to do is to save your Word document text. Paste the text into Wiki and munge it into shape. For example, exported bullets will start with a * but you'll need to indent the lines. You'll also need to put an extra blank line between paragraphs and correct bolding and headers.

How Do I Convert MS Word Tables to Wiki?

Unfortunately, if you simply Save As Text, you'll lose the formatting of the table. So, you first need to convert your tables to Wiki format.

Convert Your Word Table to Text

  1. In Word, place the insertion point inside a cell of the table.
  2. On the Table menu, point to Select and click Table.
  3. On the Table menu, point to Convert and click Table to Text.
  4. In the Convert Table to Text dialog box, click to select either Tabs or Commas, based on the most appropriate delimiter for the data. (Tabs are probably better), and then click OK.
  5. On the File menu, click Save As. Change the Save as type box to Text Only (*.txt) and click Save.
  6. Open the .txt file in your favorite editor and convert tabs to |

NOTE: You may also want to rename your file to a new file name before you click Save. Your new file will have the *.txt file extension.

How Do I Convert From Excel to Wiki?

If you're using Windows, try the instructions at ExcelExportTwikiTableAddOn.

On Mac OS X or *nix, however, this probably won't work. If your Excel document is complex, you may want to find a copy of Windows.

Alternatively, on Mac OS X, try the Automater script.

On *nix, save your Excel file as tab-separated text and convert it manually:
  s/  / /g

Yes. Wiki supports aliases (shortcuts) that map to internal and external wikis/sites. Whenever you write [[Site:Page]] it will be linked automatically to the page on the specified site.

See Wiki Tricks: Shortcuts for examples.

See InterWikis for the full set.

Why Aren't Dates in Tables Sorting Properly?

Be sure that Wiki knows it's looking at a date! Otherwise, it just thinks there's a string there and January sorts after August.

See WikiTutTrouble for details.

How do I Control Access to My Pages?

See TWikiTutAccess for details.

Can I Get IM or Email Address If I Have BY User ID?

See WikiTutExtractBYInfo for details.

More Questions?

Try the company-wide Wiki FAQ.

Try the Wiki Text Formatting FAQ.

Topic revision: r35 - 21 Jun 2011, vlb
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