• This web contains the official documentation of the TWiki Release 01-Feb-2003, code named BeijingRelease. It is a read-only web for reference.
• This release is deprecated, see TWiki-6.0 for the latest release.
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TWiki Text Formatting

Working in TWiki is as easy as typing in text - exactly like email. You don't need to know HTML, though you can use it if you prefer. Links to topics are created automatically when you enter WikiWords. And TWiki shorthand gives you all the power of HTML with a simple coding system that takes no time to learn. It's all layed out below - refer back to this page in a pop-up window from the Edit screen.

TWiki Editing Shorthand

Formatting Command: Example: You write: You get:
Blank lines will create new paragraphs.
1st paragraph

2nd paragraph
1st paragraph

2nd paragraph

At least three dashes at the beginning of a line, followed by plus signs and the heading text. One plus creates a level 1 heading (most important), two pluses a level 2 heading; the maximum is level 6. Note: A Table of Content can be created automatically with the %TOC% variable, see TWikiVariables. Any heading text after !! is excluded from the TOC; for example, write ---+!! text if you do not want to list a header in the TOC.
---++ Sushi

---+++ Maguro



Bold Text:
Words get bold by enclosing them in * asterisks.
Italic Text:
Words get italic by enclosing them in _ underscores.
Bold Italic:
Words get _bold italic by enclosing them in _ double-underscores.
__Bold italic__
Bold italic
Fixed Font:
Words get shown in fixed font by enclosing them in = equal signs.
=Fixed font=
Fixed font
Bold Fixed Font:
Words get shown in bold fixed font by enclosing them in double equal signs.
==Bold fixed==
Bold fixed
Note: Make sure to "stick" the * _ = == signs to the words, that is, take away spaces.
_This works_,
_this not _
This works, _this not _
Verbatim Mode:
Surround code excerpts and other formatted text with <verbatim> and </verbatim> tags.
Note: Use <pre> and </pre> tags instead if you want that HTML code is interpreted.
Note: Each tag must be on a line by itself.
class CatAnimal {
  void purr() {
    <code here>
class CatAnimal {
  void purr() {
    <code here>
At least three dashes at the beginning of a line.

List Item:
Three spaces and an asterisk.
   * bullet item
  • bullet item
Nested List Item:
Six, nine, ... spaces and an asterisk.
      * nested stuff
    • nested stuff
Ordered List:
Three spaces and a number.
   1 Sushi
   1 Dim Sum
  1. Sushi
  2. Dim Sum
Definition List:
Three spaces, the term, a colon, a space, followed by the definition.
Note: Terms with spaces are not supported. In case you do have a term with more then one word, separate the words with dashes or with the &nbsp; non-breaking-space entity.
   Sushi: Japan
   Dim&nbsp;Sum: S.F.
Dim Sum
Optional spaces followed by the cells enclosed in vertical bars.
Note: | *bold* | cells are rendered as table headers.
Note: |   spaced   | cells are rendered center aligned.
Note: |     spaced | cells are rendered right aligned.
Note: | 2 colspan || cells are rendered as multi-span columns.
Note: In case you have a long row and you want it to be more readable when you edit the table you can split the row into lines that end with a '\' backslash character.
| *L* | *C* | *R* |
| A2 |  2  |  2 |
| A3 |  3  |  3 |
| multi span |||
| A4 | next | next |
A2 2 2
A3 3 3
multi span
A4 next next
WikiWord Links:
CapitalizedWordsStuckTogether (or WikiWords) will produce a link automatically.
Note: In case you want to link to a topic in a different TWiki web write Webname.TopicName.



Forced Links:
You can create a forced internal link by enclosing words in double square brackets.
Note: Text within the brackets may contain optional spaces; the topic name is formed by capitalizing the initial letter and by removing the spaces; for example, [[text formatting FAQ]] links to topic TextFormattingFAQ. You can also refer to a different web and use anchors.
[[wiki syntax]]

[[Main.TWiki users]]
wiki syntax

Main.TWiki users

Specific Links:
Create a link where you can specify the link text and the link reference separately, using nested square brackets like [[reference][text]]. Internal link references (e.g. WikiSyntax) and external link references (e.g. http://TWiki.org/) are supported.
Note: The same Forced Links rules apply for internal link references.
Note: For external link references, you can simply use a space instead of ][ to separate the link URL from the descriptive text.
Note: Anchor names can be added as well, like [[WebHome#MyAnchor][go home]] and [[http://gnu.org/#Action][GNU Action]].


[[http://xml.org XML]]



You can define a link reference inside a TWiki topic (called an anchor name) and link to that. To define an anchor write #AnchorName at the beginning of a line. The anchor name must be a WikiWord. To link to an anchor name use the [[MyTopic#MyAnchor]] syntax. You can omit the topic name if you want to link within the same topic.


#MyAnchor To here


To here

Prevent a Link:
Prevent a WikiWord from being linked by prepending it with the <nop> tag.
Disable Links:
You can disable automatic linking of WikiWords by surrounding text with <noautolink> and </noautolink> tags.
Note: Each tag must be on a line by itself.
Note: This also works for TWiki tables, but only if you add a blank line between the end of the table and the closing </noautolink> tag (known issue of the TablePlugin).
 RedHat &
RedHat & SuSE
Mailto: Links:
To create 'mailto:' links that have more descriptive link text, specify subject lines or message bodies, or omit the email address, you can write [[mailto:user@domain descriptive text]].
[[mailto:a@z.com Mail]]

[[mailto:?subject=Hi Hi]]


Using HTML

You can use just about any HTML tag without a problem - however, there are a few usability and technical considerations to keep in mind.

HTML and TWiki Usability

  • On collaboration pages, it's preferable NOT to use HTML, and to use TWiki shorthand instead - this keeps the text uncluttered and easy to edit.
  • ALERT! NOTE: TWiki is designed to work with a wide range of browsers and computer platforms, holding to HTML 3.2 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.

TWiki HTML Rendering

  • TWiki 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.
    • TIP If you need to save HTML frequently, you may want to check out TWiki:Plugins/GenHTMLAddon - it will "generate a directory containing rendered versions of a set of TWiki pages together with any attached files."
  • ALERT! NOTE: The opening and closing angle brackets - <...> - of an HTML tag must be on the same line, or the tag will be broken.
    • This feature allows you to enter an unclosed angle bracket - as a greater than or less than symbol - and have it automatically rendered as if you had entered its HTML character, &lt;, ex: a > b
    • TIP 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.


Being able to create links without any formatting required is a core TWiki feature, made possible with WikiWords. New TWiki linking rules are a simple extension of the syntax that provide a new set of flexible options.

Internal Links

  • GoodStyle is a WikiWord that links to the GoodStyle topic located in the current TWiki web.

  • NotExistingYet is a topic waiting to be written. Create the topic by clicking on the ?. (Try clicking, but then, Cancel - creating the topic would wreck this example!)

External Links

  • http://..., https://..., ftp://..., gopher://..., news://..., file://..., telnet://... and mailto:...@... are linked automatically.

  • Email addresses like name@domain.com are linked automatically.

  • [[Square bracket rules]] let you easily create non-WikiWord links.
    • You can also write [[http://yahoo.com Yahoo home page]] as an easier way of doing external links with descriptive text for the link, such as Yahoo home page.

TWiki Variables

Variables are names that are enclosed in percent signs % that are expanded on the fly.

  • %TOC% : Automatically generates a table of contents based on headings in a topic - see the top of this page for an example.

  • %WEB% : The current web, is TWiki02.

  • %TOPIC% : The current topic name, is TextFormattingRules.

  • %ATTACHURL% : The attachment URL of the current topic. Example usage: If you attach a file to a topic you can refer to it as %ATTACHURL%/image.gif to show the URL of the file or the image in your text.

  • %INCLUDE{"SomeTopic"}% : Server side include, includes another topic. The current TWiki web is the default web. Example: %INCLUDE{"TWiki06x00.SiteMap"}%

  • %SEARCH{"sushi"}% : Inline search showing the search result embedded in a topic. FormattedSearch gives you control over formatting, used to create web-based applications.

  • TWikiPreferences defines site-wide variables. Among others:
    • Line break: Write %BR% to start a new line.
    • Colored text: Write: %RED% Red %ENDCOLOR% and %BLUE% blue %ENDCOLOR% colors to get: Red and blue colors.
    • Documentation Graphics: Write: %H% Help, %T% Tip, %X% Alert to get: HELP Help, TIP Tip, ALERT! Alert. For more info see TWikiDocGraphics.

TWikiPlugin Formatting Extensions

Plugins provide additional text formatting capabilities and can extend the functionality of TWiki into many other areas. For example, the optional SpreadSheetPlugin lets you create a spreadsheet with the same basic notation used in TWiki tables.

Available Plugins are located in the Plugins web on TWiki.org. Currently enabled plugins on this TWiki installation, as listed by %PLUGINDESCRIPTIONS%:

  • SpreadSheetPlugin (2014-09-23, $Rev: 28085 (2014-09-23) $): Add spreadsheet calculation like "$SUM( $ABOVE() )" to TWiki tables or anywhere in topic text
  • AutoSectionsPlugin (2016-07-29, $Rev: 30263 (2016-10-05) $): Automatically make editable sections based on headings
  • BackupRestorePlugin (2013-02-16, $Rev: 25448 (2013-10-14) $): Administrator utility to backup, restore and upgrade a TWiki site
  • BlackListPlugin (2013-02-28, $Rev$): Utility to keep malicious users away from a public TWiki site
  • CalendarPlugin (2016-01-22, 29936): Show a monthly calendar with highlighted events
  • ChartPlugin (2013-05-23, $Rev: 25974 (2013-05-23) $): Visualize TWiki tables with area charts, bar charts, line graphs, scatter charts and sparklines
  • ColorPickerPlugin (2013-02-15, $Rev: 25074 (2013-10-14) $): Color picker, packaged for use in TWiki forms and TWiki applications
  • CommentPlugin (2013-02-10, $Rev: 24977 (2013-10-14) $): Quickly post comments to a page without an edit/preview/save cycle
  • DatePickerPlugin (2013-09-04, $Rev: 26272 (2013-10-14) $): Pop-up calendar with date picker, for use in TWiki forms, HTML forms and TWiki plugins
  • EditTablePlugin (2013-12-03, $Rev: 26647 (2013-12-03) $): Edit TWiki tables using edit fields, date pickers and drop down boxes
  • GaugePlugin (2013-05-16, $Rev: 25944 (2013-05-16) $): Create gauges (graphical or not), typically used for dashboards
  • GeoLookupPlugin (2012-11-21, $Rev: 24174 (2012-11-21) $): Lookup geolocation by IP address or domain name
  • HeadlinesPlugin (2013-11-18, 26619): Show headline news in TWiki pages based on RSS and ATOM news feeds from external sites
  • IfThenActionPlugin (2015-04-20, $Rev: 29087 (2015-04-20) $): Execute if-then actions on topic view, save, file upload, and user registration, with rules defined in a topic
  • InterwikiPlugin (2013-02-12, $Rev: 25126 (2013-10-14) $): Text ExternalSite:Page links to a page on an external site based on aliases defined in a rules topic
  • JQueryPlugin (2013-09-28, $Rev: 26439 (2013-10-14) $): jQuery JavaScript library for TWiki
  • LocalCityTimePlugin (2011-07-13, $Rev: 21742 (2011-07-13) $): Shows the local time of a city embedded in a TWiki topic.
  • PercentCompletePlugin (2012-12-05, $Rev: 24337 (2012-12-06) $): Percent complete selector, for use in TWiki forms and TWiki applications
  • PreferencesPlugin (2013-09-08, $Rev: 26286 (2013-10-14) $): Allows editing of preferences using fields predefined in a form
  • QRCodePlugin (2012-11-14, $Rev: 24045 (2012-11-15) $): Create QR Code (a matrix barcode) in TWiki pages, useful for mobile applications
  • RecentVisitorPlugin (2012-12-22, $Rev: 24176 (2012-11-22) $): Show recent visitors to a TWiki site
  • RenderListPlugin (2013-01-28, $Rev: 24820 (2013-10-14) $): Render bullet lists in a variety of formats
  • SetGetPlugin (2015-04-09, $Rev: 29040 (2015-04-09) $): Set and get variables and JSON objects in topics, optionally persistently across topic views
  • ShareMePlugin (2012-12-01, $Rev: 24254 (2012-12-01) $): Icon bar to share a TWiki page on popular social media sites such as Facebook, StumbleUpon, Twitter
  • SlideShowPlugin (2015-01-14, $Rev: 28669 (2015-01-14) $): Create web based presentations based on topics with headings.
  • SmiliesPlugin (2013-01-13, $Rev: 24784 (2013-10-14) $): Render smilies as icons, like  :-)  as smile or  :eek:  as eek!
  • TWikiDrawPlugin (2013-05-17, $Rev: 25952 (2013-05-17) $): Vector drawing editor and clickable maps for diagrams and workflows
  • TWikiOrgPlugin (1.001): TWiki.org specific extensions
  • TWikiSheetPlugin (2016-04-14, $Rev: 30150 (2016-04-14) $): Add TWiki Sheet spreadsheet functionality to TWiki tables
  • TablePlugin (2013-09-25, $Rev: 26425 (2013-10-14) $): Control attributes of tables and sorting of table columns
  • TagMePlugin (2014-05-15, $Rev: 27384 (2014-05-15) $): Tag wiki content collectively or authoritatively to find content by keywords
  • TinyMCEPlugin (2013-09-18, $Rev: 26397 (2013-10-14) $): Integration of the Tiny MCE WYSIWYG Editor
  • TwistyPlugin (2013-03-22, $Rev: 25508 (2013-10-14) $): Twisty section JavaScript library to open/close content dynamically
  • VarCachePlugin (2012-11-14, $Rev: 24077 (2012-11-15) $): Cache TWiki variables in selected topics for faster page rendering
  • WatchlistPlugin (2016-02-13, $Rev$): Watch topics of interest and get notified of changes by e-mail
  • WysiwygPlugin (2013-09-18, $Rev: 26391 (2013-10-14) $): Translator framework for WYSIWYG editors

Check on current Plugin status and settings for this site in TWikiPreferences.

Common Editing Errors

TWiki formatting rules are fairly simple to use and quick to type. However, there are some things to watch out for, taken from the TextFormattingFAQ:

  • Q: Text enclosed in angle brackets like <filename> is not displayed. How can I show it as it is?
    • A: The '<' and '>' characters have a special meaning in HTML, they define HTML tags. You need to escape them, so write '&lt;' instead of '<', and '&gt;' instead of '>'.
      Example: Type 'prog &lt;filename&gt;' to get 'prog <filename>'.

  • Q: Why is the '&' character sometimes not displayed?
    • A: The '&' character has a special meaning in HTML, it starts a so called character entity, i.e. '&copy;' is the © copyright character. You need to escape '&' to see it as it is, so write '&amp;' instead of '&'.
      Example: Type 'This &amp; that' to get 'This & that'.

-- MikeMannix - 02 Dec 2001
-- PeterThoeny - 01 Feb 2003

Edit | Attach | Watch | Print version | History: r37 < r36 < r35 < r34 < r33 | Backlinks | Raw View | Raw edit | More topic actions
Topic revision: r37 - 2003-02-01 - PeterThoeny
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