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Wiki Text Formatting Rules

Front Page

When you click on Edit this Page in the navigation area at the bottom of any Wiki Web page you are brought into a text editor for editing the page contents. The text you type into this editor must conform to the following Wiki Text Formatting Rules.

It is important to understand that the edit text format is intended to be as simple as possible. It is not meant to be WYSIWYG. It is meant to be easy to understand and quick to use so that form does not take precedence over contents.


Most text that you type is just word wrapped and appears as you enter it. A number of simple formatting options are available:

You can create indented paragraphs and list using multiples of 3 spaces or the TAB key as follows. Note that in some browsers Ctrl-I can be used in place of a TAB.

Ordered and Unordered Lists

Note that when you save a page, TAB characters are automatically converted to multiple spaces.


If a line begins and ends with one or more = characters that line will appear as a header. e.g.

=title= will render 'title' inside an <H1>
==title== will render 'title' inside an <H2>
===title=== will render 'title' inside an <H3>
====title==== will render 'title' inside an <H4>

This is an alternative to typing HTML <H2>...</H2> tags in the text. The opening equal signs need to start in the first column of the line. The closing equal signs need to end in the last column.

Internal Links

You can create an internal link to another page in this web simply by typing a Wiki Name. If the linked page does not yet exist then it will be displayed followed by a question-mark button. Click on the question mark to define and edit the new page. (In Spinner Wiki, the question mark looks like this: .)

External Links

There are a variety of way to create external links.

 http://   is linked automagically.
 https://  is linked automagically.
 news://   is linked automagically.
 ftp://    is linked automagically.
 gopher:// is linked automagically.
 mailto:   is linked automagically.

Links to .jpg, .jpeg and .gif files are treated as images to be displayed within the page itself. However you can use External Link References to avoid this behavior.

External Link References

Sometimes it is useful to be able to link to external pages without the full URL appearing inline in the text. To do this you can create a numerical reference by placing [nn] as a place marker for the link. Then, somewhere else in the document (usually at the bottom), define the link using [nn: some full URL]. For example:

You may like to visit the ESRI Canada[1] site.

You can see how this is defined by editing the text of this page.


To define a table, simply bracket the text for the table cells in [[ and ]]. The text must be separated from the brackets by whitespace. Each table row must begin at the start of a line and end at the end of a line. The table ends when the next line doesn't look like a table row. To make a cell which spans more than one column in the table, just mosh together the brackets like so: [[[[ two columns ]]]]. To center the data within the cell, immediately follow the opening bracket (e.g. [[) with an = sign.


Header Two columns
cell split 1 split 2

Header Line

page headers work for now, as seen on
the left, but are discouraged inside of
tables because it's Ugly!

Additional notes:

Preformatted Sections

HTML tags

In addition to all this you should find that most HTML tags will work as expected. However, you are not encouraged to make your pages too pretty. Remember, it is the content that matters and the text for your page must remain easy for others to edit.

For text to be recognized as an HTML tag, there should be no whitespace between the < or </ and the tag name. Also, the closing > should appear on the same line. To be recognized as an HTML tag, the tag name should be all lower case or all upper case; mixed-case tags are displayed literally. (Lower case is best since that conforms to the latest W3C standards; upper case is supported due to common usage.)

Literal Fragments

See Also: Wiki Beginners Topics