Wiki Markup manual

+29 votes
There is now a PDF manual for Wiki markup language (and soon a video). This is a first draft, much can be improved. Assistance is very welcome. If you are interested in creating or improving training materials for WikiTree please join the Multimedia Project.

Although all suggestions are welcome, practical assistance is preferred, such as rewrites, or additional information added to a second edition of the manual (and video).

You can refer people to the manual to help learn how to format the Biography section of a profile or a free space page.

This and other PDF help documents can be found at:
in WikiTree Tech by Paul Bech G2G6 Mach 7 (71.2k points)
edited by Paul Bech

A very good reference manual.  I wish it had been available when I first started here.

One thing I don't understand in it.

''If you do not want any Wiki markup to be used you can use <nowiki>  You can turn it on again with </nowiki>''

I have tried this and all it seems to do is to remove all spaces, line breaks, etc and make everything unreadable.  Am I missing something?


You're correct. It's equivalent to the BB tag [code] ... [/code]. You can see how it works on my space:

I use it so I can copy code and paste when needed.
No Margaret, that is pretty much what would happen. The area id designed to use Wiki and the <nowiki> turns off all formatting so the text would be continuous. You would use it sparingly, perhaps on a paragraph by paragraph basis, turning it on and off as necessary. You would mainly use it to avoid some symbols being interpreted as Wiki Markup where you dont want it. For instance:

<nowiki>This is how to add a line break<br> in a sentence.</nowiki>

would display that line exactly as shown (without the starting and ending nowiki.

Without the nowiki start and end the line would be displayed as 2 lines, the second line starting after the <br>
A good page Bree. I will add a link to it in the manual. What would you change in the manual? What would you add? As you know there are so many possibilities. One could write a manual on Tables alone! I would appreciate any help in revising the manual to improve it. Everything on WikiTree is pretty much a work in progress.

Onward and upward.

Thanks, Paul.  I'll experiment.


Perhaps put your examples in the manual, in case anyone else is flummoxed?


I am so glad I asked a question about the <nowiki>

There are so many things that others take for granted, and which others know nothing about.

I have begun to implement this on my freespace source page, will take some time to go through them all.  I copy and paste regularly used sources from this page, but currently I am presented with a load of numbers, linking to nothing.

[1] [2] [3] [4] [4] [5]

I have to go to edit to use any of them.  Now I'll be able to copy and paste from the page itself.

Thanks, Paul, will not only save me time (eventually), the page might be useable for someone else.


I think the manual is great. It leaves some room to play as well. For instance...

  • Release a 1-page cheat sheet for the most pressing functions (these are my personal favorite since I'm a scanner -- yes, the Web has ruined me:). Suggestions:
    • Ref tags to write a source only once:
      <ref name=source> .... </ref> or
      <ref name="source"> ... </ref>

      thereafter ... only this is required for citation: <ref name=source /> or <ref name="source" /> 
  • Make more versions with increasingly complex mark-up syntax (intermediate; expert; etc..).


NOTE: Currently WikiTree does NOT require quotations around the attribute for the REF tag, i.e. <ref name="attribute" /> or <ref name=attribute />

That being said... quotations are always 'cleaner' in the event of a more recent version of HTML is required. Kinda like insurance from having to go back and do more edits because your code broke the page.

3 Answers

+12 votes
In a former life (that is, before I officially retired), I used to develop IETMs (that's Interactive Electronic Technical Manuals) among other systems engineering tasks.

If anyone would like to format the Wiki manuals as html instead of pdf, I would be happy to help.

I would like to help with this project in general anyway, but am committed to another WikiTree project right now.  When that is complete,  I will join the Multimedia Project.

It's soooooo amazing how much there is here.  It's like a labyrinth!!!
by Gaile Connolly G2G6 Pilot (910k points)
That's great. I look forward to any contributions. Yes, you are right. It is a labyrinth! A very exciting place to explore and one that encourages creativity. We are all here because of a common interest in genealogy, but we all bring many useful skills as well. It has been really fabulous to watch the creativity that so many people bring to so many areas of WikiTree and in the spirit of sharing their knowledge.

In an often greedy world, WikiTree is an outpost of selflessness.
+1 vote
Thank you Paul, this is fantastic....what a great resource this is. I will refer to it often.
by Doug Lockwood G2G Astronaut (2.4m points)
+1 vote
Great manual, Paul. I have 2 questions. First, how can information in a table column be centered in the space? In HTML, it's align=center. Also, I have a table, 3 columns, that data put in 3rd column isn't showing up. Column heading is Notes, if it matters.
by Bob Keniston G2G6 Pilot (211k points)

Robert, I'll take a shot at the error...


If the third column is missing, there's probably something missing. The hard part is trying to see small missing characters like:

{  or |- or || ...


But if you're lucky... the part that's missing will reveal itself by making the meat (the actual words) pop up before the table renders.


If that doesn't fix it, post the link and let's see we can find it.


As for centering text in a table cell, use the CSS tag inside the same cell (see example at my space "Bree's Corner" :

  • style="text-align: center" | this ancestor blah blah blah...


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