Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)


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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

This page attempts to answer the more common questions you might have. Many of the answers refer you to other pages for details.

For frequently requested features, see the PITS pages.


How do I get my question answered?

The quickest and best way is to join the pmwiki-users mailing list and post your question there. If it really is a frequently-asked question, it will eventually be added to this page.

An alternative way is to leave your question on the Questions page.

Getting help

Where can I get help with PmWiki? (This is a pretty vague question!)

See this FAQ, Troubleshooting, or try a Search.

Error messages

What does warning message or error message "xxxxx" mean?

Error/warning questions and answers are on the Troubleshooting page.

Special characters

How do I include special characters on my wiki pages?

Use character codes to insert special characters, such as Copyright (©) and Trademark (® or ™) symbols, that don't appear on your keyboard.


How do I insert pictures on wiki pages?

See Images.


How do I link to an uploaded file from another group?

Use Attach:Groupname/filename.ext . See Uploads.

Image in another group

How do I link to an uploaded image from another group?

You need to refer to a page within another group, not just the group itself. Thus, Attach:Group.SomePage/image_name.ext. Note, you must use the PageName, but that there is no requirement that the page actually exist.

Attachment links

When I upload a file, how do I make the link look like "file.doc" instead of "Attach:file.doc Δ"?

Use parentheses, as in [[(Attach:)file.doc]]. There is also a configuration change that can eliminate the Attach: -- see Cookbook:AttachLinks.

Upload file size limit

Why can't I upload files of size more than 50kB to my newly installed PmWiki?

Out of the box PmWiki limits the size of files to be uploaded to 50kB. Add

        $UploadMaxSize = 1000000;

to your config.php to increase the limit to 1MB (for example). See UploadsAdmin for how to further customize limits. Note that both PHP and webservers also place their own limits on the size of uploaded files.


How do I create nice tables similar to Product X?

See tables and table directives.


How and why do I use the EditForm feature?

This feature allows an admin to customize PmWiki's edit window. Some Cookbook:Skins customize the $PageEditFmt variable which overrides the edit form, making it inoperative.

Access control

How do I use passwd-formatted files (like .htpasswd) for authentication?

See AuthUser or Cookbook:UserAuth


I'm getting a lot of spam on my wiki site. How can I password protect the pages?

See Security, UrlApprovals, and the Cookbook:Blocklist2 recipe.

Summary pages

Why are 'RecentChanges' pages editable?

You might want to edit these pages if a spammer creates a page with an unsavory name. To prevent others from editing these pages, insert the following lines into your local/config.php file. Editing then requires the admin password.

## Require admin password to edit RecentChanges (etc.) pages.
if ($action=='edit'
    && preg_match('/\\.(All)?RecentChanges$/', $pagename))
  { $DefaultPasswords['edit'] = '*'; }


Is it possible to move wiki.d to /tmp/persistent/wiki.d (a new sourceforge rule)?

Sourceforge suggest moving everything to /tmp/persistent/new-folder-of-your-choice and creating a symbolic link to the new folder on /tmp . It works. See Cookbook:SourceForgeServers


How do I set one Header for all pages/groups?

The header for each page is controlled by the $GroupHeaderFmt variable. Thus a site-wide groupheader can be added with

$GroupHeaderFmt .=
  "(:include {$SiteGroup}.SiteHeader:)(:include {$Group}.GroupHeader:)(:nl:)


How do I insert RSS news feeds in PmWiki?

See Cookbook:RssFeedDisplay.

How do I generate RSS feeds from PmWiki?

See Web Feeds.


How do I change the Wiki's default name in the upper left corner of the Main Page?

Put the following config.php

$WikiTitle = 'My Wiki Site';

The docs/sample-config.php has an example of changing the title.

CSS Styling

How do I customize the CSS styling of my PmWiki layout?

See Skins for how to change the default PmWiki skin. See also Cookbook:Skins, where you will find pre-made templates you can use to customize the appearance of your site. You can also create a file called local.css in the pub/css/ directory and add CSS selectors there (this file gets automatically loaded if it exists). Or, styles can be added directly into a local customization file by using something like:

$HTMLStylesFmt[] = '.foo { color:blue; }';

Styling the edit page hint block

How do I change the font or background color of the hints block on the Edit Page?

Add a CSS style to pub/css/local.css: .quickref {background:...; color:... }. The hints are provided by the Site.EditQuickReference page, which is in the PmWiki or Site wikigroup. Edit that page, and change the "bgcolor" or specify the font "color" to get the contrast you need.

Default page

How do I make pmwiki.php the default page for a website? Should I rename pmwiki.php to index.php?

Renaming pmwiki.php is not recommended. Instead, create an index.php file that contains the single line:

<?php include_once('pmwiki.php');

You may also want to check Cookbook:CleanUrls.

Default password

There seems to be a default password. What is it?

There isn't any valid password until you set one. See PasswordsAdmin for how to set an admin password.

PmWiki comes "out of the box" with $DefaultPasswords['admin'] set to '*'. This doesn't mean the password is an asterisk, it means that default admin password has to be something that encrypts to an asterisk. Since it's impossible for the crypt() function to ever return a 1-character encrypted value, the admin password is effectively locked until the admin sets one in config.php.

Embedding inside a web page

How can I embed PmWiki pages inside a web page?

Source them through a PHP page, or place them in a frame.

Closing ?> tags

Why don't PmWiki's scripts have a closing ?> tag?

All of PmWiki's scripts now omit the closing ?> tag. The tag is not required, and it avoids problems with unnoticed spaces or blank lines at the end of the file. Also, some file transfer protocols may change the newline character(s) in the file, which can also cause problems. --Pm

Directory-like URLs

Why does appear to have a directory structure rather than "?n=pagename" in URLs? uses a variant of Cookbook:CleanUrls.

wikilib.d folder

Can I remove items from the wikilib.d folder on my site?

Yes, the files in wikilib.d/ can be safely removed. They'll reappear again when you upgrade, however. If you want to permanently configure your site so that these distribution pages don't appear, try:

$WikiLibDirs = array(&$WikiDir);

Exclude from search

How do I exclude wiki-related pages from searches?

Try the following in your local/config.php file. See also Cookbook:SearchPatterns.

## Exclude Certain pages / groups from search results.
$SearchPatterns['default'][] = '!\\.(All)?Recent(Changes|Uploads)$!';
$SearchPatterns['default'][] = '!\\.Group(Print)?Header$!';
$SearchPatterns['default'][] = '!^Site\\.!';
$SearchPatterns['default'][] = '!^PmWiki\\.!';

Group name / page name

How do I get the group name or page name in a local configuration file (e.g. local/config.php)?

Use the following markup in pmwiki-2.1.beta21 or newer:

## Get the name of this group (like {$Group}) and page (like {$Name})
$pagename = ResolvePageName($pagename);
$group = PageVar($pagename, '$Group');
$name = PageVar($pagename, '$Name');


Links opening a new window

How do I put a link that will open as a new window?

Use the %newwin% wikistyle, as in:


Linking to an image

Is it possible to link an image on PmWiki without using a fully qualified URL?

Yes. For images that are attachments, the general format is Attach:Group.PageName/image.gif. To link to an image that is on the same server, use Path:/path/to/image.gif.

Link to an e-mail address

How do I place a mailing address in a page?

Use the mailto: markup, as in one of the following:


[[ | email me]]

email me

External links

How do I make a WikiWord link to an external page instead of a WikiPage?

Use link markup. There are two formats:

[[ | WikiWord]]



[[WikiWord ->]]


Backlinks ("Who links here")

How do I find all of the pages that link to another page (i.e., backlinks)?

Use the (:pagelist:) command, as in

    (:pagelist link=SomePage:)   -- show all links to SomePage
    (:pagelist link={$FullName}:)  -- show all links to the current page

404 page

How do I customize my own 404 error page for non-existent pages?

To change the text of the message, try editing the Site.PageNotFound page.


How can I run PmWiki on a standalone (offline, portable) machine ?

See Cookbook:Standalone.

Disable formatting

How do I put plain text into a wiki page and disable wiki formatting?

You can use the [@TEXT GOES HERE@] markup as explained in the section Escape Sequence TextFormattingRules. Note that this preserves any text file formatting such as newlines and spaces.

Recent Changes (All) | Edit SideBar Page last modified on March 12, 2006, at 08:26 PM Edit Page | Page History
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