20 Minute Tutorial

This step-by-step, hands-on tutorial gets you up to speed with all the Foswiki basics...

1. Get set...

Open two browser windows, so that you can follow these steps in one window, while trying things out in the other.

2. Take a quick tour...

A Foswiki site is divided into webs; each one usually represents one area of collaboration. You can navigate the webs from each web page; by default, those links are located either in the upper part of a page, below the site logo or in the menu on the right hand side.

TIP Do not confuse the Jump field with the Search field.

3. Open a private account...

To edit topics, you need to have a Foswiki account.

4. Check out Foswiki users and groups.

5. Test the page controls...

The control strips at the top and/or bottom of the page have a collection of icons or links that allow you to take various actions. Different skins show different links, but most will have some or all of the following:

6. Create a new topic and edit an existing one

There are two different ways to create a new topic:
  1. Create a topic from scratch.
  2. Navigate to a topic that does not yet exist.

6.1 Create a topic from scratch

We are going to create a new topic from scratch first, before having a look at the second alternative:

See also the following screenshot:

Topic name:

It's usually best to choose a WikiWord for the new topic name, otherwise automatic linking may not work. Characters not allowed in topic names, such as spaces will automatically be removed.

Topic parent:

 Pick from a list

Use template:

Editing an existing topic is even more simple:

6.2 Create a topic following a link

Now we will proceed to the second option of creating a topic - following a link that refers to a topic that does not exist yet:

There are different ways of formatting text:
  1. Using the WYSIWYG editor - highlight and format text as you would do it in a normal text editor
  2. Using TML shorthand - TML (Topic Markup Language) is a very simple markup language. For additional information on editing topics and formatting text with TML, have a look at WikiSyntax, TextFormattingRules and TopicsAndWebs.

7. Use your browser to upload files as page attachments...

You can attach any type of file to a topic - documents, images, programs, whatever - where they can be opened, viewed, or downloaded.
ALERT! Your site administrator may have blocked some types of files (such as .html) from being attached for security reasons.

8. Get e-mail alerts whenever pages are changed...

WebNotify is a subscription service that automatically notifies you by e-mail when topics change in a Foswiki web. This is a convenience service - for many people, checking e-mail is easier than checking the Web.

That's it! You're now equipped with all the Foswiki essentials. You are ready to roll.

HELP When first using Foswiki, it will probably seem strange to be able to change other people's postings - we're used to separating individual messages, with e-mail, message boards, non-Wiki collaboration platforms. Don't worry about it. You can't accidentally delete important stuff - you can always check previous versions, and restore them, if necessary, if you want to undo any changes. After a short while, it'll become second-nature and you'll expect it everywhere!

Related Topics: UserDocumentationCategory, TopicsAndWebs, WikiSyntax