Basic use of XWiki and how to create a wiki site

The University will replace the previous Confluence-based wiki service ( with the open-source XWiki service in 2024. The change is due to costs as the current wiki service provider Atlassian will significantly increase the pricing of its products. Like the current wiki, the new XWiki service is suitable for producing and managing content that must also be accessible from outside the University (without logging in to the University’s services).

These instructions cover XWiki’s main features related to creating, deleting and editing sites and pages. Further information about XWiki’s functionality and tools is available on XWiki’s own website.

XWiki is now open at

You can find the previous Confluence-based Wiki service in


  • Root page = The top page of the wiki hierarchy, which is formed when a wiki site is created
  • Macro = A plugin that adds extra functionality to XWiki
  • Child page = A page that has been created or moved under another wiki page (in a “page tree”)
  • Page, wiki page = A single page that can have its own settings and administrator
  • Template = A page that can be used as a model for new pages and that may contain ready text or macros and so on
  • Page tree = A hierarchical entity of parent and child pages in a specific wiki area
  • Wiki site = A hierarchical entity of multiple pages

    Logging in to XWiki

    • Navigate to
    • To log in to XWiki, click on the Drawer icon (hamburger menu) marked with three horizontal lines on the menu bar.
    • Select the topmost menu option, Log In.
    • Select the topmost option, Login with a Helsinki University account.
    • Log in to the service using the short form of your University of Helsinki username userid (e.g. the username of Raimo Keski-Väänto is rkeskiva).

    Creating a wiki site on XWiki

    • Log in to XWiki (see above).
    • On the XWiki home page, select Create new XWiki space.
    • You are now on the page where you can create your new wiki site. Read the terms of service (1), enter a name for your wiki site (2), and select Create space! (3).
    • You have now created your new wiki site. Select the Click here to go to it link to move to the root page of the wiki site you created.

    See the Detailed help tab for illustrated instructions

    Logging in to XWiki

    Navigate to

    • To log in to XWiki, click on the Drawer icon (hamburger menu) marked with three horizontal lines in the top right corner on the front page.
    • Select the topmost menu option, Log In.
    • Then select Login with a Helsinki University account at the top of the menu.
    • Log in to the service using the short form of your University of Helsinki username userid (e.g. the username of Raimo Keski-Väänto is rkeskiva).

    Creating a wiki site on XWiki

    Use this tool to create a new wiki site on XWiki. The creator of a wiki site acquires administrator rights to the site, which allow them to manage users’ and user groups’ rights to edit the wiki site and add content to it.

    Creating new pages

    The site’s root page forms the top level of the page hierarchy. All the pages on your wiki site are in a hierarchy, or in a page tree, under this root page. In addition to the root page, you can create pages at lower hierarchy levels under any other wiki page. The page at the upper level is referred to as the parent page and the pages at the lower level are referred to as child pages.

    • To create a new page on your wiki site, select Create at the top right of any of the pages on your wiki site.
    The Create button is visible to you if you are on a wiki site that you created or on a site or page to which you have editing rights. If you need permissions to edit a page or site, ask the person whose name is displayed in the Last Modified By section of the page.  
    • Under Create Page, you can name your new page, specify the template used, and define its position in the page tree.
    • Enter the name of your new page under Title (1).
    • Under Location (2), you can select the page tree location of your new page by clicking on the page tree icon (3). If you do not select a page, the new page will become a subpage of the page where you selected Create.
    • Under Type (4), choose whether to create a blank page (5) or use a template  (6).
    • Your page will become the child page of the page you have selected as its parent page in the page tree.

    Deleting a page and site

    To delete a wiki page, go to the page you want to delete and select Delete in the top right corner (1), under the three dots (2).

    • In the next window, select whether deleting a page will affect its child pages. Select the Affect children (1) checkbox if you also want to delete all the child pages under the selected page – if not, ensure that the box is unselected, as shown in the image. Then click Delete (2) to delete the page and any child pages you have selected.
    • If you want to delete an entire wiki site, go to the site’s root page and follow the instructions above to delete the page. Select Affect children and Delete to remove all the content on your wiki site.

    Adding and editing page content

    • By selecting the Edit (1)button in the top right corner, you can edit the open page. Use the Save & View (2)Save (3), Cancel (4) buttons to save the changes and view the page, just save the changes or cancel the changes.
    • Click on the page title (4) to change the page name.
    The Edit button is visible to you if you are on a wiki site that you created or on a site or page to which you have editing rights. If you need permissions to edit a page or site, ask the person whose name is displayed in the Last Modified By section of the page.
    • Click on Start typing here... to begin editing the content of the page. An editing window is also displayed. You can type and format text here as in any text editor using the tools in the editing window.
    The editing window varies depending on the page template used on the page. For example, the editing window of a diagram page is different from that of a blank page.
    • In the drop-down menu (1), you can change the text style to either Normal or to one of the header levels 1–6 (Heading 1–6).
    To automatically create a table of contents for a page using the table of contents macro, you must use header levels. You should always use them to structure the content of the page. In addition, accessibility requirements require the use of header levels 1–6.

    Creating links on pages

    You can create text links to both external pages and other pages on the wiki site.

    • Select the part of the text that you want to function as a link. Then click on the link tool.


    • In the drop-down menu, choose whether the text you select as a link refers to another wiki page (Page) (1), an attachment uploaded to the page (Attachment) (2) , an external web page (URL(3) or an email address (Mail Address(4).
    • To create a link to external pages, select URL and in the address field, enter the address of the page to which you want the text to be linked.
    • Select OK to create a link.

    • When creating a link to another wiki page, select Page (1) and then click on Select a page (2).
    • In the page tree, find and select the page to which you want the link to point.
    • Choose Select and then click on OK on the link page to create a link.

    Adding an image to a wiki page

    • You can add an image to the page using the Image button in the editing window.


    • You can add images already on the wiki site (Gallery and Tree) (1), by uploading them from your computer (Upload(2), from the icon library (Icon(3) or by linking to an image elsewhere on the web (Url(4).
    • If you want to upload an image from your own computer, select Upload (1). Then select Choose File (2)  to select an image on your computer.
    • Then select the other Upload (3) button to upload the image to XWiki and click on Select (4).
    • If you want to add an alternative text that is important for accessibility, you can do so in the Alternative text field.
    • Add an image by selecting Insert.
    • You can adjust the size of the image by dragging it in the editor from Click and drag to resize.

    Assigning and removing permissions to wiki spaces and wiki pages

    You can adjust the read, edit, and administration permissions on your XWiki site either for the entire site or separately for its subpages.

    Please note that if you do not add permissions to any group, the site will be visible to all the users who are logged in.
    • To assign permissions to your site, select Manage > Administer Page in the More Actions (three dots) menu.
    • Then select Users & Rights in the menu on the left (1).
    • Under Rights: Page & Children (2), you can assign access and edit permissions for the page and its subpage.
    • To adjust permissions for your entire XWiki site, go to the site’s root page and select Rights: Page & Children. To adjust access and edit permissions for only one page, select Rights: Page (3).
    • You can adjust access and editing rights for different groups by selecting Groups (1), or for users by selecting Users (2).
    • By using the search function (3), you can search for the desired user or group.
    • When you find the group or user ID you are searching for, you can adjust (1) the user’s permissions to view, comment, edit, add script, delete or administer a specific page or your entire XWiki site.
    • Under Unregistered Users (2),  you can adjust your site’s viewing and editing permissions for people not registered on XWiki.
      • Ensure you have not checked any of the checkboxes in this section unless you specifically want unregistered users to have read or edit access to your wiki.
    To see what permissions unregistered users have, open your browser in incognito mode (see instructions on how to use incognito mode) and explore your wiki site without logging in.
    • You can check the access and editing permissions of any page by going to this page and selecting View permissions for current page under Page access rights in the lower left corner of the page. Here you can see both the editing permissions assigned for this particular page and the permissions inherited based on the page hierarchy.


    Table of contents

    A table of contents is the easiest way to hierarchically organise the content of a wiki page under different header levels.

    You can automatically create a table of contents for a page using the XWiki Table of Contents macro.

    To automatically create a table of contents using the macro function, you must use different header levels (Heading 1–6) when creating headers for your wiki page.
    • On your page, in edit mode, move to the spot where you want to place the table of contents. Then, under the Insert tool (1), select Table of Contents (2).
    • The Table of Contents macro now creates a table of contents in the spot you selected, based on the different header levels used on your page.
    • If you want to create a table of contents in a separate box at the beginning and on the right side of the page, first add a blank unformatted row at the beginning of the page and then, under the Styles menu (1), select Floating Box (2) .
    • In the grey box that appears on the right, enter a title for the table of contents, such as “Table of contents” (1). In this example, the Bold tool (2) was used on the title.
    • Now, ensure that the cursor is still active in the box and then select the Table of Contents macro under Insert.
    • The table of contents macro now inserts a table of contents in the box you created.

    Page tree

    Using the Page Tree or Document Tree macro is the easiest way to create a table of contents for the entire content of your wiki. This is also the easiest way to create a space-specific search for your wiki site on XWiki.

    The XWiki page tree macro automatically creates a page tree from the root of the entire XWiki content. To create a page tree exclusively for your wiki site, you must first find your site’s root page address.
    • To find the address of your wiki site’s root page, click on the three dots (More Actions menu) (1) on the root page of your wiki site and select Information in the drop-down menu that opens  (2).
    • Information about the wiki page is now displayed.
    • Under Page Reference (1), select Display reference for all wikis (2). The page address should now begin with the “xwiki:” prefix.
    • Select Copy the reference to the clipboard (3) to copy your page’s wiki address to the clipboard.
    • Return to your root page and select Edit at the top to return to edit mode.
    • On your page, select where you want the page tree macro to create an image of your site’s page tree hierarchy and then select Other Macros (2) under the Insert tool (1).
    • In the macro search box (1), type page tree, select it from the macro list (2) and click on Select (3) to continue.
    • In the Edit macro window (1), select More and scroll down until you find Root (2).


    • The Root parameter determines the page that the page tree macro uses as the root when creating the page tree.  At the beginning of the field, type document: and then, directly after it, paste the root page address you just copied to your clipboard by right-clicking (or pressing ctrl + v).
    • Scroll down further in the “Edit macro” window and select Finder (1) if you want the page tree macro to create a search box for your wiki site.
    • Then select Submit (2) to create a page tree for your page.
    • The page tree macro will now create a page tree in the specified location on your wiki page.


    In XWiki, you can create tables for a page in the edit window, by copying a table from Excel or by setting the parameters directly in the source code. In addition, you can save an Excel file as an attachment on the page or link the table as a file shared in Teams. An Excel spreadsheet shared in Teams is easy to edit directly in the browser window, while an Excel attachment is automatically downloaded to the user’s computer.

    These instructions explain how to create a table in an editing window, copy it from Excel or share it in Teams or as an attachment on a wiki page. We will not discuss all the table features in these instructions. If you want to learn more about them and how to edit tables in source code, please consult XWiki’s own instructions.
    • To create a table in the XWiki edit window, go to the page where you want to create the table, select Edit and click on the table icon (“Table”).
    • A window is displayed where you can define the properties of the table you are creating (Table Properties).
    • Rows determines the number of rows in the table.
    • Columns determines the number of columns in the table.
    • Width defines the width of the table and Height its height. You can also leave these blank when creating a table and adjust them later in the table settings or by dragging the table and cell boundaries in edit mode.
    • Under Alignment, you can decide whether the table you create is positioned on the left, right or in the center of your page.
    • A table with five columns and five rows will be created as an example.
    • After creating the table, you can adjust the table and cell parameters by right-clicking on the table. If you have not selected any cell, you can adjust the properties of the entire table, and by selecting a cell, you can adjust its properties. You can also select several cells at a time.
    • For example, by selecting the entire first row, you can set a grey background for the table header row to make it clearer, for example. To select the entire row, click the first cell and then the last cell while holding down the Shift key. 
    • When all the cells have been selected, right-click to display the table edit menu. In the menu, select Cell and Cell properties. 
    • You can now edit the properties of the selected cells in the menu that opens. 
    • Under Background Color, type “grey” to select a grey background colour for the cells in the title bar.
    You can enter a colour in text format or as an RGB code.
    • Now, the background colour of the cells in the top row is grey.

    Copying and pasting an Excel spreadsheet to an XWiki page

    You can copy and paste a table directly from Excel to an XWiki page by using the copy and paste functions. In this case, the formatting of the table may not remain the same as in Excel, but the content is copied correctly to XWiki. If you want the table to have the same formatting as in Excel, you can use XWiki’s table formatting to align the colours and other properties of cells, as well as the properties of the entire table, with the original Excel file.

    • To copy a spreadsheet from an Excel file to XWiki, go to the original spreadsheet in Excel and select the part of it you want to copy. In the example below, we do not want to copy the title “XWiki test Excel”, so we will just select the table.
    • To select the table, paint all the rows and columns you want to copy.
    • After selecting the desired part of the table, right-click the selected area while it is active. Select “Copy” in the menu that is displayed or press CTRL + C.
    • In XWiki, go to the page where you want to copy the table and ensure that you are in edit mode.
    • XWiki does not allow pasting using the mouse, so make sure the cursor is in the editing window where you want the table to be pasted and press CTRL + V.
    • The table above looks like this when pasted to an XWiki page.
    • Follow the above instructions for editing tables if, for example, you want to make the colours of the pasted table similar to those in the original Excel.

    Sharing an Excel spreadsheet in Teams

    You can also share an Excel file directly in Teams. This is the recommended way if you want to use Excel features and the original formatting, but want users to have easy access to the table via the XWiki page. If you share the table as a hyperlink in Teams, it will open directly in the browser for editing.

    It is advisable to share the table in Teams and not, for example, in OneDrive. When shared in Teams, the table will remain available even if the sharer’s University user account is deleted, for example, is the person leaves the University to work elsewhere.
    • Create or upload the Excel spreadsheet you want to share on XWiki in Teams. When creating a share link in Teams, pay attention to whom you grant read and edit access. Find the table in Teams, under Files, select Share and after setting edit and read access, select Copy link to copy the link.
    • On the XWiki page, go to the spot where you want to share the table link. Select the Link tool in the editing window.
    • In the link window that is displayed, type the text that you want to serve as a link to your table in the Display Text (1) field.
    • In the drop-down menu for link type, select URL (2).
    • Insert the share link to the Excel file that you just created in Teams in the URL (3) field.
    • Select OK (4) to create a hyperlink to the table.
    • Your page now has a link to a table that the page user can click to view or edit the table according to the permissions you have specified. In the browser, the table opens in an Excel window, where it is easy for users with the required edit permissions to edit the table.

    Sharing a table as an attachment on the wiki page

    The third way to share a table is to upload it as an attachment from your computer to your XWiki page. In this case, the table will not be displayed or opened for editing in the browser for page visitors or editors. Instead, it will be downloaded directly to the user’s computer. This option is therefore not recommended for tables that you want other users to be able to edit directly through the XWiki page.

    • To upload an Excel file as an attachment, go to the bottom of the page and click on Attachments.
    • Under Attach files to this page, select Choose Files to select the Excel file to attach.
    • Locate the file on your computer and select Open to attach the file to your XWiki page.
    • The file now appears as an attachment at the bottom of the page under Attachments. Page visitors can open it here directly, or you can create a hyperlink to the file in the text on your page just like you would create an external link. If you decide to create a link, select Attachment instead of URL and find the attachment in the XWiki page tree displayed.

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