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TWiki Topics

The basic building block of a TWiki site is called a topic, identified by a unique, hopefully descriptive, WikiWord title. It may seem easier just to call them pages, but specifically a topic is the content of a page. The distinction seems small but will become more important as your skill using TWiki increases. TWikiSites are built using topics.


A TWiki topic is a rich information unit. Each topic has:

Features that can be used by topics and sites include:

The configuration of your TWiki site, skins and your personal user account can modify the way these features are used and presented to you.

Creating and editing topics

A primary purpose of TWiki is to make it incredibly easy for you to add and edit information on existing topics, create new topics, and link between TWiki topics.

Another way to add a topic is to type a new topic name in the Go box or an unknown topic URL. You can type in either a WikiName to create the topic in the current web or Web.TopicName to create a topic in a different web than the current page. Topics created with the Go box or URLs do not have parent meta-data defined.

Other features

The color-coded toolbar at the bottom of every topic displays a series of links, including:

It looks complicated, but the basics you need to begin with are very simple to use. The flexible and optional features are ready when you care to learn about them - the only way to confuse yourself or your site set-up and users is by using features you really don't need. Unlike the usual expensive, complex collaboration and project management packages, TWiki is fully functional and effective just by typing in text and making WikiWord links. All the additional features are there, but only if you need them!

Renaming, moving or deleting topics

You can rename, move and delete individual topics by clicking More on the control strip at the bottom of every page. The access settings for a topic, web or entire site may be disabled for one or more of the three options, depending on your site set-up and access permissions.

  1. Go to the top you want to change, click More > Rename/move
  2. To move or delete: select the target web (Trash to delete)from the pull-down menu (otherwise, leave on the current web)
  3. To rename: fill in a new WikiName (otherwise, leave the current topic name)
  4. To update links: From the list of topics that show links to the topic you're changing, uncheck each entry you DON'T want to update - only checked links will be updated;
  5. Click Rename/move: the topic is renamed and/or moved, and the checked links to the topic are updated.
    • Any problems are listed - take note, and you can fix them later.
    • If a linked topic can't be updated (it may be locked because someone's editing it), an alert will appear. You can update missed topics later by again pressing Rename/move.

HELP Deleting means moving a topic to the Trash web. Since all webs share the one Trash, name conflicts may come up.

Reviewing and Reverting

RCS revision control automatically saves all topic changes. To look at earlier versions of a topic, click on Diffs link in topic commands. If you would like to revert to an earlier version or reclaim part of an earlier version, just copy from the old topic revision to the current topic revision. This is a step by step set of instructions:
  1. In the Diffs view, take note of what version of the topic you want to reclaim and then return to View.
  2. Select More in the topic commands.
  3. Under "View previous topic revision," enter the version number you want to reclaim and check "raw text format." Then click on "View revision."
  4. Select either the portion of that version you want to reclaim or the entire text of the topic if you want to revert completely to that version. Select Copy under your browser's Edit menu.
  5. Return to the most recent version of the topic and select Edit from the topic commands.
  6. Either paste in the portion of the topic you wish to reclaimed or replace the entire text with the text you copied from the earlier version.
  7. Preview and save the topic.
See: ManagingTopics for more details.

-- MikeMannix - 22 May 2002
-- GrantBow? - 17 Jan 2003

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