Basics: XWiki's main concepts

Last modified by Keith Whittingham on 2022/05/01

XWiki is divided into Pages and Wikis. Lateral menus are handled using Panels.


A page is the basic unit of content in XWiki. A page is usually divided in the following areas:

  • Action bar (located at the top): allows you to interact with the current page
  • Title (how the page is named)
  • Author and date (what user modified the page last and on what date)
  • Content area 
  • Panels (either on the left or right of the page, on both sides or hidden)
  • Footer area
    • Creator and date (who was the creator of the page and on what date
    • Tags (some categories in which the page fits)
  • Tabbed area at the bottom of the page featuring:
    • Comments and Annotations (what people have to say about the page)
    • Attachments (files that have been uploaded to the page)
    • History (every version of the current page)
    • Information (included pages, backlinks)

The following actions can be performed on any wiki page, provided the current user has the rights to do it:

  • Edit the page
    • Using the WYSIWYG editor: this is a rich text editor that allows you to modify the contents of your wiki page easily
    • Using the wiki editor: for users accustomed to writing in markup syntax
  • Print & export the page using the More Actions menu
    • The user can display a print preview of the current page
    • Each page can be exported in the following formats: HTML, PDF, RTF (for MS Office) and XAR (XWiki Archive)
  • Watch the page
    • The user can choose to watch the current page to get notified about changes
    • Whenever the page gets modified, she will receive an email notification

Additionally, the following actions may be performed:

  • Create children pages
  • Change page access rights
  • Edit the page's objects and classes (this is an advanced use case that you'll learn later on)
  • Rename, copy and delete the page.


When you start you are on the main wiki. However it's possible to create other wiki (a.k.a subwikis). A wiki is a collection of wiki pages.

This can be useful if you wish to have some clean separation between different types of content (for more details, see the Content Organization page).

You can create as many wikis as you want and as many pages as you want in every wiki.

Usually you start with a single wiki since that's the simplest from an organization point of view and then when the need outgrows this wiki, you can refactor the content over several wikis.


A panel is a widget you can see on every page of your wiki in the standard version of XWiki. Panels are displayed within columns. By default you will see an Applications and Navigation panels on the left and some other secondary panels on the right.

You can control panels in multiple ways:

  • Choose which columns to display (right column, left column, both columns, none)
  • Choose the width of the columns to display (small, medium, large)
  • Choose which panels to put in your side columns

Panels are useful for building menus or adding features to your pages. You can set different panels for each space in your wiki. Step to the next section to find out more about modifying your wiki's columns and panels.

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