Note: The recipes here are for PmWiki versions 0.6 and 1.0 only. For PmWiki 2.0 recipes, see Cookbook.


For some Wiki pages, like bug reports, it's good to define a standard structure of the page. Using a page template can help users follow the standard page structure for new pages without having to re-type the page structure or copy-and-paste from other pages.


The solution is particularly simple.

  1. Define or decide on a PmWiki/WikiGroup where you want to put your formatted pages. For example, BugReports or Cookbook. All pages in this group will start off with the new template.
  2. Create a page in the group to act as the page template. A good place to put it is at GroupName/Template.
  3. Create a PmWiki/PerGroupCustomizations file in the local directory for your templated group. Add the following text to the customization file:
    $FormTemplatePage = '$Group.Template';
    if ($action=="edit") {
      $formpage = ReadPage(FmtPageName($FormTemplatePage,$pagename));
      $DefaultPageTextFmt = $formpage['text'];

This sets the default page text for new pages to the text of your template page. When users click on a link to start a new page, the edit box will be filled up with the contents of the template page.


If you decide to use a fixed name for the template page in all of your groups, you can include the above code in your local/config.php file instead of in per-group customization files.

Writing good templates is a dark art. It's good to use %%comment%% blocks to give instructions to editors on how to use the template and what kind of information should go where.

See Also

  • FormTemplateSystemII -- has a more elaborate and complete solution to making structured pages with HTML forms.


  • 1 March 2004. The idea came from Development.WikiForms, but I copied it here as a new cookbook entry, since I figured it was really useful. Like, it could be used for the Cookbook itself!

Comments & Bugs

  • The code above doesn't check to see if the template page exists, though.
  • There's no enforcement of the structure. It's just a suggestion for users when they create a new page. They can delete all the template stuff and just write in whatever they want.
  • All the pages in the group have to use the same template.
  • It might be nice to let the user choose a template to use.
  • The following hack will allow you to specify different templates for individual pages within a group, as long as their titles all match a definable format (I'd imagine the code implementation could be done in a way that scales more elegantly):
    $SpecificTemplatePage1 = '$Group.TemplateOne';
    $SpecificTemplatePage2 = '$Group.TemplateTwo';
    $DefaultTemplatePage = '$Group.DefaultTemplate';

    # match page names formatted like Minutes2003-12-03
    $template1_pattern = "{$Group}/Minutes[[:digit:]]{4}-[[:digit:]]{2}-[[:digit:]]{2}";
    # match page names formatted like Photos2002-02-03
    $template2_pattern = "{$Group}/Photos[[:digit:]]{4}-[[:digit:]]{2}-[[:digit:]]{2}";

    if ("edit" == $action)
      if (ereg($template1_pattern, $pagename))
        $formpage = ReadPage(FmtPageName($SpecificTemplatePage1, $pagename));
      elseif (ereg($template2_pattern, $pagename))
        $formpage = ReadPage(FmtPageName($SpecificTemplatePage2, $pagename));
        $formpage = ReadPage(FmtPageName($DefaultTemplatePage, $pagename));
      $DefaultPageTextFmt = $formpage['text'];


pmwiki-2.3.7 -- Last modified by {{Petko}}

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