Wiki Styles

authors (basic)

Wikistyle basics

For a range of more "exciting" and convenient styles, including round boxes, callouts, "Post-It!" notes, and other styles, see the WikiStylesPlus documentation.

WikiStyles allow authors to modify the color and other styling attributes of a page's contents. A wikistyle is written using percent-signs, as in %red% or %bgcolor=blue%.

The most basic use of wikistyles is to change text attributes such as color, background color, and font. PmWiki defines several wikistyles for changing the text color to %black%, %white%, %red%, %yellow%, %blue%, %gray%, %silver%, %maroon%, %green%, %navy%, and %purple%.

The basket contains apples, blueberries, eggplant, limes, and more.

For colors other than the predefined colors, use the %color=...% wikistyle. (Note: RGB colors (#rrggbb) should always be specified with lowercase letters to avoid WikiWord conflicts.)

I'd like to have some tangerines, too!

To change the background color, use %bgcolor=...% as a wikistyle:

This sentence contains yellow text on a green background.

See PmWiki:WikiStyleColors for more color help.


Wikistyles can also specify a scope; with no scope, the style is applied to any text that follows up to the next wikistyle specification or the end of the paragraph, whichever comes first. Including a scope changes the specification to apply to the whole paragraph (%p ...%), an entire list (%list ...%), an item within a list (%item ...%), or any block (%block ...%). Those scopes are predefined shortcuts for the "apply=" attribute, which is discussed below.

The wikistyle specification at the beginning of this line applies to the entire paragraph, even if there are other wikistyle specifications in the middle of the paragraph.

The >>style<< block can be used to apply a wikistyle to a large block of items. The style is applied until the next >><< is encountered.

Everything after the above line is styled with blue italic text,

This includes

    preformatted text
  • lists
indented items

Wikistyle attributes

The style attributes recognized within a wikistyle specification are:

    ------------ CSS -------------          --HTML--
    color               bgcolor             class 
    background-color    margin              id
    text-align          padding             hspace
    text-decoration     border              vspace
    font-size           float               target
    font-family         list-style          rel
    font-weight         width*              accesskey
    font-style          height*             value

    Special: define, apply

The attributes in the first two columns correspond to the cascading style sheet (CSS) properties of the same name. The attributes in the last column apply only to specific items:

  • class= and id= assign a CSS class or identifier to an HTML element
  • target=name opens links that follow in a browser window called "name"
  • rel=name in a link identifies the relationship of a target page
  • accesskey=x uses 'x' as a shortcut key for the link that follows
  • value=9 sets the number of the current ordered list item

* The width and height attributes have asterisks because they are handled specially for <img …/> tags. If used by themselves (i.e., without anything providing an "apply=" parameter to the wikistyle), then they set the 'width=' and 'height=' attributes of any <img … /> tags that follow. Otherwise, they set the 'width:' and 'height:' properties of the element being styled.

Applying wikistyles to blocks

Normally a wikistyle applies to a span of (inline) text, but
the apply= attribute allows a style to be applied to something
else. The predefined apply= values are:

apply=imgapply the style to any image that follows 
apply=papply the style to the current paragraph*
apply=preapply the style to the current preformatted text 
apply=listapply the style to the current list*
apply=itemapply the style to the current list item*
apply=divapply the style to the current div 
apply=blockapply the style to the current block,
whether it's a paragraph, list, list item,
heading, or division.

The starred items also have wikistyle shortcuts already defined,
thus %p color=blue% is the same as %apply=p color=blue%, and
%list ROMAN% is the same as %apply=list list-style=upper-roman%.

Some wikistyle shortcuts also make use of apply, thus %right%
is a shortcut for %text-align=right apply=block%.

An applied wikistyle will only take effect if it's on the
line that starts the thing it's supposed to modify. In other
words, a wikistyle in the third markup line of a paragraph
can't change the attributes of the paragraph:

here is some text in
a paragraph and if
we try to change
the color of the paragraph in the middle
it won't work because the style comes
after the paragraph has already been started.

However, this paragraph
will be in red because its block style does
occur in the first line of its text.

  • Here's a list item
  • Oops, too late to affect the list!

Enabling Styles

Styles not listed above can be enabled by a PMWiki Adminstrator by modifying the local/config.php file. For instance to enable the "line-height" style attribute add the line

    $WikiStyleCSS[] = 'line-height';

to the local/config.php file.

Custom style shortcuts

The define= attribute can be used to assign a shorthand name to any wikistyle specification. This shorthand name can then be reused in later wikistyle specifications.

$ echo "Hello world"
Hello World
$ exit
$ echo "I said, HELLO"

Tip: It's often a good idea to put common style definitions into Group Header pages so that they can be shared among multiple pages in a group. Or, the wiki administrator can predefine styles site-wide as a local customization (see CustomWikiStyles).

Tip: Use custom style definitions to associate meanings with text instead of just colors. For example, if warnings are to be displayed as green text, set %define=warn green% and then use %warn% instead of %green% in the document. Then, if you later decide that warnings should be styled differently, it's much easier to change the (one) definition than many occurrences of %green% in the text.

Tip: Any undefined WikiStyle is automatically treated as a request for a class, thus %pre% is the same as saying %class=pre%.

Predefined style shortcuts

PmWiki defines a number of style shortcuts.

  • Text colors: black, white, red, yellow, blue, gray, silver, maroon, green, navy, purple (shortcut for %color=...%)
  • Justification: %center% and %right%
  • Images and boxes
    • Floating left or right: %rfloat% and %lfloat%
    • Framed items: %frame%, %rframe%, and %lframe%
    • Thumbnail sizing: %thumb%
  • Open link in new window: %newwin% (shortcut for %target=_blank%)
  • Comments: %comment% (shortcut for %display=none%)
  • Ordered lists: %decimal%, %roman%, %ROMAN%, %alpha%, %ALPHA% (see also Cookbook:OutlineLists)


WikiStyleExamples contains a number of examples of ways to use wikistyles in pages.

Known Issues

  • Percents in style definitions (like: %block width=50% %) require the use of "pct" instead of "%".

See Also

Custom Wiki Styles

<< Table directives | Documentation Index | Wiki style examples >>

Some of my colors aren't working! For example, %color=#AAAAAA% works, but %color=#AA3333% doesn't work. What's wrong?

Be sure to use lowercase letters for rgb hex colors, otherwise PmWiki may mistake the color value for a WikiWord.

This page may have a more recent version on PmWiki:WikiStyles, and a talk page: PmWiki:WikiStyles-Talk.