Getting started with Sydney Institute wikispaces

This guide is adapted from the Wikispaces help site, but has been adapted in line with Sydney Institute branding and templates.
If you require guidance that is not included here or via the Wikispaces help pages please let us know by clicking on the DISCUSSION tab in the top right corner of your screen, and we'll attempt to fill any gaps.
Wikispaces users are also advised to familiarise themselves with Wikitext: - the simple code that wikispaces uses accessed via the drop down arrow next to the save button. If you have trouble with formatting have a look at the wikitext to locate unusual glitches in code.

Managing your wiki

The administration of your wiki happens in the back end accessed via the MANAGE WIKI button at the top of the left hand navigation bar.
Here you can add/remove members, pages, files etc. Take some time to look around and try things out.

Adding members

Wiki organisers are able to add/remove members and upgrade members to organisers. ONLY site administrators can downgrade organisers to members.
To add a new member go to MANAGE WIKI - INVITE PEOPLE and type in the persons email address. When the email template appears you can add further email addresses separated with a line break or comma
Write a message and send. They will then be stepped through creating an account of their choosing, and accepting your invitation to join the wiki in question.
Once they have set up their account and accepted your invitation they will show up in the members list. You can then upgrade them if required.

Editing the left-hand navigation bar

Our wikispaces template offers you the ability to manually control your wiki navigation. By deleting the auto widget you can:
  • select what is included under the red navigation heading, linking to some pages and not to others as you wish
  • arrange your navigation bar content into sections (see the grey sections in the navigation bar of this wiki)
  • adjust the text you use to link to pages - a page called 'wikibasics' for example (see URL for this page) can be linked to from text that says 'How to use wikispaces'
  • link to external sites
Edit your navigation bar by logging in and then clicking EDIT NAVIGATION at the bottom of it (bottom left of your screen)
The navigation bar will open in this part of the screen as a list and is edited in the same manner as a normal page.
It is important to maintain the same formatting throughout -
  • for grey sub-headings select the text and apply a HEADING 1 format from the drop down list in the toolbar
  • for links use NORMAL font and a bullet

To add a link to an existing page
Type the text you wish to display into the list in the position of your choosing and apply a bullet point
Highlight the text with your mouse - click on the INSERT LINK icon in the toolbar - click on CHOOSE AN EXISTING PAGE and select the page name from the drop down list - click ADD LINK
(NOTE - you can also add a link to a new page by click on the INSERT LINK icon in the toolbar and changing what shows in the PAGE NAME box to suit a URL - short, simple, no spaces is best)

To add a link to an external site
Add text as above, click on the INSERT LINK icon in the toolbar but this time select the EXTERNAL LINK tab. Type or paste in the URL. Click ADD LINK

Adding a page

There are 2 ways to create a new page on a wikispaces wiki:
1. New Page button - Click on the NEW PAGE link in the top left corner of the wiki nav. bar (menu). Type in your page name, add tags* if you wish and click SAVE.
The name you type will become the page URL so should exclude spaces where-ever possible. Keep it short and sweet!
2. Via text hyperlinks - From any page of the wiki, or the wiki NAVIGATION (left menu), type the page name or word/s you wish to link from.
Select (highlight) the text with your mouse - click on the LINK icon in the toolbar - adjust what is showing in the text box next to PAGE NAME to a web friendly URL (no spaces or capitals) - click ADD LINK and then SAVE your page.

* What are tags?
Tags are keywords you can apply to your page to make it more searchable. A page about dogs could be tagged - dog,animal,pet for example. A search of the wiki for animal wold show all pages tagged with that term.

Text formatting

Wikispaces does not use fonts (as in MS Word) by default. Clean looking reliable and consistent pages are created by adopting the basic formatting styles from the drop down list in the editing toolbar.
Use HEADING 1 for your page heading and HEADING 2 etc for your sub-headings
Use the 'NORMAL' format for general text on the page
Although colour can be applied these should be used sparingly.
Apart from general layout benefits, any text with a HEADING format applied will show in your Table of Contents (see below)

Table of contents

Tables of content in wikispaces automatically pick up all text that has a HEADING format applied. To add a table of contents to a page, click your cursor tot he top of the page, apply a normal format and select the table of contents options from within the blue WIDGET toolbox in the toolbar
Alternatively, type the letters TOC inside 2 sets of square brackets at the top of the page and apply a normal format.
NOTE - you MUST ensure a normal format is applied!

Uploading a file

Any type of file can be uploaded into the wikispaces library and then linked to/ inserted into a page.
Once uploaded into the library, files can be searched for and reused again. Therefore filenames should be clear and relevant.
You can upload a file in one of two ways:
1. Go to MANAGE WIKI - FILES and then step through the browse - upload process, OR
2. At the position on a page you wish to insert a file link - click on the green FILE icon in the toolbar, upload and double click on the file to insert.
To insert a file already in the library - place your cursor where you want the link, click on the green FILE icon and double click on the filename
NOTE - Images can be either embedded into a page so they show OR included as a filename link.

Embedding images

NOTE - If you are uploading images you should first resize them to suit the web. Check the file size - it should generally be less than 500kb. Large files will open very slowly for viewers and take up valuable storage space.
Follow the upload process as above. When you select the file in the library look for the CLICK TO drop down options - by default images will embed but you can also change it to link to the file instead.
Once selected another small 'File Properties' window will open from which you can resize the image further using the + and - buttons (although clarity can be affected) , and you can determine the alignment of the image on the page (default = left)

Changing permissions and privacy

In addition to three general levels of privacy setting outlined below it is also possible to adjust and customise settings for individual pages on your wiki via the PAGE button in the top right of the page in question. This means that you can make some pages private or protected while the bulk of the wiki is public, or vice versa. You can also close pages for further editing or allow access/editing to organisers only.
To adjust the permission (access rights) for the wiki as a whole go to MANAGE WIKI - PEOPLE - PERMISSIONS

Option 1: Public

Public wikis can be viewed and edited by anyone, anywhere in the world. It's a useful option if you want widespread collaboration and contribution. To avoid unwanted contributions it is wise if choosing this option to monitor changes by activating the wiki notifications

Option 2: Protected

Protected wikis can be viewed by anyone in the world, but only members can edit. These are useful for group or network collaboration where you are happy for other interested people to see content.

Option 3: Private

Private wikis can only be viewed and edited by members. They are useful for internal planning, confidential information etc but as owner you will need to manage access.


It is possible to receive an email notification when a page has been edited, or a new discussion post has been made. This can be done for individual or ALL pages, and/or particular or ALL discussion areas.
Wiki notifications are particularly useful for wiki organisers who want to check editions or respond quickly to new posts particularly in situations when you need to acknowledge and respond to queries ASAP
To set up notifications for an entire wiki go to MANAGE WIKI - NOTIFICATIONS
For individual pages or discussion boards, go to the page and click on the NOTIFY ME link in the top right corner

Discussion board options

Wikispaces (by default) provides a unique discussion area behind each page. To access it simply click on the DISCUSSION button in the top right of the screen. Users (organisers and members) are able to reply to topics/threads, or create their own.
It's also possible to adjust the discussion settings so there is ONE only discussion space for the entire wiki. To do this go to MANAGE WIKI - SETTINGS - WIKI INFO - DISCUSSION SETTINGS, and select one discussion page for the whole wiki from the options.
If you choose this option the link tot he discussion forum will appear at the top of your left hand menu bar
You can also turn off the discussion function fully via the admin settings.

Deletions and mistakes

The wonderful thing about wikis is that the full history of changes is captured. Each version of each page on Wikispaces is saved and you can revert back or compare versions as needed.
You can see previous versions by clicking on the HISTORY link at the top of the relevant page.
On the history page, you can a) click on a version of the page and see what changes were made by which person, b) compare any two versions to see changes between them, and/or c) revert to a previous version of the page.
If an entire PAGE of your wiki has been mistakenly deleted you are able to restore it via the RECYCLE BIN

Backing up and archiving wikis

If your wiki contains valuable content you should back it up regularly via MANAGE WIKI - TOOLS - EXPORT
Your backup is available zipped in wikitext format or in HTML.
Use the dialog that pops-up to save the archive to your hard drive.