TWiki Tips and Tricks


TWiki plugins allow users to embed text within variables in order to create something otherwise difficult or impossible. Learning how to use them correctly can save you time. Remember: If you have a need, you should request a new plugin from the biostatistics TWiki administrators, DalePlummer, JeffreyHorner, ColeBeck, CharlesDupont, or JeremyStephens.
  • DirectedGraphPlugin - This is a plugin that allows you to create png files of directed graphs.
  • EmbedBibPlugin - This is a plugin that you can use to embed BibTeX entries in TWiki webs. It has been enhanced by Jeff, so see the EmbedBibPluginDoc to learn its new functionality. You will need a bib file that uses keys to reference entries in order to use the modified version.
  • MathModePlugin - This plugin allows you to include mathematics in a TWiki page, with a format very similar to LaTeX.
  • SectionalEditPlugin - This plugin allows the user to break a topic up into sections which can be edited individually.


Want to set some user preferences or access control rules but don't want them displayed? You can set them inside HTML comments like this:
   * Set DENYTOPICVIEW = SomeoneIDistrust
   * Set TIMEZONE = America/Chicago
You can find more about preferences and access control here: DefaultPreferences, AccessControl

Minimizing Problems with Page Lockouts

  • If you have a large block of text to insert, compose it in an editor then edit the twiki page and paste the new text in
  • Save if you have edited a page but won't actively be editing it for a while
  • Click the Release Edit Lock box at the bottom before you Save
  • Edit your personal page to make this box checked by default
__Personal Preferences (details in %TWIKIWEB%.TWikiVariables)__
      * Set RELEASEEDITLOCKCHECKBOX = checked="checked"
   * Horizontal size of text edit box:


  • Do you find yourself repeatedly updating an attachment? This can help:
When you need to repeatedly update an attachment you can click on the action column for that attachment and save the URL that appears. Then paste it into a shell script (e.g., named update) that looks like:

konqueror (paste URL here) &

and issue the command chmod +x update to make "update" executable. Then the next time you need to upload a new version of the attachment to replace the existing one, go to the folder containing the script and type ./update. To keep from navigating down many levels of subdirectories you can enhance update by placing the following between the two lines above

cp -p foo /tmp

where foo is the name of the file to update (make sure the path to foo is correct). Then tell twiki to use /tmp/foo as the file to upload.

Note: This can be done in Windows by creating a file with a .bat extension that contains the line iexplore (paste URL here).

-- ColeBeck - 24 May 2004; 06 Jul 2004
-- JeremyStephens - 23 Jan 2006
Topic revision: r6 - 06 Feb 2006, FrankHarrell

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