From XOWA: the free, open-source, offline wiki application

Editing articles is an important part of any wiki -- even offline ones.

Basic usage

You can activate the edit feature for any page by clicking the Edit button in the top right-hand corner.

The page will change to a large text area with two buttons: Save page and Show preview.

You can make your changes and press Show preview. The text will be rendered in HTML above, but the text area will remain on the bottom for continued editing.

When you are satisfied with your changes, press Save page.

If you need to cancel changes you can simply click on either the Read or Edit button. As long as Save page is not invoked, the changes will not be saved.

Wiki text and syntax

XOWA should support all forms of wiki syntax. Note that there may be outlier quirks due to discrepancies between XOWA's parsing approach and MediaWiki's.

If you need information on wiki syntax, you should consult the Wikipedia Wiki markup page.

Corrections / fixes are encouraged

The Edit article feature should be used to correct articles that were broken or vandalized at the time of the data dump.

To correct an article, navigate to the online version of the article and copy the text to the offline one.

For example, let's say the Earth article was vandalized prior to being memorialized in the data-dump. The current version has since fixed the vandalism.

To incorporate the correct online version into the offline one:

  • Navigate to
  • Select and copy the wiki text.
  • Go to the offline version of the article:
  • Click on Edit
  • Press Ctrl+V to paste the wiki text into the text area.
  • Click on Save Page

Free-form edits are at your own risk

Article editing should not be used for your own personal free-form edits. Note that each wiki dump is considered "disposable". The official source is the online Wikimedia version. Any changes made in to the offline version will be lost upon updating the dump.

For example, you can make extensive notes to the Earth page for your offline 2012-12-11 Simple Wikipedia data dump. Whenever you update to the data dump for 2013-01-11, you will need to manually copy and paste your edited page to the new wiki dump. XOWA has no provision for automatically carrying over any changes from the 2012-12-11 version to the 2013-01-11 one.

Past versions are not archived

XOWA currently does not archive edits. Once you save a page, the old version is lost. If you need to maintain history, you should either use the View History function on the online wikis, or manually track your own changes in a separate document.


Because past changes are not archived, there is a risk that you may accidentally overwrite changes while editing a page. It is encouraged that you test new changes in the sandbox for any given wiki. You can enter the sandbox by typing in Project:Sandbox in the Address bar, or by pressing Ctrl+F1.

Keyboard shortcuts

  • Alt+Shift+P: Previews the page.
  • Alt+Shift+S: Saves the page and returns to read mode.
  • Ctrl+S: Saves the page but keeps the page in edit mode.



Getting started