Tips and Tricks: Page Includes

Yes. “Page Includes.” If this is the first you’ve heard of them, don’t feel too bad. They’re one of the things we built into Wikispaces that even advanced users might not know about.

A Page Include is basically a widget that drops the entire contents of one wiki page into another. Which is pretty cool, because it means that you can build content once, and then use it over and over and over again. And it means that you can take large, unwieldy pages, and carve them up in to usable pieces. This gives you the power to do a lot of things. The following are only a few, to get you started:

Bring separate pages together
Maybe you are looking for ways to get a team to work together on a wiki. Each member of the team is responsible for a different part of the project. Which is great — you set up a page for each member of the team, and they get to work right away. But you also want to be able to look at all the work the team has done on one page.

This is all you have to do:

  1. Make separate pages for each member of the team.
  2. Create a new page. Let’s call this one, “Team Project.”
  3. Put headings on the page for each member of the team.
  4. Set the cursor under the first heading. Click the Widget icon in the toolbar.
  5. From the widget menu, select Contents of a Wiki Page.
  6. Type the name of the page for that team member into the Page Name field.
  7. Click Embed Wiki Page.
  8. Repeat for each remaining section, then hit Save.

And now you have a simple snapshot of the entire project.

Create editable page sections
Now let’s say that, for the sake of clarity and convenience, you want the team members to be able to edit their sections from the Team Project page just as easily as they can from their individual pages. Just add one more step to the instructions above:

  1. Make separate pages for each member of the team.
  2. Create your new “Team Project” page.
  3. Put headings on the page for each member of the team.
  4. Set the cursor under the first heading. Click the Widget icon in the toolbar.
  5. From the widget menu, select Contents of a Wiki Page.
  6. Type the name of the page for that team member into the Page Name field.
  7. Check the box that says Editable.
  8. Click Embed Wiki Page.
  9. Repeat for each remaining section, then hit Save.

Add headers and footers that change when you need them to
Page Includes also let you build content that can be edited in one place and automatically updated all over your wiki.

For example, maybe each of your students has his or her own page, and you want to make sure that today’s assignment appears at the top of every one of those pages every time a student signs in. Here’s how:

  1. Create a new page in your wiki called, “Current Assignments.”
  2. Add a Contents of a Wiki Page widget for the “Current Assignments” page to the top of each student page.
  3. Once a day (or once a week) update your “Current Assignments” page. All the student pages will update automatically.

Explore the possibilities
Because Page Includes are just widgets, like any other widget, you can use them in almost any way you can imagine. Try combining Page Includes and page templates, to get pre-formatted, totally editable pages in your wiki. Or switch to the wikitext editor to customize your page includes with section titles, backlinks, and more.

If you’ve already discovered something revolutionary that you can do with Page Includes, let us know in the comments section below, or send us an email at help@wikispaces.com.

This entry was posted in Tips and Tricks. Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.

4 Comments

  1. Posted August 16, 2010 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    1. As noted, the include feature is useful for packaging standard parts for a page. An example would be a header or footer containing wikitext variables showing page creator, last editor, and dates of those events.

    2. It would be helpful if gadgets such as this could have a _much_ smaller icon when shown in the editor, so they’d be convenient to use for finer-grained features. Currently the gadget icon has size handles which adjust, but the size doesn’t persist.

    3. It would also be helpful to allow setting a caption which would appear on the gadget in the editor, so you know which one is which — again useful when you start using several of them.

    — Graham

  2. Posted August 16, 2010 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    (oops. In my previous comment, gadgets = widgets. Too much time on google sites I guess!)

  3. Harry
    Posted August 23, 2010 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    thanks!! this is very helpful for my class! makes it easier for many kids to work on one page at the same time.

  4. Zack_Allen
    Posted September 10, 2010 at 5:44 pm | Permalink

    What would happen if you did a page include of a private wiki page (with limited membership) on to public page? Would someone viewing the page that was not a member of the private group be able to see the page overall, but not the section that is embedded from a private page, and a person that is a member see all of it? Could be useful…

  • Wikispaces Private Label

    Our flexible, scalable wiki environments deliver unlimited wikis, simple editing tools, and powerful central administration for organizations of all sizes.
    Find out more.
    Start your free, 30-day trial.

  • About Us

    Welcome to our blog! This is where we share updates about events and new releases, tips and tricks for using wikis, profiles of a few of our favorite wikis, and more. We're proud to serve a large community of educators, as well as individuals, groups, and organizations of all stripes and sizes.

    Contact us.
    Call us: 415-863-8919
    Site status · We're hiring!

  • Join Us for a Webinar

    Our monthly webinars are a great way to check out examples, learn from experts, and get real-time answers to your questions. Our webinars are always fun, and always free.
    Sign up today.

  • Wikispaces for Educators

    If your wiki is used exclusively for education, you might be eligible for a free upgrade to one of our K–12 plan or Higher Education plan wikis.
    Learn more about our K–12 plan.
    Learn more about our Higher Education plan.