Browse Category by Features & Tutorials

Advent calendar 12: Count characters, articles and users


You want to display some information about the number of articles, characters of an article or users of the wiki? You don´t need to look for this data or count it manually. BlueSpice provides the functionality to display this automatically generated information wherever you insert special kind of tags. Just place the following commands in an article, where the statistics should be shown.

  • Number of characters of an article:
  • Number of articles:
    <bs:countarticles />
  • Number of users:
    <bs:countusers />

The statistic about the characters can also be configured to display the number of words or pages of the article. Read more about how to configure the mode in our helpdesk article:

Advent calendar 11: Style changes in MediaWiki and BlueSpice



If you are a specialist in CSS, you can change the look and feel of the Wiki. And you don´t need to change the code file to do so, thanks to the “MediaWiki:Common.css”. On this page in the wiki, you can configure the style like font size, color, spacing, images and more.

For example, if you want links to be displayed underlined, add the code

#content a{ text-decoration: underline; }

on the “MediaWiki:Common.css” page. Learn more about Common.css at

In BlueSpice, the CSS markup can also be defined for namespaces. Visit our helpdesk to find out how to do it:

Advent calendar 10: Create your own navigation with the “Focus”


In addition to the main navigation on the left, every user can have an own individual navigation too. It is called the “Focus” and you can link your favorite pages or add useful tools there.

To configure this personal navigation call up the page “User:USERNAME/Sidebar” to edit the focus. Link your most important wiki pages or use preconfigured functions like „TOOLBOX“ or „PAGESVISITED“. Save the changes and it will be shown in the focus navigation. You can find next to the main navigation. Just switch the tab on top of this menue.  A full description of how to edit the focus can be found at the BlueSpice helpdesk:

Special hint: In the new version BlueSpice 2.23, editing the focus became much easier. Just switch to the focus naviagtion tab and you will see a pen symbol there. A click on this symbol opens the page for configuring the focus in the edit mode.

Editing the focus
Editing the focus

Advent calendar 9: Use the spell checker in BlueSpice


The functionality to use the spell checker of your browser, is already included in BlueSpice free. What you need is to install the appropriate dictionary for the language you want in your browser. Those are available as addons. After you installed the dictionaries, you only need to activate the spell checker in the editing mode of your wiki article. Just open the menue of the spell checker with a simple command:

Firefox: Shift+right click
Chrome: Ctrl+right click

In this menue, you can activate or deactivate the spell checker, choose the languages and get suggestions for words.

Advent calendar 7: Activate the WYSIWYG as default


Did you know that in the user settings every user is able to activate the visual editor by default?

So if you are a „WYSIWYG-worker“ you should enable the setting „visual editor“ in your user preferences in the BlueSpice tab. Everytime you enter the edit mode of an article, the visual editor will show up first.

On the other hand, if you are constantly working in the wikicode, you should disable the default use of the WYSIWYYG editor.

Advent calendar 6: Changing the links in the TopBarMenu


In BlueSpice you have a second navigation at the top of the page. This area is named TopBarMenu. Wiki and blog are set and linked by default but as an administrator you can set different internal or external links. It is also possible to structure links as a dropdown.

Open the page „MediaWiki:TopBarMenu“ and enter names of internal wiki pages or external links.
This is how you build up the links:

* Systemtitle|URL|Displaytitle

URL can be a name of a wiki article or an external link.

For example:

* Wiki|Wiki
* Blog|Wiki Blog
** BlueSpice Blog||BlueSpice Blog
** Hallo Welt Blog||Hallo Welt Blog

In the wiki admin preferences at the section „menu customizer“ you can define e.g. the number of nested layers.

Advent calendar 5: Hide the table of content


If there are more than two headings, the wiki will automatically show a table of content at the beginning of an article.  You don’t want the system to display this index?

Then put __NOTOC__ at the beginning or end of the article in the wiki code and there won’t be a table of content anymore.

Advent calendar 4: Display a RSS feed in a wiki article


If you want to keep your users up-to-date and provide them the latest news and information from an external site, the RSS feed is the media of your choice. And you can also use this great functionality to display the news in your wiki. Just get the URL from the RSS feed from the website you want to import. In our example, we took the RSS feed from our BlueSpice blog. And here comes the example:

<rss max=4 highlight=”MediaWiki BlueSpice”></rss>

Put the URL between the rss-tags. Additional variables can be used, to configure the output on the page. “max 4” means, that only the last four news will be displayed and “highlight=”MediaWiki BlueSpice” marks the words “MediaWiki” and “BlueSpice” wherever they appear in the text. This is how our example looks like in the article:


RSS Import in BlueSpice
RSS Import in BlueSpice

There are more variables to configure the output. Find out more in our helpdesk article about the RSS import:

And there is also an extra portlet in your dashboard, where you can display the RSS feed, too. Open your user dashboard and add the “RSS-Feed” portlet. All you need to do now is to click on the cog wheel icon and insert the URL in the dialogue. Save it and get the latest news!

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Advent calendar 3: Changing a page title without moving the page



Sometimes it can be useful to change the title of a wiki article, but without moving the page. This means, that the URL stays the same and all links that refer to this site remain active. Only the title in the content will be displayed differently.
For example: You created the page “Prices” as a subpage of “Products”. The title will be shown this way “Products/Prices”. You don´t like it, because you only want “Prices” to be shown as the page title? Just use the variable  DISPLAYTITLE  to define any title, which should be displayed. Here is the code, according to our example:

There are lots of use cases for this feature, e.g. if you want to shorten a very long title, if you want to hide the prefix of a namespace (like turning “Portal:Quality Management” into “Quality Management”), and so on. Or also if you want to overcome the MediaWiki obstacle of the mandatory capital letter (for example an article about the “IPod” looks much better if you change it to “iPod”).

Attention: Please take into consideration, that it could confuse your users when they are looking for the article. They keep the title in mind, but can´t find it because the wiki system is still using the real title of the page.