Get Started with Massive Wiki

This is an overview of how you and Massive Wiki work together.

If the concepts we cover below are familiar to you, you're good to go!

If some of concepts are new, it may take a little while to familiarize yourself with everything. It might help to find a tech-oriented friend to help you. Or email us at, and one of our volunteers will be in touch.

Create and Edit Text Files

  1. Create and edit simple text files in a folder on a computer. Each file will be a page in the wiki.
  2. Use Markdown for simple formatting, as desired.

You can use standard text editors like Notepad or Text Edit, and standard file managers like Windows Explorer or Finder.

You can also use similar but enhanced third-party tools that work with standard text files and folders.

There are some editors that have built in support for Markdown. Those are good, too. But read on about links in the next section, you may want one of the tools there instead....

Give Pages Titles and Make Links

  1. Give each page a title. As the first line of text in the file, type #, then a space, then the title, like this: # My Example Page.
  2. On any pages, add links to other pages. Create a link by enclosing a word or phrase in double square brackets, like this: [[My Example Page]].

Just by using these two conventions, you've got yourself a wiki, with pages and links. You could now, for example, print out all the pages, and then as you were reading a page and got to a link, you could shuffle through all the pages in your printout to find the page with the right title on top, and then read that destination page.

If you think about it, though, that's not as easy as the web, where you can just read a page, click on a link, and then the new page pops right up.

To make entering and following links easier on your computer, you might want to use a special editor that knows how to handle links in Markdown. One very good choice is Obsidian. Another good choice is Pulsar Editor.

Sync and Share Files

  1. If you just want a personal wiki, you might want to have a way to synchronize the page files between your devices, and maybe to a cloud service as a backup.
  2. If you want to work with other people, you need a way to synchronize the page files between multiple people and their devices.
  3. When working with multiple people, or even if you're just by yourself, it helps to keep previous versions of each file, in case you want to refer back to a previous version.

There are a number of ways to accomplish these goals, each with pros and cons. For Massive Wiki, we've tried a few different ways, and we'd like to recommend a tool from the world of software development, a sharing and version management system called Git.

Git is a little difficult to understand, and a little complicated to use. The power, reliability, and standardization it provides make it worth putting up with.

People are working on tools that help explain the complexity and encapsulate the difficulty. You'll find some resources here: Working with Git.

When you use Git to share and version Markdown wiki files, you'll have completed the "Massive Wiki checklist":

  • [x] Markdown
  • [x] Shared
  • [x] Versioned
  • [x] Files
  • [x] Titles and Links

See What Massive Wiki Means for more background on the items in this checklist.

Publishing to the Web

Do you want to share the pages in your wiki with your non-wiki friends, or with the world?

An open source publishing system called Massive Wiki Builder, used in conjunction with Massive Wiki Themes and Massive Wiki Starter (a special empty wiki), makes it easy to have your wiki turned into a website hosted on the web, every time you sync to a cloud service.

Read more about Massive Wiki Builder and Massive Wiki Starter.