Improvements and features to try in XWiki 15.x

31 Jul 2023 5 min read

Written by

The XWiki Team

As you might already know, the lifeblood of the XWiki software is represented by the committers that work diligently for a powerful, stable, and scalable open-source knowledge management and collaboration software product. In this article, we'll take a look at the most noteworthy features developed so far in this year's cycle of development by the XWiki SAS Product team and the XWiki community contributors. What you'll notice in the release notes is that, besides the introduction of new features, there has been an ongoing effort to solve important bugs and security issues.

Quick editing actions

This long-awaited feature is finally here! We know that fewer clicks mean more efficiency and also a better user experience. You can now just type the / (slash) key to instantly access most of the WYSIWYG editing options. This opens the Quick Actions drop-down to let you choose your desired quick action suggestion. It's that easy.

💡 Tip: If your intention is to simply insert the slash symbol, you can close the Quick Actions drop-down by pressing the Escape key.

Warning when the dimensions are larger than those of the original image

You can customize the size of the image you add to your page, but there are times when choosing greater values can result in a lower quality of the displayed image. In order to prevent this, starting with XWiki 15.1, the WYSIWYG editor's image dialog includes a warning message. You will find it displayed when the width or height of an image is larger than the dimensions of the original one. Thus, you will know about potential quality issues with the image before looking at the preview.


Icon macro

The newly introduced icon macro lets you display an icon either from the current icon set or from a chosen icon set. There is also an optional fallback to the default icon theme when the icon is not available. This macro is useful when you want to:

  • add icons to the XWiki UI elements;
  • add icons to documentation to show what to click for a specific action;
  • allow users to further enhance their content presentation, such as navigating easier certain sections of a document.


Suggestions for the wiki macro parameter type

 If you need to decide what value to set in the wiki macro parameter type, things just got easier in XWiki 15.3 with 2 suggestions that are now proposed:

  • "Unknown", which is the default suggestion,
  • "Wiki", which is a parameter type that contains wiki markup.

If these 2 suggestions don't suit your needs, you can still explicitly set the Java type to use.


Choose the authentication service at runtime

Another notable new feature is that you can now choose which authentication service to use at runtime. You can pick one of the several authentication options below:


Increasing contrast

Some of the elements of the XWiki interface were improved since they didn't achieve the minimum contrast defined in the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines. The instances impacted by these changes were the ones using the Iceberg default color theme and the no-color theme.

Contrast is notably higher on buttons or light texts.


Other changes include:

  • Slightly darker navigation bars and links;
  • Darker text for breadcrumbs;
  • Darker muted text.


Available macros sorted by id

All the macros on the available macros page are now sorted by id in ascending order.


New watch button state

The behavior of watch buttons now adapts to the users' custom notification filters. One of the benefits of this change is that if you have notification filters set up for some specific events only, the other watch buttons will display the "undecided" state. Therefore, you will know that only some events are being watched for the respective page, space, or wiki.

Moreover, if you created a filter to ignore mentions on a page but then also decided to watch this page, the initial filter set for ignoring mentions will be disabled. If you wish to enable back this filter, you can do so manually via the notifications settings.


Empty line placeholder

With this new development cycle, you will see a placeholder text displayed on the currently focused empty lines. By default, the purpose of this placeholder is to indicate the type of content block that holds the caret, e.g. paragraph, heading, list item, etc. Additionally, it could also show tips on how to use the editor in that particular context. For example, it can suggest the Quick Actions shortcut. For more information on this topic, you can consult the CKEditor Integration documentation.


Common user name differentiator

Now you can configure the user picker to display additional information about the listed users. The benefit of this improvement is that it could help you distinguish between users that have similar names by displaying extra details when hovering over their names. Information such as their address or their position within the company will help you make sure you pick the correct user when creating groups or adding users to existing ones. You can visit the User Module documentation to find out more about this feature.

Listing of Extensions Vulnerabilities

An important piece of information for admins is that starting with XWiki version 15.5, there is a security vulnerabilities section on the Global administration page. The purpose of this section is to display a list of the known vulnerabilities of extensions installed on the wiki. This is possible by means of a periodic scan that runs every 24h by default and that uses a vulnerability database.

For the moment, the list does not include the extensions that cannot be upgraded through the Extension Manager.

What's new in XWiki

This new feature brings news about XWiki and its ecosystem, which can be displayed straight into your XWiki instance.


When you export a PDF document, these types of internal links can be generated:

  • links to a fragment from the same page (e.g. #HDescription)
  • links to a fragment from another page (e.g. /xwiki/bin/view/Other/Page#HDescription)
  • links to another page (e.g. /xwiki/bin/view/Other/Page)

With these links, you can scroll the target content into view instead of opening it in a web browser.

For more information, please refer to the PDF Export Application documentation.

Responsive Content in PDF Export

In XWiki, the user interface (UI) adapts automatically to the screen size, thanks to Bootstrap's grid system. In some situations, this even applies to the wiki page content. For example, you can split the page into columns. However, their number depends on the screen width.

When you export a wiki page to PDF, the way it will be displayed depends on the print page size, which is not the same as the screen size. Starting with this development cycle, we have adapted Bootstrap's grid system for print media so you can easily anticipate how your export is going to behave in terms of responsiveness:

  • The extra small print (i. e. anything less than A4 portrait width) will match the extra small screen behavior.
  • The small print (i. e. A4 portrait up to A4 landscape) will match the small screen behavior.
  • The medium print (i. e. A4 landscape up to A3 landscape) will match the medium screen behavior.
  • The large print (i. e. A3 landscape and up) will match the large screen behavior.

The PDF export uses by default the A4 print page size. This means that the default behavior will be the one for small screens. You can check the PDF Export Application for more information.

TOC macro numbered property

You will notice that the numbered property of the macro is now marked as advanced and is only visible in the More section of the macro configuration dialog. This change is due to the fact that a Numbered Content Application that improves the numbering use case is available starting with XWiki version 15.4.

Further reading

If you are interested in new and notable features that you can try on Cloud, be sure to check out our article about what's new in XWiki Cloud version 14.10.6.

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