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Page and tiddler layout customisation

20th November 2014 at 12:53pm

One major feature of TiddlyWiki that many new users are unaware of is the degree to which TiddlyWiki can be customised, just by adding or removing SystemTags in key shadow tiddlers or in your own custom tiddlers.

  • You can add and remove default features in tiddlers in either viewing or editing mode (let's say you find the tiddler subtitle distracting, or you want to add yourself a reminder that you will see when you edit tiddlers)
  • You can also add and remove default features from the general page layout (maybe you want to add a clock to the sidebar, or replace one of the page control buttons with your own)
  • You can also rearrange the order in which these features are displayed (perhaps you would like tags above tiddler titles, or the subtitle of your TiddlyWiki below the page control buttons)

Once you know what you are doing, all of these things are actually pretty easy to do.

Adding custom-made tiddlers to the user interface

You can also create any tiddler you want and tag it with the appropriate SystemTag, and it will appear in that place. For example, if you create a tiddler 'Reminder to self', add the text 'This is a reminder' and tag it $:/tags/EditTemplate, the words 'This is a reminder' will appear inside every tiddler when you edit it.

When you add new tiddlers to be displayed within tiddlers or within the page layout, you will also probably need to reposition it so that it appears precisely where you want it to appear. To do this, edit the appropriate shadow tiddler with the prefix $:/tags/, and insert the title of your tiddler in the proper place in the list field. For example, if you want the words 'This is a reminder' from the example above to appear above the tags editor in editing mode, edit the tiddler $:/tags/EditTemplate, go to the 'list' field, and insert [[Reminder to self]] right before $:/core/ui/EditTemplate/tags.

Creating new buttons for the ViewToolbar and page controls

Let's say you have a skeleton tiddler called 'Recipe template', and you want to have a button available in the tiddler ViewToolbar to create new recipe tiddlers on demand. This will require the following steps:

  1. You will want an image for your button. If none of the core images (shadow tiddlers with the prefix $:/core/images/) work for you, then you will need to create or acquire an SVG image (for example, one of the images at, drag it into your file so that it becomes a tiddler, edit the tiddler and adjust the height and width to 22px
  2. You will want to create the tiddler that contains your tiddler. Create it, title it, and add the button code (see the code at the bottom of this tiddler for an example, with hints where you will need to adapt it). Tag it $:/tags/ViewToolbar
  3. You will need to create a tiddler that tells TiddlyWiki whether your button should be visible in the toolbar or hidden. Let's title it $:/config/ViewToolbarButtons/Visibility/Recipe. Type reveal into the text area, and save.
  4. You will want to position the button properly. Open the tiddler $:/tags/ViewToolbar and insert your button tiddler's title in the appropriate place in the list field.
\define newHereButtonTags()
\define newHereButton()
<$button class=<<tv-config-toolbar-class>>>
title="New tiddler"
  tags=<<newHereButtonTags>> />
<$list filter="[<tv-config-toolbar-icons>prefix[yes]]">
<$list filter="[<tv-config-toolbar-text>prefix[yes]]">
<span class="tc-btn-text"><$text text="CAPTION FOR YOUR BUTTON"/></span>


Removing shadow tiddlers from the user interface

In the More > Shadows tab you will find a list of all the shadow tiddlers. In this list you will find many tiddlers with the prefix $:/core/ui/. These are the core tiddlers that define the user interface. These tiddlers are tagged with SystemTags, and removing or adding these tags will adjust the tiddler and page layouts.

For example, $:/core/ui/SideBar/More is the tiddler for the More tab in the Sidebar, and it is tagged with the SystemTag $:/tags/SideBar so that it appears in the Sidebar. Removing the tag from that tiddler will remove the More tab from the Sidebar, and reinserting the Sidebar tag to that tiddler will make it reappear in the Sidebar.

You can use the same process for any of the core user interface tiddlers with the $:/core/ui/ prefix. For example, removing the SystemTag $:/tags/ViewTemplate from the tiddler $:/core/ui/ViewTemplate/subtitle will remove the subtitles from all tiddlers.

If you modify a shadow tiddler in this way you will overwrite the pre-installed value. If you want to revert, just delete the modified tiddler to restore the underlying shadow tiddler.