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3rd May 2021 at 8:55pm

Links between tiddlers are the most basic way to make your way around a TiddlyWiki and relate ideas to each other.

Links may be created within a tiddler by surrounding the name of the tiddler to link to with [[double square brackets]]. Additionally, anything written in CamelCase, with no space between words and each word capitalized, will be automatically linked. (If you don't find camel-case linking helpful, you can turn it off, as we saw in Tweaking Your Settings. The utility of this feature depends on your personal preference and the purpose of your wiki.)

If you want the displayed text to be different than the target of the link (i.e., where you'll go when you click on it), you can write [[link text|TargetTiddlerName]] (that's a pipe | character separating the two parts of the link, found above the enter key on a US keyboard).

Here's an example of these two kinds of links. You'll see live examples like this one periodically throughout the book – the left side shows the wikitext, i.e., what you would type in when editing a tiddler, while the right side shows what the result looks like when viewing the tiddler. You can also click the Wikitext or Output tab to see the left or right side alone, if you'd like a little more horizontal space to read a long line. Finally, you can click the Edit tab to change the snippet and see how TiddlyWiki reacts. (If you edit the snippet, a link to restore the original text will appear in the upper-right, so you can experiment without fear.)

You can click each of these links to see that they go to the same place:

* [[Tweaking Your Settings]]
* A page on [[tweaking settings|Tweaking Your Settings]]

You can click each of these links to see that they go to the same place:

Links define relationships

As you likely expect from your past experience of links, clicking on a link to another tiddler opens that tiddler (usually as a new item in the story river). In addition to this obvious function, however, TiddlyWiki links also define relationships between tiddlers and let you search based on these relationships. For instance, you can get a list of all tiddlers that link to a particular tiddler (these are called backlinks, and often allow you to find relationships between ideas you wouldn't have realized were related otherwise). Or you can get a list of all the people you linked to anywhere in your notes on a particular conference. This is a powerful idea that plays a large part in making TiddlyWiki human-shaped: our brains think most naturally in terms of links and relationships between things, not in hierarchies and attributes.

As an example, here are the backlinks of this Links section, i.e., the other sections in the book that link here. In chapter 3, you'll learn how to query your wiki like this, as well as how to turn the results into lists that update automatically, like this one.

You can link to tiddlers that don't exist yet. These links will be displayed in italics to indicate their target doesn't exist, and following the link will prompt you to create it. Tiddlers that have been linked to but don't exist yet are called missing, and you can get a list of all missing tiddlers if you'd like to see what you wanted to talk about but haven't written yet (we'll see how in Browsing Your Tiddlers).

External links

In addition to the internal links we've discussed so far (ones that point to other tiddlers in the same wiki), you can include external links (ones that point to URLs on the web or your computer). External links are created the same way as internal ones, except the link target is a URL rather than a tiddler name. Alternatively, if you want the URL itself to be the link text, you can just paste the URL into your wikitext and it will automatically be turned into a link. You can tell an external link from an internal one because external links are underlined, while internal links are only in a different color (compare the following example with the previous one).

* [[Google|]]

Since the targets of external links aren't part of TiddlyWiki, you don't get backlinks or link-based searches for external links.

External links will always open in a new tab or window so that you don't lose your place in the wiki.


Takeaways are not available in the static version of Grok TiddlyWiki. Visit the wiki version of this page to study takeaways.

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