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Editing the OWASP Wiki

OWASP is built on the MediaWiki platform. Anyone can create an account and make the OWASP wiki better. To create a new account, click on the create an account or log in link at the top-right of every page. When you make edits, please use the "preview" feature to make sure your changes are final, and then don't forget to save. Use the "edit summary" to describe what you did and why.

Writing OWASP wiki articles is a bit different from writing on a standard word processor. Instead of a strict "what you see is what you get" approach, wiki uses simple text codes for formatting. The approach is similar to that used in writing HTML for web pages, but the codes are simpler. The MediaWiki help is a great place to start learning about all the features available. Another option for you to investigate is OpenOffice as you can edit pages and export them into MediaWiki format.

Style guidelines

In general, we follow the editing guidelines of Wikipedia. You should ensure that your additions to OWASP reflect a "Neutral Point of View" and a positive collaboration in the interest of better application security. Also, please remember that OWASP is not the right place for disclosure of actual vulnerabilities. The bugtraq or full-disclosure mailing lists are appropriate venues for that sort of thing.

Content guidelines

OWASP is not a place to promote commercial products or services. We strive to provide unbiased information that will enable organizations and individuals to build and operate more secure applications. Information about commercial products is allowed, but MUST follow these guidelines. Violations of these policies should be reported to [email protected].

  • Product discussions must mention all comparable tools available
  • "Equal time" must be given to all tools discussed
  • Unsubstantiable claims will not be allowed
  • Discussions of products should include both good and bad
  • Representatives of product companies must disclose their affiliation

Bold and italics

Bold and italics are created like this:

  • ''italics'' appears as italics. (2 apostrophes on both sides)
  • '''bold''' appears as bold. (3 apostrophes on both sides)

Headings and subheadings

Headings and subheadings are an easy way to improve the organization of an article. If you can see two or more distinct topics being discussed, you can break up the article by inserting a heading for each section.

Headings can be created like this:

  • ==Top level heading== (2 equals signs)
  • ===Subheading=== (3 equals signs)
  • ====Another level down==== (4 equals signs)

Discussion pages

There are "discussion" pages (also known as "talk" pages) associated with every article at OWASP. You can leave questions, comments, or ideas on these pages for other authors to review. These pages are a good place to propose ideas or discuss possible approaches to problems. You should "sign" your comments by adding four tilde characters (~~~~) after your comment. Use section headings for different topic areas.

See Wiki markup examples for more examples

Internal links

One thing that makes the OWASP wiki useful (and highly habit-forming) is extensive cross-listing by internal links. These easily-created links allow users to access information related to the article they're reading.

The easiest way to learn when to link is to look at OWASP (or Wikipedia) articles for examples. If you're trying to decide whether to make a link or not, ask yourself "If I were reading this article, would the link be useful to me?"

When you want to make a link to another OWASP page (called a wiki link) you have to put it in double square brackets, like this:


If you want to use words other than the article title as the text of the link, you can do so by adding the "|" divider followed by the alternative name. For example, if you wanted to make a link to the Main Page, but wanted it to say "OWASP home" you would write it as such:

To view the article, [[Main Page|OWASP home]]...

Images and files

You can upload certain types of documents using the Upload File option under Toolbox in the lower lefthand part of the linkbar at the left side of any OWASP page. But you need to be logged in to see this option. We allow common image formats, Word documents, PowerPoint presentations, and PDF files. Choose your filename carefully, as you'll use that to reference the document from the rest of the site. Note that MediaWiki uses the term "image" to mean any file.

Use this syntax to reference files from your page ...

  • Single click to get "image" page:
     [[Image:filename.ppt|PUT YOUR TITLE HERE]]
  • Single click to show file:

This is the Direct Upload Link in the event the Upload File option can't be found.


OWASP makes extensive use of categories. Categories are used to "tag" articles in OWASP so that people can find them. An article can be in lots of categories at the same time. For example, an article discussing a flaw in the Java sandbox might be in the Category:OWASP Java Project, Category:Vulnerability, and Category:Access Control categories at the same time.

To add a category to an article, just add [[Category:XXX]] to the end of the article, replacing the XXX with the name of the appropriate category.

To reference a Category page, simply put a colon (:) at the beginning of the "Category" tag, like this:


It is very important to put in the correct categories so that other people can easily find your work. The best way to find which categories to put in is to look at pages on similar subjects, and check which categories they use. For example if you write an article about a type of tree, you may look at an article on another type of tree to see which categories could be appropriate.

Linking a User Page

User pages allows community members to provide a bit more information about themselves. It's easy to link to a user page whenever mentioning someone on a wiki page.
Here's the format: [[User:<wiki username> | FirstName LastName]]
Here is an example of the syntax: [[User:MichaelCoates | Michael Coates]]