Zim, the cross-platform desktop wiki

Daily Diary

Article from Issue 198/2017

Organize your ideas, notes, and shopping lists with Zim, a handy tool that enshrines the principle of the wiki on your Linux, Mac OS, or Windows desktop.

The word wiki [1] comes from Hawaiian and means "fast." The term refers to a system in which HTML documents on the Internet are both read and edited using a web browser. The most prominent example of a wiki is the Wikipedia online encyclopedia.

Other wikis inhabit both large and small projects within the open source universe. Many wikis are used for documentation purposes. Debian, Ubuntu, and Arch Linux are known for their comprehensive wikis. A wiki's main task is to organize content in a structured way. Many of the popular wiki tools are designed for collaboration over the network, but the wiki concept also provides benefits for a single user working at a single desktop. Zim is a handy desktop wiki that is useful for brainstorming and knowledge gathering, as well as building task lists and organizing documents and books.


Zim [2] transfers the principle of a wiki to the desktop. To operate Zim, you do not need a web server or a database (Figure 1). The Zim desktop wiki is available for Linux, Mac OS X, and Windows; it uses the same data format across all platforms. If you are looking for something to compare to Zim, a tool from the Windows world that also runs on Linux, such as WikidPad [3], is conceptually similar, but Zim goes well beyond WikidPad's capabilities.


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