Last modified by Thomas Mortagne on 2023/10/10

A XWiki skin is used to customize the interface of a XWiki instance.
A skin is composed of:

All these components are stored on the server that hosts the XWiki instance, inside the webapps/xwiki/ folder. Each XWiki skin has its own directory.

XWiki 13.8+ Skins can now be stored in extensions. If an extension installed on a wiki contains a skins/skinName/ folder, it can be discovered and used as a wiki Skin.

The default XWiki Skins

An XWiki instance contains several skins by default, such as:

The full list of XWiki skins that are included in your XWiki instance can be found on the server filesystem, inside the webapps/xwiki/skins folder.

The usage level for a XWiki Skin

A Skin can be used at different levels:

  • For the entire XWiki instance. If no skin is set at other levels, the pages will use the global instance skin.
  • For a space inside the XWiki instance. It has a higher priority than the instance level skin.
  • For a specific user. It has a higher priority than the space level skin. For more details check this tutorial.
  • For other custom levels that can be created by modifying the Velocity templates inside the skin (for example, a skin can be set for a specific page, for a specific group of users and so on).

Changing the Skin

To change the Skin, the user must have administrating rights. In the case that you have these rights, make sure that you switch to the Advanced mode in your profile, to enable the advanced options on the top main menu.

How to preview a Skin applied on a page

To check how a page looks when changing the skin, you can add a parameter named skin to the page URL. For example, to preview the wiki main page with colibri  skin, use the following URL: http://localhost:8080/xwiki/bin/view/Main/WebHome/?skin=colibri. If you want to preview the page using a skin document named MySpace.MySkinDoc, use the following URL: http://localhost:8080/xwiki/bin/view/Main/WebHome/?skin=MySpace.MySkinDoc.

Changing the Skin at instance level

Each XWiki instance contains a skin document that stores the skin for the instance. In order to find out which document is used to store the current skin, the user has to follow these steps:

  • Hover over "Wiki" and click on "Administer Wiki"
  • Click on the Presentation link


  • Click on the Customize button from the skin section


  • Edit the page in Objects mode


  • You have multiple text areas where you can override the default behavior of your skin. Make your desired modifications.
  • Click on Save and View
  • Your settings will be applied and the skin should change accordingly

Changing the Skin at space level

A XWiki space can have its own skin. For example, if you want to set the your skin for the Main space you should follow these steps:

  • Go to any page inside the Main space
  • From the top Space menu, click "Administer Space" to open the administration interface for the Main space
  • Click on the Presentation link


  • If you have defined another skin, you should fill in the directory name which contains the skin.

    The names of the skins are case-sensitive.

  • Click on Save
  • If you open any page inside the Main space you will notice the layout difference

Changing the Skin for a user

If you want to use your skin for a specific user follow these steps:

  • Go to the user's profile page
  • Edit the page in Objects mode
  • Set the value of the "skin" property (under Objects of type XWiki.XWikiUsers) to you custom skin (you must use lowercase letters)


  • Click on Save and View
  • Now all the pages inside the wiki will use your new skin for that user

More about XWiki Skins

In order to find out more about the XWiki Skins, check the Skins Tutorial in the Developer Guide and the Skins Tutorial in the User Guide.

Get Connected