An organization has a vast number of MS Word documents. Pertinent MS Word features include:

  • Simplicity: just edit and go (WYSIWYG).
  • Track changes.
  • Visual table editor.

There are a number of issues with MS Word:

  • Inability to easily change the look and feel of all documents simultaneously.
  • Revisions are dated and recorded manually (usually a table near the start of the document).
  • No revision control (cannot easily compare differences, nor roll back).
  • Cannot easily embed document fragments.
  • Cannot readily search all documents without a content management system.
  • Directory structure is often used as a poor CMS substitute.

Migrating the documentation from MS Word to a web-based system should be fast, simple, and as automated as possible.


Although MediaWiki addresses many of these issues, its VisualEditor is missing critical functionality that would make the transition from MS Word frustrating, time-consuming, and painful, such as:

  • its table editor does not yet exist;
  • document editing has a cluttered user interface; and
  • the simplicity of track changes is not available.


What wiki:

  • uses a visual editor
  • includes an advanced in-browser table editor
  • has a simple user interface
  • provides an easy way to track changes
  • allows for comments, notes, and suggestions
  • can include snippets from other wiki pages (single source!)
  • generates Markdown that pandoc can use
  • is cross-browser compatible (IE9+, Chrome, FF30+)
  • is FOSS or available for self-hosting
  • optionally, provides a facility to transfer document version history (author and date)


Related software, ideas, and blogs include:

  • Not using it myself, but a previous customer had it running and I "used it once": Confluence should cover that AFAIR. You even can import existing office documents. I cannot compare your full feature list (as I don't use this product), and don't know about your budget (you might wish to edit your post and include a hint on that), but it might at least be a pointer.
    – Izzy
    Nov 6, 2014 at 6:59
  • What do you mean by "an easy way to track changes"? MediaWiki definitely has that. VisualEditor now supports tables, too.
    – Nemo
    Oct 6, 2015 at 11:59

2 Answers 2


As the comment on the original post suggested, Atlassian Confluence might be a good choice. I use it every day to document product requirements. I believe it satisfies all of the requirements in your "Question" section, although I'm not sure about "generates Markdown that pandoc can use".

I work for a small company and we run a self-hosted version of Confluence on a VM. There is a cost associated to it, depending on how many users you need, but I believe you get what you pay for.


XWiki offers a generic platform for developing projects and collaborative applications using the wiki paradigm. It meets most of, if not all, the requirements can extend functionality via plugins.


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