DokuWiki supports lists using the following syntax:

  * item1
  * item2
     * subitem 2.1
  * item 3

However, when you have a very long list item, you will found a nightmare! In the editing window, the items will wrap and you lost all the visual hierarchy. Although you can still make the list as you want to but it is simply not as intuitive as it should be.

I made a plug-in, by referencing the creole plug-in, to do the above things, which now supports the syntax as follows:

  * item1
    and its continuation
  * item 2
     * subitem 2.1
       and its continuation

Those “continuation” will be shown as one single line, but you can make it visually better when editing the source. All continuation needs at least three spaces from the begin of the line and the actually number of spaces are not important to the outcome. The number of continuation lines is unlimited given that all lines begins with at least three spaces.


To use, create a directory lib/plugins/mllist/ and put the following file as syntax.php to use.

 * Multiline List Plugin
 * @license    GPL 2 (
 * @author     Adrian Sai-wah Tam <>
// must be run within Dokuwiki
if(!defined('DOKU_INC')) die();

if(!defined('DOKU_PLUGIN')) define('DOKU_PLUGIN',DOKU_INC.'lib/plugins/');
 * All DokuWiki plugins to extend the parser/rendering mechanism
 * need to inherit from this class
class syntax_plugin_mllist extends DokuWiki_Syntax_Plugin {
  function getInfo(){
    return array(
      'author' => 'Adrian Sai-wah Tam',
      'email'  => '',
      'date'   => '2007-06-06',
      'name'   => 'Multiline list plugin',
      'desc'   => 'Allows a list item to break into multiple lines with indentation on non-bullet lines',
      'url'    => ''

  function getType(){ return 'container'; }
  function getPType(){ return 'block'; }
  function getSort(){ return 9; }
  function getAllowedTypes(){
    return array('formatting', 'substition', 'disabled', 'protected');
  function connectTo($mode){
    $this->Lexer->addEntryPattern('\n {2,}[\-\*]',$mode,'plugin_mllist');
    $this->Lexer->addPattern('\n {2,}[\-\*]','plugin_mllist');
    // Continuation lines need at least three spaces for indentation
    $this->Lexer->addPattern('\n {2,}(?=\s)','plugin_mllist');
  function postConnect(){
  function handle($match, $state, $pos, &$handler){
    switch ($state){
      case DOKU_LEXER_ENTER:
        $ReWriter = & new Doku_Handler_List($handler->CallWriter);
        $handler->CallWriter = & $ReWriter;
        $handler->_addCall('list_open', array($match), $pos);
      case DOKU_LEXER_EXIT:
        $handler->_addCall('list_close', array(), $pos);
        $ReWriter = & $handler->CallWriter;
        $handler->CallWriter = & $ReWriter->CallWriter;
        if (preg_match("/^\s+$/",$match)) break;
            // Captures the continuation case
        $handler->_addCall('list_item', array($match), $pos);
        $handler->_addCall('cdata', array($match), $pos);
    return true;
  function render($mode, &$renderer, $data){
    return true;
//Setup VIM: ex: et ts=4 enc=utf-8 :

Change History

  • 2007-06-10:
    • Initial release.