Pepys Wiki

A DesktopWiki for MicrosoftWindows created by IanDavis of InnovateerLimited? ( Pronounced peeps.

Per the web site, Pepys development is "on hold" indefinitely, as the author wants to develop other Wiki-like ideas with a fresh start. The current version,, is said to remain available for free, but it's uncertain how long that will be the case; without source code availability, it's become a dead-end tool.

I wrote this to scratch an itch. I've always used wikis for team-based knowledge management and have ended up being frustrated by simple things such as not being able to edit the wiki on the train home. Also, when trying to encourage participation from non-techies, they've always hit the barrier of having to write in WikiMarkupLanguage. So I thought about it and ended up writing a bog-standard Windows application that acts like a wiki but allows you to edit what you see directly like a WordProcessor - zero learning curve for newbies. The current version ( has the basic functionality of a wiki in single-user mode. The upcoming version will allow synchronization of the wiki database between peers in a small team, thus scratching my offline itch.

The basic product is FreeAsInBeer, the peer-to-peer version will be pay.

As of version, PepysWiki claims to support most Windows versions (Win95 and NT 3.51 are exceptions). Perhaps something like this has been developed for those still using the older Windows versions.

Pepys will be available for win95/98/me. It's a matter of getting enough tuits to read through the MS extensions for Unicode on those platforms -- IanDavis

Does PepysWiki support languages other than English?

Yes, as of version it does.

This is the best wiki in its class: modeless editing full-featured wiki. It has a great interface, it works very well. You can create links on the fly without saving the file. You enter a file right away. This concept is pretty revolutionary. No more editing no more questions marks, no more saving, no more being lost..

Is this thing open-source?

Pepys isn't open source but is FreeAsInBeer. There's no expiry or nagging or anything that makes you feel guilty for using it. There will be pay versions when I feel I have enough that's worth paying for. The free version will always exist and will always have a large subset of the pay functionality.

The international character problem has been fixed.

If you have the time, join the mailing list and help me make Pepys better. -- IanDavis

I liked my brief stint with Pepys. But it did have some real shortcomings:

  1. Data loss: this was the big one. Several times I got to the end of a fairly long edit, hit the back arrow to go to the previous page, and came back to find the page truncated (the XHTML file was truncated and invalid as well).
  2. Copy/Paste errors: when I cut and paste formatted text, the text loses all formatting.
  3. No support for bulleted lists.
  4. Intermittent problems with formatting and recognition of WikiWords.
  5. No BackLink support; buggy search feature (can't close the search window once opened!)
  6. No source available to try to fix the above.

On the other hand, it had some really nice features:

  1. WYSIWYG editing. Not that I used any formatting, but it eliminates the extra "edit" and "save" steps.
  2. Automatic WikiWord links (one of my complaints with NoteBook)
  3. Startup and page save speed: very fast. Especially fast compared to the glacial startup time of NoteBook.


I feel compelled to add my brief input. It is now July, 2006, and as a writer whose operating system is WindowsXP, I have searched for and installed many of the personal and wiki desktop applications currently available in an attempt to facilitate a freeform/linked method of composition. Currently, Pepys still comes the closest to having nearly everything I think that I need (or want.) Modeless WikiWord linking, dead-simple text formatting, and a clear, unencumbered utility for capturing the way my mind moves. An invaluable tool for rapid text retrieval and inspiration. What I wish Pepys had: An active developer. A way to save multiple files from a search into a single "dumped" RTF or TXT file. A word count utility.

Notebook is an excellent application, but markup is done via a separate window, and it does not incorporate modeless WikiWord linking. Wikidpad is truly a complete software package, but quite large, and I simply find it far more complicated to use. TiddlyWiki is revolutionary, but there is no export facility (yet) for saving tiddlers to different file formats.

Hats off to Ian Davis, for providing writers with a truly useful, intuitive tool. His Pepys makes me wish that I were a programmer. --MarkWygent

CategoryWikiImplementation CategoryPersonalWiki

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