Why it is less common to use wiki/markup in enterprise as documentation?

They use Word document instead.

Wiki/markup are in text format, which is version control friendly.

  • That depends entirely on the company. Mine uses Confluence for internal documentation and MediaWiki for external documentation, so both are wiki markup.
    – Gallaecio
    Commented Dec 19, 2012 at 7:14
  • Most Wikis have their own version control system, which does not integrate nicely into existing VCS like GIT or SVN. Actually, where I work we use both, a Wiki for docs outside software development, and SVN for versioning code including related docs.
    – Doc Brown
    Commented Dec 19, 2012 at 7:49
  • what made you think it's "less common"? in my experience, things were quite opposite
    – gnat
    Commented Dec 19, 2012 at 8:18

2 Answers 2


Two types of answer

Pessimistic view

Corporate ordinary employee is lazy, passive, lowbrow executor, not interested in quality work, only in quantity. If he know Office, he haven't interest to know and use more

Realistic view

Contrary to code, historical aspects of "active" documents have a lot less value - every time only "now state" make sense in workflow - thus "easy versioning", "less size", "light markup" is arguments and values ​​of geeks, not casual personnel. Using non-standard a) markups b) tools will require learning cycle, re-education of users, (possible) changing of workflow... Without strong reasoning all these costs and losses are not being taken into account by the real business in the real world


In the big enterprise the documentation is out-sourced, or is not written by developers. The end-user documentation is written by Technical writers. These people are proficient in the technical details, but not necessarily be interested in learning the new syntax for wiki/tex. What matters for end user is pdf or something like that. There are software (mostly paid) which can convert doc to other formats. The cost for these software is smaller than the cost of training of the technical writers.
Other point is the documentation will be simple to version control if it is only text which can be written in wiki/Tex. But then binary objects like images creates issues. Version controlling binary objects is difficult. In my experience version controlling a simple jpeg image is as difficult as version controlling an entire .doc file.
Most of times the non-technical managers will have to take a look at the raw document and or modify it. Manager's time is very costly and also it is difficult for them to learn new tools. .doc being easy as WYSWIG is preferred by them.

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