It’s been a few months since Atlassian Summit, but we’re still buzzing with the excitement of all the cool things our customers are doing in Confluence.
One question that we heard constantly, in some form or another, was, “How do I create engaging Confluence pages?”
Now, we know that looks aren’t everything, but it sure does help to have a nicely created page to present to your coworkers. The good news is: anyone can make beautiful Confluence pages — you just need to think like a pastry chef. While we all appreciate the beauty of a fresh croissant, there’s a lot of effort and inspiration that goes into such a complex final product. The same is true with a rich Confluence page.
Your recipe for success
Like any good recipe book, in this post we’re going to help you get inspired, get the right ingredients together, and focus on the page’s presentation. We will cover how to:
- Find your template: Get ideas from other page layouts
- Choose your editor tools: Learn what options you have to edit your pages to perfection
- Add in Macros: Integrate specialty macros to make your page more engaging and dynamic
- Adjust your layout: Structure your pages with different layout options
1. Find your template
The first step to making beautiful, effective Confluence pages is to get inspired! When you see what others are doing in Confluence, you can take the different ingredients that work for you and make something even better. One way to get started is by having your admin download our free Confluence templates. Then, use the template as is, or hit “Edit” to customize to your liking.
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- Using the Expand macro keeps your page concise and scannable, while providing easy access to more thorough information.
- Color-coded status, from the Status Macro, lets everyone know whether a project is on-track
- The Tip Macro allows you to highlight text in a Confluence page
- You can label your chart with the status of specific tasks
2. Choose your editor tools
After you’ve gotten your recipe inspiration, the next step is to understand what ingredients you’ll need to create a delightful Confluence page.
These are the basic ingredients in your Confluence pantry:
- Headings: It’s easy! Instead of font sizes, Confluence pages have different headings which you can use to organize your text and make your page more scannable. Just like any other word processors, the font can be bolded, italicized, underlined, and colored.
- Want a list? Create bulleted and numbered lists to outline steps or summaries.
- Add a task box to assign a work item to someone on your team.
- Tables! Strong and sturdy, they add structure to your page. Press the 3×3 table icon to add as big of a table as your recipe calls for.
- Add some color to your page with images. Click on what you inserted to resize, add borders, or set additional properties.
3. Mix in some macros
Sometimes not all ingredients are readily on hand (we’re looking at you cream of tartar). Still, specialty ingredients can add powerful content to your page.
For some extra formatting options on your page, check out Confluence Macros. Macros help you add special, dynamic content to your Page.
For example, you can use the Attachments macro to list files attached to a page or use the Widget Connector macro to include things like a YouTube video or Twitter feed. You can add macros to your page by pressing the + button, and selecting “other macros” on the bottom. Scroll down this page for a list of current Macros being bundled with Confluence.
Some of our favorite Macro “spices” include:
- Children Display Macro: No, it doesn’t show you pictures of your kids, but it does list the child pages connected to a page.
- Roadmap Planner Macro: It creates simple, visual timelines that are useful for planning anything.
- Expand Macro: Displays an expandable/collapsible section of text on your page (making your page way more readable!)
- Navigation Map Macro: Displays the pages that have been tagged with a specific label
As you can see, Macros can contribute vastly different things to your Confluence Page recipe, but they all serve to make the final product more
Users with System Administrator permissions can create their own macros – see Writing User Macros.
4. Use a mouth-watering layout
You’re not supposed to judge a book by its cover, except with Confluence Pages. Have you ever seen a contestant win a baking show with an ugly pie?
How your information is organized and displayed on your page matters a great deal to how your readers will interact with it. Once you have all your basic content and macros selected, you need to figure out how to put them all together in the most compelling way possible. We recommend you wait until you have all your content on the page before considering layout. After all, it’s hard to present what you don’t have yet.
To determine the layout of your Confluence page:
- Press the “Page layout” button on the toolbar.
- Press “Add section” to create new grids in which to display and move around your content.
- Add your existing content to these new grids by copying and pasting.
- Determine the configuration and number of columns desired.
While Confluence gives you the freedom to organize the perfect layout for your page, sometimes less really is more. If your content is best communicate through a simple page, there’s no need to get too fancy.
Dinner is Served, Bon Appetit, Afiyet Olsun…
With that, you have a freshly-baked Confluence page with quality content, a good use of relevant Macros, and an effective presentation. Soon you’ll be getting fellow Confluence users stopping you in the hallways asking: “How do I create Confluence pages that look like yours?
At Atlassian, we like to say it started with a page, because for us, that’s when an idea becomes tangible.
-John Wetenhall, Strategy & Ops, Confluence
To get more information on creating Confluence pages, check out our talk from Summit 2017 about organizing your spaces and pages.