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Add anchor links to any header

Hi! I’m Rachel, a Product Manager on the Editor team. We’ve been listening to customers in the community, and we’ve been focusing on some of your top requests and most frustrating pain points!

One thing we’ve heard LOUD AND CLEAR is the request to link to a targeted section of a page. In the legacy editor, this was accomplished with the Anchor macro. We purposefully chose to find better ways to accomplish this without you having to explicitly add macros to your page. We pondered if there was a way to have these targets built into the formatting so that you could just copy a link to that target and reference it where you want!

In the new editor, we rolled out the first version of this built-in targeting by giving every top-level heading an easy to copy URL. We know that it isn’t perfect, yet, but we are working on it!

Now, we are working to add these targets to headings in other places — in tables, in panels, in expands, and in layouts.

We know that adding a target to the heading format may not sync with some of the ways you format content today. You may have a glossary where you want a letter-based table of contents to jump to that letter’s section, or you want the link on one page to jump to a certain part of a section on another page. Presenting content in meaningful, useful ways is an ever-evolving endeavor, and we feel confident that you can use the lower-level headings to accomplish many of your needs. For example, you could use Header 5 for glossaries.

Getting this capability out to you has multiple parts, and we wanted to share each capability with you as it is ready, rather than waiting until it’s all done.

  • Links to stand-alone headers :check_mark:

header_notNested.gif

  • Links to headers inside other elements (tables, info panels, expands, layouts) - 🔜 coming next quarter!

67bd4106-ddd1-4675-80c0-7ec7cf7a635e.gif

 

5abe30f2-fab5-469d-aedd-85d91750bc38.gif

We know this isn’t everything you’ve asked for - namely being able to get a target link to any content, not just headers (text, elements, images etc) - and we will revisit these additional requests for target linking in the future.

All the best,

Rachel

5 comments

How do you link to a row within a table? This seems to be one of the most common use cases.

Not even close to what we had before. Not even close to what we are asking to get back.

Headings in a table row or a Glossary - seriously!

 

Let's see Atlassian create their documentation in a Cloud instance and see how well this works for them.

Like # people like this

I have to agree with @Jeanne Howe .

a bizzare analogy

Volvo's reputation is "safety"

Consider the outrage if they released a new car without seat-belts ...

then tried to say we will put them back for the driver as phase 1

and we are working on a "better solution" for the front passenger in the next phase ... maybe soon

and no mention of the rear passenger seats ...!!

This approach creates an impression of incompetency in feature management and total disregard of Users .. especially when we have been whinging for months to get things BACK, not new, just reinstated even it was a bit cumbersome.

Would not it have been better to NOT remove the facility we all NEED AND USE NOW and wait till you got any new idea all right? 

Atlassian and Confluence is around professional documentation which has as one part links to any particular location in a body of text - be that to headings or tables or images or ....

Seriously!  The simplest best user experience would be to roll back to the old editor IMMEDIATELY and let your development team work in peace and quiet without all this User upset in their face!

Us "rear set passengers" want at least a deadline ... so we know how much pain we have to endure in not being able to do what we need .. and for how long we have to tell our Users that we represent that they have to wait to continue doing their work.

Thanks @Rae for the update.  As you are aware, many of us long time users feel we have taken quite a hit with the loss of functionality in the new editor recently.  What made it worse was the perceived lack of feedback from Atlassian. I do not disagree with some of the comments in this thread, but honesty and transparency from Atlassian goes a long way in making this transition easier. So thanks again for this blog.

One thing that would really make this transition easier would be for you to outline your roadmap that shows what Atlassian is doing to fix "the new editor problem".  You mentioned "focusing on some of your top requests and most frustrating pain points". Can you point to a summary roadmap of what we can expect to be fixed in the next two quarters?  And please don't refer me to this article  https://support.atlassian.com/confluence-cloud/docs/confluence-cloud-editor-roadmap/

This is fine for some but I don't want to see a long random list of missing functions where some are labeled as "gathering interest".  Please tell us what will fixed in Confluence Cloud in the next two quarters so we have something to look forward to.

Thanks for listening

@Rachel Crossman A major issue my team has with the current implementation of anchors in the new editor is that the links break if the text of the heading being linked to is updated (because the #anchortarget is based on the text of the header text).  For 'living' documents or those that go through rounds of editing, this happens frequently.  This is literally the one issue blocking my team from using the new editor.

Is this something you plan to address?

 

For what it's worth: macros were and still are a great solution for anchors:

  1. They can be placed anywhere.
  2. They don't break when content is modified.
  3. They're relatively buried in the UI so they aren't getting in the way of anything. 
  4. Existing users are familiar with using anchor macros.
  5. They aren't mutually-exclusive with the more new-user-friendly anchor functionality you outline in this article – you can do both!

Unless there's some non-obvious reason why macros are inherently bad, I would re-implement them were I in your shoes.  

Thanks for reading!

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