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The Cofluence Editor is VERY Annoying

I think the title says it all, I am new to Confluence and I have heard there is an older editor that is more usable.  Please revert to it.  Atlassian can do better than the current editor.  

1 answer

1 vote
Curt Holley Community Leader Dec 17, 2020

What is it you find annoying about the current (Cloud I presume) editor? Perhaps the community can help f you can be a little more specific about your frustrations.

If you want to experience the old editor (which also has pros and cons) you can create a personal Space (in Confluence cloud) and it (for some reason) still uses the old editor.

The thing I find most annoying about this editor is its poor formatting features.  For example, there are multiple “Headings” available (1-6 ?) but only “normal text” for regular text.  I would really like to be able to format the size of my normal text (font size or even choose the font I want to use).  In addition, it is nearly impossible to just cut and paste from some other editor into confluence without picking up lots of empty space between lines.  There should be a feature that allows me to set the size of spaces easily, there should be a feature that allows visualization of hidden characters.   And so on.  This is supposed to be a Wiki and yet the editor is so simple it is impossible to make it look interesting.  I would like an editor that is more like a word processor for this task.  I know it can be done on the Web, google docs for example.  I’m using this tool to document my system for other people that work here and would like to use word processor features to make it easier to read/understand.  I would like to be able to easily put in Tables and Images (Yes, those cut and paste fairly well).  Come on, Atlassian can do better!

Like sara_oconnell likes this

Have you tried importing from Word to create a page? That way you get your word processor but it ends up in Confluence.

What about the templates? Cloud has many that are great or great for inspiration on how to create beautiful content on Confluence. Not to mention, by using templates (either existing or ones you create yourself) you end up with continuity of page layout, which is great for making content easy to digest.

What about Macros and or 3rd party plugins ???

Beyond that, there are some cool clips on youtube to help inspire making simple but effective content on Confluence.

Personally, I think its simplicity is an advantage in making simple, but effective content. You just need to get use to it and approach it in a different way than you would a word doc. 

Think more in terms of real time interactive content, rather than a document. Using more visuals, with feeds from Jira, and other macro/plug-in based content.

Like John Price likes this

Yes, I did try to import from Word but apparently the formatting in Word is incompatible  with this editor.  I ended up with all kinds of space formatting.

Tried Templates for How-To, not very impressive, at least to me.

Macros, 3rd Party Plugins ?  Where ? Whose ?  Seriously, I have to add plugins to software we paid for for something as simple as an Editor ?

I am trying to use this to document the system and set it up it such a way that I can have To-Dos that I can link to from my Install Doc, Having access to a full featured Editor/WP isn't too much to ask.

Like Mallee Morris likes this

Hi @George Laframboise, I'm a writer by career and have been a Confluence user for less than 3 years - it takes some time to get used to it, but for good and bad you will have to forget about word processors. I was very unhappy when I tried to use Confluence thinking of it as a bad version of Word. It's really a very different tool.

Confluence has the advantage that it makes it very fast to create documentation and format content -- but that comes at the cost of limitations in formatting. Basically, I think at some point (really early on, tbh) Atlassian decided that Confluence had to be designed so every possible page looked clean, no matter what the user builds with it.

If you haven't, I suggest that you experiment with the macros, starting with the /panels and the /status macros, this has been very powerful for me when it comes to creating visual highlights. There are more suggestions in articles like this one. I have built a white paper that is over 40 pages long on Confluence, and panels are one of my favorite features for sure.

Obviously there are apps that can give you a different flavor, but I don't recommend them if what you want to do is format paragraph text in many different ways to highlight it. My company uses Scroll Viewport by K15t (I'm not affiliated with them in any way), but that will solve use cases like branding the look and feel so the font and colors is aligned with your brand etc.

confluence limitations.png

Like # people like this

@Capi _resolution_Would you be able to share examples of how you've used Confluence (with or without Scroll Viewport)?  It sounds like you've navigated the pros and cons and found how to best work with the tool. 

Did your company hire k15t to customize a theme to match your branding, or did you have webdeveloper do it in-house? 

I am struggling with both internal confluence pages and not having enough control over our purchased Scroll Viewport themes.

Hi @sara_oconnell 

We only use Scroll Viewport for our external documentation (which, by the way, is still in a Server instance). Feel free to browse it at https://wiki.resolution.de/doc.

I was not at the company when we did the Viewport project, so I will have to ask about the theme. We do have a great technical SEO in-house who understands every tiny detail about our docu. I know that very often we have to play with the limitations of Confluence but we've usually been able to do what we needed.

This is the example of the white paper that I formatted into the limitations of our docu: https://wiki.resolution.de/doc/saml-sso/latest/jira/related-whitepapers/enterprise-user-management-for-the-atlassian-ecosystem

The one thing we did here was entirely remove the navigation menu and other standard elements so that the document would span across the entire window.

There were some things we could not do or did not have the resources to finish, including building a table for each section into the white paper for better navigation. And image management was also a bit of a headache. 

Like # people like this

I’m Laura and part of the Scroll Viewport team. Maybe I can also add a few words to clarify what the app does and what it’s for.

First, I agree with the previous responses that for the purpose of knowledge sharing it's precisely the simplicity of content creation that is an advantage in Confluence. Everyone in your team can easily and effectively create content and therefore communicate information without having to worry too much about the layout, styling or formatting. The focus is on the content creation itself, leaving formatting to the Confluence editor defaults and other enhancements to the diversity of Confluence macros that are out there.

However, sometimes those Confluence defaults are just not enough. Those are specifically cases where content is meant to be shared with larger or external audiences - those audiences will be mostly consuming the content and it's important that you create an environment that is optimized for that purpose. In those cases it absolutely makes sense to invest more time and effort into the content presentation (even branding it). And that's exactly what Scroll Viewport is for.

Scroll Viewport is specifically optimized for the use case of online help documentation. We take your content from Confluence and transform and publish it into a nicely styled help center that is available on the web. @Capi _resolution_  shared a nice example of the results that the app creates, our own help documentation on help.k15t.com is another example.

@sara_oconnell If you’re using Confluence Cloud, you might be interested in knowing that the Cloud version of our app comes with a pre-built help center theme and that customizations are easily done with the help of a visual theme editor. While advanced customizations are possible with our additional CSS editor, we’ve taken a lot of care to provide the most essential branding and styling options in that visual theme editor - just to avoid any need for custom coding or time-consuming custom development.

That means with Scroll Viewport's help center theme it’s easy to get started and build a help center that fits with your brand, in no time. I recommend playing around with our theme editor yourself to see how easy it is. You can install a trial version of the app from the marketplace: https://marketplace.atlassian.com/apps/1211636/scroll-viewport-for-confluence?hosting=cloud&tab=overview 

Like Gabriella Evans _K15t_ likes this

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