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There's color coded letter next to my avatar when I edit. What does it mean?

Edited

I have no idea how to search for this in the Confluence documentation.

My avatar appears when I create or edit a page. That's easy enough to understand: my page, my avatar. But there's more. Along with the avatar, a small square with the letter D (initial for my first name?) appears at about the 4 o'clock position. That little block changes color as I work on the page; it's blue, it's green, it's red, it's yellow, and maybe more colors. 

Avatar-status-symbol-question.png

I'd love to know what it all means. I searched for a couple of strings in the online documentation but got nothing. 

I don't have the time to play with search strings to find the explanation, nor do I have the time to experiment in an effort to find the meaning of the different colors. 

What does it mean? What do you call it? 

1 answer

1 vote
BryanT Community Leader Feb 18, 2020

Hi Dan,

The color-coded D (yes it's for your first initial) next to your avatar when you are editing a document in Confluence is for the Collaborative Editing experience in Confluence. If there were other users who were making changes to the same page as you were their avatar along with the color-coded initial would show up as well. Here is a link to some documentation on this mode. Hope this helps!

https://confluence.atlassian.com/doc/collaborative-editing-858771779.html?_ga=2.94428373.855667395.1582040692-898068515.1578665584

Thanks, this helps, I wouldn't have thought to search for "collaborative editing".

The documentation appears to omit one important piece of information. Is there a key that explains the significance of each color? The color changes as I edit which makes me think there's added meaning. 

I'm sure that most people barely notice this small and easy to ignore phenomenon. Unfortunately, I'm acutely aware of visual cues like this and can't tune it out.  

Can you point me to documentation that explains the colors?

BryanT Community Leader Feb 20, 2020

Hey Dan, 

I was going to lead you to this post as well but it looks like you found it which mentions the color changes are for the cursor color. Hopefully, this answers your questions.

https://community.atlassian.com/t5/Confluence-questions/Colored-icon-on-profile-picture-meaning/qaq-p/1112837

Bryan, thanks for following up.

The words "color" and "cursor" do not appear anywhere in the Collaborative editing help topic. A paragraph explaining the feature would be a welcome addition to the topic.

The Confluence pages I edit are for the most part strictly my own; I've never yet edited collaboratively, so I've never experienced the change of the cursor color. And if my cursor were to change color randomly, I'd be even more disturbed than I am by the changing initial on my avatar.  I don't recall ever seeing such behavior in any other software.

As Dennis Laney pointed out, the constant random color changes are distracting. I'm sure many users don't notice, but for those of us who do, it's troubling.

@Dan_Comly, did anyone actually answer your question?

I'm still looking for that answer.  I also create pages that are typically only for me, and I never have someone editing my document simultaneously.  

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