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A new way to view Excel files in Confluence

Hi Community 👋,

My name is Shalu Pandey, and I’m a product manager working on Confluence Ecosystem features for Confluence Cloud.

I’m happy to share that the Excel Macro has gotten an upgrade, making it easier to view embedded Excel files in Confluence. We prioritized this work based on customer feedback that the existing experience made it hard to work with Excel files within Cloud.

The Excel Macro now displays content more similarly to how Excel works - tabs of sheets, instead of a PDF. In the new experience, the file is displayed as a spreadsheet with tabs and you can navigate the embedded Excel file in a Confluence page.

🔢 Spreadsheet format makes it easier to engage with data

BEFORE                                    AFTER
before.gif  giphy                            

🗂 Tabbed views make it easier to navigate the embedded file 

tabbed views.gif

🚨If you're currently using the Excel Macro, you'll need to re-upload your file to see the new experience. Follow the steps below to upload.

upload steps.gif

This feature is currently rolling out so if you don’t see it on your Confluence Cloud instance today, it should come to your site soon.

Please leave any feedback below in the comments and stay tuned for more exciting things from Confluence Ecosystem coming soon!

37 comments

Looks great @Shalu Pandey !! Any word as to when Data Center may have this feature?

Like # people like this
Ollie Guan
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
Jun 08, 2022

Cool, any plan for data center?

Like # people like this

Sounds like a real improvement. Is there any way to proactively check if my organisation has received the new macro or a means to proactively get the new macro?

Like Bryan Dilks likes this
Simon Kliewer
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Jun 09, 2022

@Dave Beever We're excited for you to use it! The easiest way to check would be to use the macro, and you should either see the old experience (PDF) or new experience (tabbed sheets). 

The new experience is still actively rolling out to customers, so if your organization does not have access yet, they will soon!

Shalu Pandey
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Jun 14, 2022

Hi @Stu and @Ollie Guan -Trip_com- - thank you for your interest in an update for the excel macro for data center. At this time, this is not on our immediate roadmap but we will keep you updated incase that changes. 

Like # people like this

This is definitely an improvement, although I wish the macro allowed for limiting the display to a specific worksheet (or worksheets) as with the server version.  One bug I will note is that the spreadsheet does not render when previewing the page.  You have to publish the page before you can view the results. :(  

Like Peter Quick likes this

This is great to support Excel preview, thank you so much.

One more suggestion: if it's possible to edit the Excel on the WIKI page by different persons at the same time? Please help consider, thanks.

It is a really great improvement.

I am really happy with the current improvement

Any more improvements / suggestions:

  • add the ability to specify wich tab to show on the first view
  • add the ability to enable the edit link (like confluence server)
Like # people like this
Kelly Arrey
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Jun 28, 2022

This looks interesting. Is there a way to embed an Excel file from SharePoint, instead of attaching it? Thanks,

Like Dirk Vanhaute likes this

The macro doesn't seem to display wider sheets properly. Even after clicking "go wide" or "go full width" it shrinks columns so that excel doesn't want to display the full string of numbers. There is no way to update this in the page or settings, which makes this new feature unusable for us.

Like # people like this
Shalu Pandey
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Jul 12, 2022

Hi @Laurie Hickey , thank you for your feedback! We will consider the improvement for limiting display to one worksheet in our future roadmap.  The bug around rendering the spreadsheet in preview mode has been fixed and is in production. 

Like Peter Quick likes this
Shalu Pandey
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Jul 12, 2022

@charlenec , @Erik Mathijs thanks for sharing your feedback! We will consider these improvements in our future roadmap. 

Shalu Pandey
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Jul 12, 2022

@Kelly Arrey you should be able to embed the Excel Sheet in Confluence but the rendering will be dependent on Microsoft integration with Confluence and would not use the HTML rendering as introduced by this feature release. 

Kelly Arrey
Rising Star
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Jul 12, 2022

Hi @Shalu Pandey

That sounds interesting. How do you do that? Does it require a 3rd-party app? I haven't found anything that looks related in the Confluence Cloud Docs except this, which is for the old editor.

Thanks, 

Kel

Simon Kliewer
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Jul 12, 2022

Hi @stephanie lollar!

Would it be possible to send a few example screenshots to skliewer@atlassian.com ? I want to make sure I am understanding correctly in order to best provide a solution.

Thank you!

Hi @Shalu Pandey ,

via your reaction to @Kelly Arrey  about embedding I found out about embedding.  Can you point us to the documentation please ?  I does not seem to work with my personal microsoft test account.  Perhaps because it is only available for work accounts ?  But then, I need to give access to everything ...

Regards,
Dirk

Shalu Pandey
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Jul 25, 2022

Hi @Kelly Arrey and @Dirk Vanhaute you can embed Sharepoint through SmartLinks - please see this announcement https://community.atlassian.com/t5/Confluence-articles/Smart-Links-a-richer-way-to-hyperlink/ba-p/1412786 for more information! 

Like Dirk Vanhaute likes this
Kelly Arrey
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Jul 25, 2022

Thanks @Shalu Pandey I was able to find that page with the help of the Support team. Unfortunately, the "Display embed" is exceptionally well hidden, and if you do succeed in finding it, the imbed makes bizarre choices of what tabs/cells of the spreadsheet to display. It's effectively unusable for us, unless the support team can come up with some more suggestions.

Hello @Shalu Pandey    Having a little trouble getting this to work to seamlessly show all tabs in worksheet.  My organization is currently on  Confluence 7.13.7.   You indicate above this is still being rolled out -  what is the version we should be on ?

I was happy to read this - But why is it not possible to use the Excel filters in the new version???

Still useless for our need.

Hi. As far as I can make out the same is not true for preview. ie When you hover over an Excel file. It still seems to show in Confluence as a flat pdf, and basically messes up all the formatting so it looks nothing like an excel spreadsheet. When will this be fixed?

Two suggestions: 1) It would be helpful to provide an option to display the name of the spreadsheet on the Confluence page, so that you have a reference for which attachment you are looking at. 2) We have updated a number of these macros on one page. The page has links to 5 spreadsheets. When you click the 'here' link it takes you to the Attachments page, but at this point there is no focus or indication of which file you want to download or work with.  There are also some older versions of these spreadsheets attached, probably to support the page history/restore functionality. So it's a lot of work to try to figure out at this point which attachment you need to download in order to see the full contents of the attachment.

Super function - THANK YOU -
Is there a way to take the filters and use them already in the page display?

This is already possible via the function "..." and "APPENDICES" using the EDGE browser.

Many greetings

Simon Kliewer
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Aug 16, 2022

@Jack Simpson Hi Jack - This update is for Confluence Cloud, not for Data Center or Server. 

@Stine Stage @Gaby Thank you for your feedback! Unfortunately filters are not supported, we are just rendering static HTML that looks very close to the Excel file, but cannot be interacted with in the same way.

@Stuart Brown Hi Stuart - for the forseeable future the macro preview in the edit view page will display the PDF preview, similar to the attachment page preview, but previewing or publishing the page will show the updated macro contents.

@Christal Vandecar Hi Christal - thank you so much for your feedback! We had tried to make the re-upload experience as intuitive as possible, but agree it could be more clear, such as by explicitly highlighting the file. It would also be nice to have an option to show what file is being displayed via the macro. We will consider these for future improvements!

Like Gaby likes this
Kelly Arrey
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Aug 16, 2022

Hi @Simon Kliewer, the Smart Link function almost works for SharePoint Excel files, except that it makes a bizarre choice of which tab to display - any chance that can be fixed? If it defaulted to the first tab, that would be a great improvement over the current behaviour. Thanks! 

Like Vanessa Sky Hudson likes this

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