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Improvements to the Confluence Cloud editor

Hi everyone,

My name's Phil and I’m a product manager on Confluence Cloud.

Our long-term mission is to help you create beautiful content with ease in both Confluence desktop and mobile, in a stable and predictable way.

This is an ongoing journey, but I wanted to share an update about changes we're making to the editing experience.

One challenge that our customers have in creating beautiful content is that pages are really wide — they take up the entire width of your browser. Wide pages are harder to read and go against best practices for legibility.

To help with this, today we're rolling out a new fixed-width layout that will have a more readable line-length. We're excited to see how everyone uses it. 

single-column-fixed-width-layout-resized.png

 

We're also rolling out a change to tables to help with mobile long-term.

Currently in Confluence Cloud, you can place tables inside lists, block quotes, and other tables, we call these “nested tables”. Nested tables make pages harder to read, especially on mobile devices. Less than 1% of pages have these nested tables showing there are other ways to get the message across.

As we look to help you make beautiful content for all devices, we are disabling the ability to create new nested tables. Your existing pages with nested tables are safe and you'll still be able to modify these existing nested tables (edit cells, add/remove rows/columns, etc). You just won't be able to create new ones.

Please let us know if you have any use cases for which this functionality is integral, and we will try to find a solution for you.

Cheers,
Phil

18 comments

I was directed to this page by Lucas Martins who says:

"Block level indentation will be no longer available for Confluence Cloud Editor"

This honestly screws us up entirely.  We use Confluence for programming design and we don't care about how it looks on mobile.  Currently the system is designed to stop us from using indents...which we use constantly in a table.  I mean like ALL THE TIME.  Now this has just been yanked...because of concerns about mobile?

This is not a minor problem...it is the reason we use Confluence and basically kills the product for us.  And we aren't the only ones because I know of others who use the product this way as well.

Like Nicky Sandhu likes this
philoye Atlassian Team Dec 19, 2017

Hi @Andy Webb,

Sorry this is affecting you and your team. Can you elaborate a bit on how you use indenting in tables? One work around is to use the code macro which preserves whitespace (the tab key will indent). Alternatively, ordered/unordered lists are another option.

Cheers,
p.

We use it as our “single source of truth” for how our code should work.  Before we ever write executable code we write pseudo code with lots of comments that pretty much mimics the actual code without being in any particular language and without a lot of the error checking.  This involves lots of IF THEN and DO WHILE types of statements, frequently with nested indents to make them clear and easy to read.  We keep it in a two-column table so we can have categories like inputs, outputs, comments, procedure, etc. in the left column and the information in the right column.

 

This isn’t just fluff.  Before we ever change executable code we always change the logic in Confluence if changes are needed so we can reference how the function/procedure is supposed to work and then we create a JIRA issue to make the change..    Without indents, it is frankly impractical and using the code macro in is both too slow to be practical as well as making it difficult to read what is going on in edit mode.

We can't use indentation anymore, this is really bad.  I now have to bulletize everything to have control over indentation.  So now I insert normal paragraphs and picture into bullet lists.  We just want to create a knowledge base that allows easy reading, part of that is to indent so that if you dont want to read the details, its obvious and you can skip and indentation helps.  I dont understand why you would remove a indentation feature in an editor, every editor does this.  Confluence editor has problems with understanding formatting and editing but at least indentation worked but now it doesnt.   

I've been living with the new way of indenting by bulletizing everything.  Really annoying because

1) You guys have so many bugs around editing, like you bulletize one things and entire other sections get bulletized.    Styling of the senteces just bleed over in unpredictable ways. 

2) When I want to indent a bullet to another level of another bulletized list, everything becomes one level.  If your going to force everyone to bulletized to indent you need to fix possible cases being used.

How can you be a knowledge management product if only way to indent is bulletizing everything, this is crazy ...

Like Nicky Sandhu likes this

Phil, we're not talking about indenting in tables. We're just talking about indenting any old random block-level text. You can't do it anymore. Sad!

I posted a workaround here . But the workaround, if anything, demonstrates that the inability to indent any regular old text is probably an unintended regression in indenting functionality rather than a product decision to remove the capability.

What an *awful* decision. Please restore the ability to indent basic block-level text. This is important in our usage. I haven't read any well articulated reason why it was removed. 

OMG THIS IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM.

We use Confluence to make PUBLIC FACING DOCUMENTATION all in the same style for many pages, you know, for public viewing. ALL documentation pages in the whole Confluence space including new pages have to have the exact same styling features or else pages look like everything is broken and thus unprofessional.

You can't just remove indentation from a text editor and expect that this won't mess up customers!

PLEASE RE-ENABLE THIS IMMEDIATELY. I AM PREPARING NEW DOCUMENTATION PAGES FOR RELEASE!!! What an unfortunate decision to simply turn off indentation as a feature in a text editor!

A serious regression and loss of basic functionality!

Like Nicky Sandhu likes this

And to give you some context of the amount of content, if you printed out this confluence space, it would be the equivalent of hundreds of PDF pages of docs, and indentation is used everywhere.

Removing the ability to create nested tables is a massive set back.  Turning off the function because it doesn't work on mobile devices is not a good enough excuse to remove it.

Please reinstate this asap.

philoye Atlassian Team Feb 13, 2018

We hear you loud and clear and are reinstating block-level indentation. You should see it in the editor shortly. Thank you to everyone for your feedback and we’re sorry that you were impacted by this change.

Nested tables will remain disabled for the reasons outlined in this post.

Like Nicky Sandhu likes this

Hi, just wondering whether the changes mentioned also impact formatting of tables' content in some way. I used to be able to center the content within columns, now it seems that I am only able to justify it left or right. Is this indeed an intended/side effect or am I missing something?

philoye Atlassian Team Jun 17, 2018

@Alexander Deliyannis, you may have run into a bug with multiple-cell selection. You can centre align each cell individually, but when selecting an entire column it isn't working.

Thanks for the reply. Unfortunately, centering doesn't work in my tables even on single cells. This concerns tables that are themselves centered and has been reported by others as a bug here  https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/CONFCLOUD-53033 I tried the workaround mentioned in that issue (using the Center macro) but that doesn't work either.

@philoyeHave you had a chance to check the report above, i.e. that cell content can't be centred at all?

philoye Atlassian Team Jul 01, 2018

@Alexander Deliyannis Yes, I'm seeing the same behaviour as described in that ticket. Please follow along there for updates.

@philoye We just got the editor preview and I am horrified. First of all our system has thousands of pages of documentation, test methods, specifications etc etc that will be impacted with the editor as it stands. We do not care of how it looks on a mobile device but we do care how it looks on a PC and having it default to a narrow page is an huge issue for us and we do not care what you think best practices are for reading. I also notice that the only way to widen it is to add columns and our only choices are two and three columns of equal size. What were you guys thinking? Can you just decide that all the other column types can just vanish on thousands of pages!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Please let us know that we can widen the page if we want and add use the same column types we have always used.

 

 

 

So what  Atlassian are saying is We have decide that best practices are narrow pages and you can just forget 6 years worth of work!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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