The Admin's Advent Calendar Edited

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There's a popular Christmas habit at the admin's kingdom: people use an Advent Calendar for sweetening the time until Santa is coming to town. The calendar has 24 little closed doors, one for each day in December until Christmas Eve. You are allowed to open one door per day.

Implementing closed doors here in the community is not a good idea, Atlassian is an open company, no closed doors, not even for fun and not even for the admin and his tales. Since there are no closed doors, the admin will simply add little pieces of content every day to this Advent Calendar article, every single day until Christmas Eve. He hopes you like it as much as opening closed doors on an Advent Calendar. Focus will be set on out-of-the-box functionality of Confluence without any add-on-apps. Although there could be a lot more great snippets using these apps, but anyway... 

And even if you don't celebrate Christmas, the admin hopes, you like it all the same.

 

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Do you have the same content on many pages and type that text over and over again? And do you fear that one time, this content has to be changed and you have to change it on 1468 pages?

 

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There's no need for adding the content on each of these 1468 pages. Just use the excerpt macro for this purpose:

  • Create a new boilerplate page
  • Add the Excerpt macro to that page
  • Type the content that you want on these 1468 pages as body into the excerpt macro
  • Use the "Excerpt Include"-macro on these 1468 pages. Include the excerpt from your boilerplate page
  • Now, you can change the text on your boilerplate page and all other pages change their output text immediately.

Unfortunately, there is only one excerpt macro on a page allowed, so if you have more boilerplates, you have to create a new page for every text module. Of course, there is a marketplace app for this problem also, but no advertisement, you have to find it by yourself :-)

6 Days left...

 

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Lazy Sunday #3 - If you still need to buy some Christmas presents, go get them now - It is just one more week.

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And for the rest of you, the ones who don't have to go hunting for the last presents - enjoy this day, don't work, have fun in the snow with your friends and families, and enjoy the most wonderful time of the year.

(P.S.: From now on, I have to remove the first days, because of the size limit for articles... The lost days will be added again later as a new article.)

7 Days left...

 

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There's another macro recommendation in today's package: The Content Report Table - Macro

This macro is great for designing overview pages. E.g. if you put the label "christmas" on all your Christmas pages (the most important pages these days), then you can easily create a dynamic list of all these pages just by using the Content Report Table macro:

16-christmaspages.png8 Days left...

 

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You might guess who the power users in your kingdom's Confluence are. But don't you miss someone? And who is the most active one? If these questions don't let you sleep at night, the admin has got something for you:

Get the list of the most active writers in your Confluence with the "Contributors Summary" or the "Contributors" macro. With these macros, you get the list of contributors based on a page or a space. This is useful for identifying the experts for a certain subject (the ones who wrote the most content on a page or in a space might be experts...).

Maybe you can award a prize to your experts, e.g. "Awesome Author" or "Brilliant Team" or "Most Beautiful Christmas Tree" to motivate them.

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(Btw, what does your favorite christmas tree look like? Tell us in the comments :-) - the admin likes the natural style better than the bling-bling ones...)

But: be careful publishing these contributor's data and giving awards. In some kingdoms you might get into trouble with the worker's representation. The admin speaks from his own experience... Check this first before publishing lists or awarding power users.

9 Days left...

 

 

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Today I'm reneging on the promise not to mention any apps from the marketplace. But this one is a special one, it's from Atlassian, is free, it's magic and you have to know this app.

I'm speaking of the Confluence Source Editor. It is an alternative editor for your Confluence pages. With this editor you can edit the storage format of your Confluence Page. I think, it is the best way for editing macro parameters and fixing strange formatting errors and is a very very helpful tool for every admin. Unfortunately, the app is not available for Cloud.

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If you know a bit of HTML, you should have no problems editing and repairing a page with the Source Editor.

The Source Editor is available here:

https://marketplace.atlassian.com/plugins/com.atlassian.confluence.plugins.editor.confluence-source-editor/server/overview

10 Days left...

 

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Do you know the Chart Macro? It is quite unknown and not often used (at least in the admin's kingdom), but it is doing great work in visualizing data.

OK, it's not interactive, that's true. The data is static and embedded into the Confluence page. But give it a try. If you just need a graphical representation of some data, this is the macro of your choice.

Create Pie Charts, Bar Charts, Line Charts, Area Charts and Gantt Charts with this macro: 

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(These are very special Christmas versions of the charts - this version of the plugin is only available at Santa's marketplace until Christmas Eve)

11 Days left...

 

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You won't believe, how often people ask the admin, whether they can sort pages in Confluence. People who don't ask, often help themselves by adding numbers in front of their page title, so the pages are automatically ordered by these numbers.
But, adding numbers is not only cumbersome, it is not necessary at all. Sorting pages is so easy, once you found the function. I believe, most of you know this already, but as I said, you won't believe...

 

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You find the function "Reorder pages" in the left sidebar under the Space Tools. Klicking on the button opens a tree view of your space where you can order and move your pages by dragging and dropping them in the tree.

12 Days left...

 

 

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Do you export your Confluence pages to pdf? And do you know that you can customize the look and feel of your exported content?


This is the first part of the pdf export options package. It will be continued in more of the other packages until Christmas Eve :-)

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First: Page Orientation
Sometimes you want to export a page with a wide table to pdf. It would be great, if the page would use the landscape format.

Set this in the PDF Export Stylesheet of your space:

http://<your-confluence-url>/spaces/flyingpdf/viewpdfstyleconfig.action?key=<your-space-key>

And add the following to the PDF Stylesheet:


@page
{
/*A4-sized pages in landscape orientation are 297 mm wide by 210 mm long*/
size: 297mm 210mm;
}

Second: Page Breaks
Exporting more than one page usually results in a pdf document where the page breaks do not correspond to the page breaks of your Confluence pages. Force the pdf export to set a page break before each new Confluence page with the following PDF Stylesheet:

.pagetitle
{
page-break-before: always;
}

Third: Page Numbering
Do you need page numbers on your PDF? Here's how to do that:

Add this to your pdf Stylesheet:

#pageNum:before 
{
content: counter(page);
}

And this to your PDF Space Export Footer:

<span id="pageNum"/>

13 Days left...

 

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Lazy Sunday #2 - package number 10 reveals a second candle, nothing else. No macros and no tips today. Light the candle and enjoy the day with your friends and family!

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It’s also time for decorating your home. Get all your Christmas hodge podge from the  attic or the cellar or buy some new decoration, as much as you can. The more decoration you have, the more likely Santa will find your home  :-)

Just 14 days from now...

 

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Talking of macros... Do you want to know, which macros your users really like and which ones are not used at all? Maybe you pay a lot for an app and it is hardly ever used? 

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How can you research the usage of macros in your Confluence instance? Just look at the page "Macro Usage" in your Confluence Administration Dashboard:

http://<your confluence url>/admin/pluginusage.action

But, be careful. This view might be disenchanting. Don't be disappointed, if the people in your kingdom don't use your super awesome, amazing and extremely expensive app with all these great macros. Maybe they just don't know that it exists. Make some noise, trainings and advertising, then the macro usage will increase, I'm sure :-)   

15 Days left...

 

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Once upon a time, the admin's people wanted to highlight table cells including the text "NOK" (no, it's not Norwegian Krone, but short for Not OK). They didn't want to add the color manually, it should happen on the fly.

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You already know, the admin loves user macros, so he wrote another one:

Macro Body Processing: No macro body

## @noparams

<style type="text/css">
td.rotfaerben{
background: #F6DFD4;
}
</style>

<script type="text/javascript">
AJS.toInit(function(){
AJS.$("td").filter(function() {return $(this).text() == "NOK";}).addClass('rotfaerben');
});
</script>

Save the macro and then add it to your page containing the table. Now, every table cell that includes "NOK" will be colored.

16 Days left...

 

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The admin built a macro called "Baustelle". This is German for "Construction Site".  It is based on a regular Confluence panel, embedding a construction site picture and a text. The code looks like that:

Macro Body Processing: Rendered

## @noparams

<ac:structured-macro ac:name="panel">
<ac:parameter ac:name="bgColor">#f4e0a4</ac:parameter>
<ac:parameter ac:name="titleBGColor">#f4e0a4</ac:parameter>
<ac:parameter ac:name="title">!Startseite:bilder^underconstruction.png! &amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp;&amp;nbsp;In Arbeit</ac:parameter>
<ac:parameter ac:name="borderWidth">0</ac:parameter>
<ac:rich-text-body>$body</ac:rich-text-body>
</ac:structured-macro>

The image "underconstruction.png" is attached to a page "bilder" in the space "Startseite". This page is used as an image storage. Every occurence of the Baustellen-macro is using the central image. Why not surprising your users now and then with a new seasonal picture?

07-underconstruction.png

17 Days left...

 

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 December, 6th is the Nikolaus day in the admin's kingdom. It is said, that the Nikolaus is visiting every house and puts some sweets into every boot he can find. So children (younger and older and even grownups) put their boots and shoes out of the closet and hope, the Nikolaus fills them with some chocolate at night.

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Here's your chocolate for Nikolaus day: As an admin, are you tired of answering questions like "what kind of permissions has user Thomas in space ABC"? Then you can easily give your user a self-service page, where they can lookup granted permissions in their space (even if they are no space admins).

You need to use groups for granting permissions. Add your users into some space-related groups, maybe a group for writing, another one for just viewing or commenting and grant the permissions to the groups instead of single users.

Then, add a page to your space, e.g. "Permissions in space ABC", add one "User List" macro to the page for every group you use in that particular space, add some comments to the info page and save it. On such a page, your users are able to research, whether another user is granted access to a space. If you don't want that information going public, add some page restrictions to the page.

18 Days left...

 

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Today's package contains a very small, but very useful hint. The admin experienced, that hardly noone knows, that you can click the mousewheel the same way as you can click the left and right mouse button.
And what's the big benefit? Click on a link with the mousewheel - the target page will open in a new browser tab! Tadaa!

If your people ask once again, how they can open a linked page in a new browser window, tell them the secret of the mousewheel! 

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19 Days left...

 

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Monday morning, users complain about being kicked out of Confluence after they came back from Christmas Shopping. It takes definitely too long to get all the presents for the whole family...

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So, here's how you give them more time until they have to login again:

Find the file /confluence/WEB-INF/web.xml in your installation directory
Set the session-timeout from 60 to anything you like - this is the value in minutes that the server-side session stays valid while a user is not active anymore (for example when he is going Christmas shopping).
But don't set the value too large, the sessions will never be removed and you could get into trouble with your serverside memory then.

20 Days left...

 


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Today, it's Sunday. The admin is not working. But anyway, he opens the next package: 

 

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Have a nice day, relax, have some tea and a gingerbread and do not even think of trying out any new user macros today! 

 21 Days left... kugeln.png

10 comments

@Thomas Schlegel This is a really neat Idea!  I love it!  Especially Day 3 :D

Thomas Schlegel Community Champion Dec 04, 2017

Thank you, Kimberly - and have a look the next 20 days :-)

Rachel Wright Community Champion Dec 04, 2017

WOW!  There are not enough likes for this idea!  You are so cool @Thomas Schlegel!  Happy holidays!

Hallo @Thomas Schlegel,

das ist eine richtig gute Idee und kann nur der Community dienen!

Beste Grüße aus Bremen

I love this.  :)

Daniel Eads Community Champion Dec 05, 2017

@Thomas Schlegel you are the coolest!

330627-cat-saying-interesting-4fbd7

Thomas Schlegel Community Champion Dec 05, 2017

@Daniel Eads@Philippe Beaudette@Semi Kefi [demicon]@Rachel Wright

Thank you so much for your nice comments, I'm so happy, you like it :) 

Greg I'm New Here Dec 05, 2017

Great post!

I like it!    liebe Grüße aus Wien

Thomas Schlegel Community Champion Saturday

@Wolfgang Lutz, Dankeschön, viele Grüße und schönes Weihnachtsfest nach Wien!

@Greg, thank you 😊 

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