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The Companion app on Confluence Cloud

Hi, my name is Owen. I'm the product manager on the Media team here at Atlassian.

If you've been using the new Confluence editor you may have seen the option to edit files with the Companion app is no longer available.

We're not actively updating the Companion app in Confluence Cloud, however, the option to use it is still available… if you know how to find it.

Note: Due to a recent security issue the Companion app no longer works on Internet Explorer, Edge or Safari. So this guidance will be for users of Chrome and Firefox.

This post talks through how you can still access the Companion app and I'll also talk about alternatives you have for replacing files and collaborating.

It's worth first noting that any pages you created in the old editor will stay in the old editor. So you'll still be able to preview files on a page and then edit them directly with Companion app.

Also if you're using the attachments macro in the new editor you can still preview the file then edit with Companion app. Also on the new editor you can still find the Companion app when editing a file via the attachments page.

You can still use the aforementioned attachments macro to replace files and upload new versions of a document.

Screen Shot 2019-12-23 at 10.14.10 am.png

You can replace the file on the attachments page, delete and re-upload the file, or drag and drop the file on the page.

Note: When replacing a file, so long as the filename is the same, any of the above options hook into Confluence’s versioning system.

In the future we'll be bringing in options to replace a file directly from the Media Viewer and from the editor itself.

You can also use the slash command to embed Google Drive files. For example when editing a page type “/” then ‘sheets' and you can embed a Google Sheets file. If team members have been granted access to edit the file on Google Drive they can edit the file in real time with you on the Confluence page. If not they get a 'read only’ view. By opening the embedded Sheets file full screen you can access formatting and formula options. Again you can edit these in real time with your colleagues.

We're working on an Office 365 for Business integration, so soon you'll also be able to edit Excel files via Confluence. Later this year we'll be bringing sorting and filtering options to our native editor's tables.

As mentioned above Companion app is still available via workarounds on Cloud, but we do believe the new options highlighted above will give teams a much deeper and enriched collaboration experience.

If you'd like to discuss any of the above please feel free to leave a comment and I can reach out and arrange a time to talk.

15 comments

liquid information

as I say

Confluence must become an excellent container for liquid information, thus abandoning the old idea of editor and allow users to generate content with the editor that is more convenient for them.

Like Klaus Leiter likes this

Owen, this article is saying that Companion app is not compatible with the new editor. Can you please provide an alternative way to edit and comment on PDF files? 

This is an important part of our collaboration worflow:

https://confluence.atlassian.com/confcloud/edit-files-724765124.html

Like # people like this

Hi @Korina Skhinas

Could I ask a couple further questions. The Companion app did not allow for commenting on files. Could you let me know how you were commenting before, and what you used this for?

The Companion also did not directly edit the files, it just provided a way to open files on your computer via the native program. If you use the attachments macro you can still create a list of the PDF files, edit them and then re-upload. Furthermore via the attachments macro and the attachments page in Confluence you can still access the Companion app. In the future we'll be making it easier to replace files in Confluence, but for now you can still access Companion to solve this job.

Thanks

Owen

Like Calogero Kalos Bonasia likes this

Hi Owen, 

Apologies for my confusion. I was referring to the ability to comment on a PDF as referenced in this article. 

https://confluence.atlassian.com/confcloud/share-and-comment-on-files-724765118.html

Following some comment threads, I was led to believe that this was connected to the Companion app. If not, can you direct me the article or solution that would enable us to comment and resolve comments on a PDF in confluence? 

Thank you,

Owen Wallis Atlassian Team Apr 02, 2020

Hi @Korina Skhinas,

No problem at all. Commenting was actually tied into the old Media viewer. The new Media viewer does not allow for commenting, although it is a feature we are looking at adding back: https://jira.atlassian.com/browse/CONFCLOUD-67745

If you had the time it would be great to chat on a video call so I could see exactly how you were commenting: https://calendly.com/owallis/

If you can't find a time then one option would be to embed the PDF on a page using a macro. Then on the Confluence page you can @ mention colleagues via comments to have collaborative conversations.

Hope to hear from you soon.

Owen

Thanks Owen. Looking forward to the feature being added back. 

The use case that made comment functionality on a PDF so great was that we could drop a comment directly on a content or design element on the PDF with the amendments. It helped to minimize the need to spell out where exactly on the PDF we needed the change and also give our production team a 'checklist' of features to update and resolve when done. 

Hope that helps to clarify the use case. Happy to jump on a call when your team is closer to development and testing of the feature for the new editor. 

Like Owen Wallis likes this

Hi @Owen Wallis 

 

'' It's worth first noting that any pages you created in the old editor will stay in the old editor. So you'll still be able to preview files on a page and then edit them directly with Companion app ''

 

When can we except that we can do this in the new editor page directly? I think this is an important part for many confluence users and their collaboration workflows.

 

 

Best regards

Khoram

Owen Wallis Atlassian Team Nov 11, 2020

Hi Khoram,

We're not planning on bringing the Companion app to the new Editor.

From what we've seen the Companion does not help with collaboration, and rather it hinders it. 

I'm keen to learn what collaboration use cases Companion does help you with though?

Thanks in advance

Owen

Hi Owen,

 

ex. We have a page with 10 sub-items. Under each of the sitting sub-items, we have 3 documents. On the old page, we could edit directly on the page under a specific point. This meant that we saved time in terms of searching for the document under attachments. It may take some time to find a document under attachments when there are 30 documents that have different names and it is not always possible to remember the name of the specific document.

I hope you understand and if you have any tips, let me know :)

Owen Wallis Atlassian Team Nov 12, 2020

Ok thanks, so you are wanting someway to easily replace files?

And the Companion app is your current workaround for that?

we use companion to make changes in the files directly in the page and not under attachment.

@Owen WallisAny news on the Office 365 integration?

This issue is basically killing my business case and user integration. Unless you are planning a way real soon to manage office files properly we are likely to leave Confluence. Happy to explain my concerns, though knowing Atlassian i doubt it will achieve much. I told the product team 18 months ago in a survery this is killing us.

Like David Griffin likes this
Owen Wallis Atlassian Team May 27, 2021

Hi @Peter Natale happy to chat. You can find a time with me here: https://calendly.com/owallis

In the meantime if you paste an Office link into Atlassian it will create a Smartlink to the file. So you can collaborate on said files inside Confluence.

This Marketplace app also has good support for Office files: https://marketplace.atlassian.com/apps/1216862/team-files-office-365-google-docs?hosting=cloud&tab=overview

The Team Files: Office 365 & Google Docs add-on is great if your files are stored somewhere else like SharePoint or Google Docs.  However.... if the files ARE attachments to a Confluence page, that doesn't help.  We have several teams who will be migrating content from SharePoint, and I suspect many will want to keep many Office documents as Office documents and set them as attachments to a page.  I hope the changes to how attachments are handled in Confluence Cloud does happen soon.  Otherwise, I may have a lot of staff not very happy with this aspect of Confluence.  While the product is excellent at being a Wiki, it does need to be more robust in the area of file management.

Owen Wallis Atlassian Team Sep 29, 2021

Hi @Janet Dixon thanks for the comment. I'd love to chat more about the needs of your team. Feel free to find a time with me here https://calendly.com/owallis

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