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Confluence Document Editor - will they ever fix it or will it always be the worst?

Confluence document editor has to be the worse experience I have ever had editing a document. To mention a couple of issues:

  • Random amount of space between paragraphs - not correctable
  • If image is left aligned the text goes next to it, even if corrected in the editor it just goes back to how it was when you publish
  • Changing Formatting on one bit of text will affect the whole document
  • Headers seem to just turn back to paragraphs on their own
  • Paragraphs turn to headers on their own

Basically if you want a document to be formatted in a certain way then confluence is not the tool to use. I would go as far to say that its unusable for document editing.

After looking into this its a common issue thats been reported multiple times... Atlassian don't seem to care as they are not doing anything about it and actually advise to link to gists instead of using their editor.. why pay for confluence then? lazy devs I guess!

Anyone else had a bad experience with the document editor?


Bill Bailey Community Leader Sep 23, 2018

It REALLY sounds like something is wrong in your instance.  It has always been very stable from my experience. But you have to understand that this is not a full featured editor (derived from TinyMCE). It also has to use HTML which places a lot of constraints on presentation.

I have been a long term fan of FrameMaker (the gold standard for documentation), but I fully support using Confluence for documentation because of the collaboration, then creating user macros, and custom CSS to get the look and features I need.

I am working for a long time with Confluence and yes there were ups-and-downs using the editor (still remember the wiki-markup days)...

However I agree with Bill that as of today the Confluence editor provides a great experience and is working awesome for documentation. 

Of course it always depends - if you are looking for an Excel like table experience it won't work.

The only thing you have to be aware is copying formatted content from somewhere else will introduce some html tags you won't see in the editor but will affect it.

Best, Tobias

Bill Bailey Community Leader Sep 25, 2018

To add to Tobias' statement -- because of the issue of users pasting in HTML into documents (div and span tags being the bigger offenders), I strongly recommend that admins (or those responsible for documentation) install the source editor plug in. It has saved me many times, especially with its RegEx search capabilities.

The only time I have seen things like that is when a document has been created by being imported from a Word document. There is often weird stuff brought into it behind the scenes that rears its ugly head when you backspace or try to clear blank lines. If you are experiencing issues like that my hunch would be that it was imported from Word. Typically when I do for stuff that needs to come from word is either use the Word macro to render the document out to a page or first copy and paste into a text editor that doesn't do any rich formatting. Then I copy and paste into Confluence and reformat it.

Bill Bailey Community Leader Sep 26, 2018

This is why I am a huge advocate for the confluence-source-editor. It allows me to clear out the span and div tags using RegEx in an imported document, saving a lot of reformat work. It also allows me to get rid of the spasmodic double spaces after periods. ;-)

Am right there with you @Nadger119 - cut and paste issues are the bane of my existence. And call me provincial but as lovely as a plugin source editor might be, it feels a bit tricksy to have to install an external tool to fix something going wrong in the built-in editor.


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