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Importing a Word doc to create multiple pages: A light-bulb moment

Good day to all!

I'm in the middle of re-designing a glossary that was one of my first projects when I started with my current employer, nearly a year ago. I've decided to implement something mentioned more than once here:

That would be: Having one term per page, and using the Content by Label macro on the index page. These pages will all have the same structure, more or less.

The flies in the ointment

The existing glossary is all terms on one page, and I have no ability to create user macros.

What I needed was to combine creating pages based on a Word doc and creating a page based on a template. As far as I can tell, this isn't possible. Nor is it possible to create multiple identical pages from a template.

The epiphany

I had only ever used the Word multi-page method to create blank new pages. The source document only had headings. What if there's non-heading text in between the headings?

Eureka! I can do a great big copy, massage things in Word, then use that as a source document.

There'll be work to do, but at least that won't be creating a large number of pages one at a time, or copy pieces of the one-pager to distinct pages over and over.


All my best,
Pat O'Connell
Technical Writer
MindGeek Montreal


So... I have now realized that this is not really workable. You have to mass-copy in fits and starts, skipping the images or you get really weird editing behaviour in Word.

And apart from the images, you lose anchors (they come in as images), links, Expand lose a fair bit of Confluence-specific stuff.

Which would be a lot of work, to put back.

So it's gonna be a bare-bones Word file to generate the pages, then copy from the All-Page to individual pages, times 79.

Pat O'Connell

And... I forgot about page-title collisions within the same space. We do not have a workspace that's just about a glossary, and I'm beginning to think I should petition for one.


Pat O'Connell
Technical Writer
MindGeek Montreal

Matt Reiner _K15t_ Marketplace Partner Oct 15, 2019

Woah, you have superpowers @Patrick O_Connell

I had no idea you could import Word docs like this. It'll be really handy for me, because I'm planning to write a guide on importing Word docs into Confluence and put it up here:

Unfortunately, I don't have much to add here, but I wanted to also point you to the #confluence channel on the Write the Docs Slack. Folks on there are super helpful, and may have some other experiences.

As far as the page titles issues goes, my team makes the Scroll Versions app which handles duplicate page titles, but your solution of using another space would work as well, unless you're looking for some of the other features in Scroll Versions, like space versioning and conditional content.

Thanks for sharing!

Like Michelle Rau likes this

Hi @Matt Reiner _K15t_ , did you yet write a guide to importing Word docs into Confluence? I started writing one after I discovered the process. 

And yes, I have observed the problem of duplicate/overwriting page titles! Scary!

Matt Reiner _K15t_ Marketplace Partner Apr 20, 2020

Sadly, I got distracted. :( I'm interested to hear about the quirks you've found. I'm sure there are plenty.

Quite a few, yes. I'm sure some of these are actual bugs, others are just quirks. Things like omitting text after the first heading; image size limits; strange interpretations of code blocks including pipe characters, curly braces and other characters common to wiki markup; overwriting existing pages. 

I may wait until after our next upgrade to write up an article, to see if the behaviors persist.


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