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Key phrase definitions displayed inline


I use Confluence to write business requirements and specifications and I normally have to include a table to define the meaning of repeated phrases within the document like user group names, system names, acronyms, etc.

I wanted to find out whether a feature exists in Confluence (or whether there should be) the ability to mark a repeated reference with a hash or an anchor so that it relates to a terminology definition table either within the same page or on it's own page somewhere in Confluence and displays the description/meaning of the term being referred to in an inline way like a pop-up when you hover or click on the term being used.

The value of this to me is context and consistency of use of business terms without having to re-write terminology in every page you write and as a reader, you don't need to jump between what you're reading and a glossary of terms.

Thanks, Matt

1 comment

Daniel Eads
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Jan 08, 2020

Hey Matt, welcome to the Community!

The first thing that comes to mind here is the Excerpt macro that's built into Confluence. By wrapping content in an Excerpt macro (on a "definitions" page as an example), you can use the Excerpt Include macro on another page to quickly bring that content onto additional pages without having to copy it. The original page is where the definitions are stored, so any updates you make are propagated across to any pages using the Excerpt Include macro. That's how I'd handle this "out of the box" in Confluence.

There are however a couple apps in the Marketplace that look very promising as solutions for this specific use-case:

Have a look and see if those apps are going to work for your situation. I'm also excited to see if anyone in the Community has built this out on their own Confluence site!

Daniel | Atlassian Support

Like matt.lightbourn likes this

Thanks for that Daniel, both of those add-ons to Confluence look like they do exactly what I am talking about. the first one seems more advanced but both do enough in my opinion.

How does Atlassian deal with roadmap items to features that are missing in the core product offering which are met by 3rd party add-ons? It must be quite tricky to rollout features in the core platform when you know that a product in the market filled the gap in the meantime.

Thanks, Matt

Earl McCutcheon
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Jan 17, 2020

Hi @matt.lightbourn ,

I can step in for Daniel, for the follow up question.

Overall The atlassian suite of products will have a broad set of features but offer third parties the ability to customize the application via add-ons to specialize the application for specific use cases not met by native toolsets. 

When it coms to conflicting feature sets between add-ons and native functionality we weigh in on a lot of factors including wether or not a vendor has a solution as well as the benefits provided by making a similar feature based on overall demand and customer feedback, and we cover this in more detail in the "Implementation of New Features Policy" under the section “How we choose what to implement”

But to go into even more detail the full Vendor Agreement can be viewed at the link below, and section 15 and 16 go into detail about intellectual property and particularly section 15.1 that summarizes and touches on the point that sometimes conflicts will occur across feature sets natively avaliable in the atlassian suite of products as well as with other vendors toolsets:

15.1. You understand and agree that Atlassian develops its own products and services and works with many other vendors and developers, and either Atlassian or these third parties could in the future develop (or already have developed) products similar to yours.


Like # people like this

thanks for the response, that makes sense.

I see there is another ticket ( out there which is suggesting a hashtag capability for Confluence, I am hoping this gets some traction as it helps with my problematic glossary issue but doesn't specifically create a glossary of terms like the two suggested plugins do. Its basically in page labels or tags which allow you to select from options or create new global option for use in all documentation. Thanks


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