What are best practices for exporting product documentation from Confluence to HTML

Alan McClellan August 28, 2018

I am working on a new project where the product documentation is in a Confluence wiki. There is now a requirement to export that documentation to HTML so that it can be bundled and installed with the product and accessed directly (and locally) from the GUI application. I’ve read through the forums and seen where people have done similar things, but I’m wondering if I could get a consolidated set of advice / best practices here.

I think we have the following requirements. The solution must:

  • Provide both graphical and programmatic access so that either a user can manually do the export or an automated process can programmatically start the HTML export.
  • Provide the ability to select a subset of content for export from entire space.
  • Enable visual customization of the HTML output with company / product branding.
  • Ideally, provide a collapsible TOC (e.g., left-pane tree nav).
  • Ideally, include a Search capability over the HTML content.

Note, I’ve experimented with the Confluence HTML export, which I think could work for our needs with some custom CSS / development. However, I also see some add-ons and plug-ins (e.g., Custom Exporter and/or Auto-exporter for Confluence) that look promising. Any inputs on use of these or other tools would be appreciated. We are a small team, so we’ll need to weigh the costs/benefits of internal development and support vs. an off-the-shelf solution.

Thanks in advance.

1 comment

Tobias Anstett _K15t_
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September 25, 2018

Hi Alan,

Have you also had a look at the Marketplace app "Scroll HTML Exporter"?

As vendor of the product these answers always sound like marketing... however the product allows you to implement all of your requirements.

  • both UI and REST interface are available
  • supports different page selection strategies (set of pages to be exported)
  • custom themes can be uploaded (just fork ours and extend)
  • tree navigation supported
  • JS based search index included

Beside that it offers much more e.g. the theme you can fork is also optimized for mobile devices...


Best, Tobias


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