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Confluence Cloud - Export to PDF - formatting is terrible

I needed to publish some Confluence pages and it seems that it's not really designed for print (PDF) publishing because the formatting is a mess.

- The TOC is poorly formatted with the first two lines appearing centered on page and an additional bullet overlayed within the text of one line of the TOC.

TOC in confluence.PNG

- Broken images, such as an embedded Draw.io diagram.

- In one section, I inserted a three column page layout and three columns were converted into a single column.

- Panels and Tip/Notes macro boxes are not aligned to the left or right margins. 

- Icons in the Tip/Notes macro boxes are missing. Just the box appears.

- Additional embedded icons were rendered in low resolution. 


How about Word Export?

Next, I tried a Word export. Although it was marginally better, it had it's own problems, such as:

- Beginning with the top... the output includes the Livesearch macro, which is useless in print. Is there a way to publish without certain macros like Livesearch? The Livesearch macro doesn't appear in the PDF export.

- The TOC looks good.

- Embedded Draw.io diagram is still a broken image.

- There is a perplexing letter "T" in between two paragraphs that doesn't appear in the PDF or the source Confluence! ???

- The Panel macro borders do not appear in the Word output.

- The other icon images appear with better resolution than the PDF export.

- The three column section is still rendered as a single column.

- Why is the Export in the older Word format? Docx format has been available longer than Confluence.

Thanks for your advice.


I don't have access to stylesheets but is it even possible to customize the layout?

6 answers

This is still horrible. It just randomly throws parts of the page anywhere on the exported pdf page. Useless and frustrating.

I can make beautiful Confluence Pages using Sections and Columns, and I can print a single page using my webbrowser to keep all this layout.

But when exporting from Confluence itself, all layout goes out the window.

Pages are now single column affairs, images don't align right.

I'm almost tempted to go back to DokuWiki...

I have the same usability problem in 2022. We are using Jira for software development and was going to use Confluence for documentation. We ended up switching back to google drive.

After I created a very basic text document with screenshots, the only option I had was to export it because I cannot share the doc unless the email has an account. Only a small number of users in the company have an account, and I don't want to create 50 accounts just to be able to share a document. A problem I do not have in drive.

When I exported the document, surprisingly it looked worse than print screen. The text in the whole document is normal with no headings or special formatting. The text became very small and barely readable. The images which looked fine in Confluence are much larger than they were before. It almost seems like the exporter intentionally screwed up the look and feel.

Due to having no possible way to share or reliably export, we went back. Google drive exports just fine as expected. Creating a public link that anyone with the link can access is not a valid solution. Much happier with google drive because it is significantly easier to use, is bug free, and has more features, like an automatic table of contents.

I know this is old but it still seems to be a problem.

PDFs look awful, and Word documents look awful in a different way. 

You think that the layout you have on the page will also be exported to PDF.
Currently, the situation is that we need to create the same thing from the beginning in word.

I use the cloud version

Is this Confluence Server or Cloud? If Server, which version are you using?

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