Confluence On-Demand Drop Down Ability

Hi there,

With the latest release of "blue prints" we see a lot of applications for them within our knowledge base. We use confluence as a shared resource amongst our team. We are trying to use it to have it contain detailed structured information about client contracts and such. Is it possible to create drop down fields with pre-configured ansers? An example would be that I am creating a page based on a template and want to have a field where the user can only select "yes" or "no" and cannot type anything else in. Is this possible in an ondemand hosted confluence site? If so please let me know how!


6 answers

3 votes
Marian Finch Atlassian Team Apr 25, 2013

Hey Benji,

That is absolutely possible. When creating a new space or global template you have the ability to insert a new variable and then select the variable type.

To demonstrate, I will walk you through adding a template for a space and then adding a new list variable to that template in Confluence OnDemand:

1. Go to the space of choice and choose Space Tools on the sidebar (left hand side)

2. Choose Content Tools > Templates

3. Choose Create New Template

4. Choose Template > New Variable.

5. You will see $ auto populate > type in something like Approval, which will be the name of the new list variable > next hit enter on the keyboard > your variable should now look like the below image

6. Click on $approval and a set of variable types will appear with three options available Text, Multi-line and List. You will want to select the variable type of List.

8. In the text box located under the variable types you will want to type in no, yes > next hit enter on the keyboard > select Save

To test that your template settings have been saved do the following:

1. Select Create and select the new template you just created > Select Create again

2. You will see your new list variable with the drop down options of yes and no > the user will select one of the drop down options and hit Next >>

3. The page will then be created with the option the user selected from the variable type list

The above information is also listed in our Confluence OnDemand documentation on Adding a Template. The doc has a lot of information and can sometimes be confusing so I wanted to pinpoint the exact steps the you need to create your variable type list :)

Bam!! Hope that helps!!


Marian Finch || Product Advocate

This is not working for me following your steps. Is there a known issue with OnDemand using the list type of variable? When I try to create a document from the template, I am not given a drop down box, but rather just a text box.



This is working perfectly, many thanks Marian.

Worked perfect for me - thanks

Is there any reason this doesn't work for existing blueprint templates (specifically Decision template)?

Hi Allan, 

creating a variable in an existing blueprint can be a little bit tricky. 

For me it worked best not to use Template > New Variable but working with this Hint given in documentation.

Hint: Type $ and the variable name, then press Enter to add a new variable or to select an existing variable from a list of suggestions. The suggestions dialog shows variables already defined in this template.

Works fine for me.

There is also a problem using Chrome: 
There's a known issue adding variables to templates in Chrome. SeeCONFSERVER-35911 OPEN . You'll need to use a different browser for this step.

Hope this helps!

I'm also trying to achieve the behaviour of giving a template user a drop down list. The approach given by Marian works in that it adds a drop down list to a template. However, when the users select the template they are first presented with a Page Template Wizard. They can not edit the page at this point and are restricted to selecting the list item in the drop down list. They click the Next button and the page is created and may now be edited. But, the drop down is gone and only the selected list item remains. This is not particularly useful behaviour as it prevents the users from selecting the drop down list item at the page editing stage.

Did you find a way to do this? I am trying to do the same thing.

Many thanks.

Hi Rob, I encountered the same problem as you did in 2014. Did you manage to find a solution to solve this issue?

Please share, if you do.

Thank you.

By the way, I'm on CONFLUENCE CLOUD platform.

Hi 丘麗娟 and Andrea,

Sorry, I did not find any acceptable solution.


Hi Rob,

Thank you for your feedback. 

You need not apologize. 

I do feel that CONFLUENCE owes us a solution though ^00^

Same here. Any update? Is this a bug or this is how its intended to function?

I'm having the same problem.

I can also create the template with the drop down list. The problem is when people create a page with the template, they first get the correct wizzard to select a item in the variable list. But when clicking the next button the selection is disregarded and the list only showes the first item from the list.... is this a specific bug of a version or has anyone else got this problem?

Your post describes the same behaviour as in my earlier post. It's the same thing. I don't think it's a bug. Rather it is an implementation specific feature. Not what we were wishing for though!

The problem is that in your explination the selected list item remains... in my situation the selected list item is discarted and the first list item is automaticly selected (and the dorp down is indeed gone). So the drop down has no function at all..

What version are you using, the functionality of your drop down is the one I am after....

Ah, ok then it's a different issue. My apologies.

My version is reported as: Confluence 5.4-OD-20-005

No problem!

So this might be a bug in the older version that we are using: 5.2.3 build 4394

I'll talk to the system engineer and ask if a update is possible....

This is not working for me following your steps. Is there a known issue with OnDemand using the list type of variable? When I try to create a document from the template, I am not given a drop down box, but rather just a text box.



0 votes
Marian Finch Atlassian Team May 17, 2013

Hey Nicole,

I just tested this in a new Confluence OnDemand instance following the steps outlined above and was able to achive the desired results. You may want to consider filing a support request at For security purposes only our OnDemand Support Engineers have access to your instance to further assist you in troubleshooting this issue.


Once we are using the List, we are getting "-1" at the end of the list. This keeps and growing as and when this Template is being used. Can you help?

What really puzzled me is the way CONFLUENCE deals with user variable list !Why does it have to pop up a "Fill in Template Variable" page ? Why doesn't it just allow user to just pick an item from the user variable list in the edit mode?

This appears to be a half-cooked drop down list solution provided in a hazzy manner!

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