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Creating a folder?

How does one create a folder in Confluece?

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Folders you say? Well, look no further! Confluence makes it easy to leverage this most basic feature of computing that has been in existence since before the assembly language in ONLY 5-7 easy steps!

1. make sure your pages are in the hierarchy you want them:

1a. Navigate into the space you want to act as a file system and select the menu



1c. Click and drag these into the structure you want:




2.  Use the instructions in the link below to add child-lists to your "Folder" documents so that you can view their child-"contents" with one click:

...and TA DA, just like that the MIND BENDING power of folders is yours to harness and direct at your most complex tasks thanks to forward-thinking at Confluence!

That's not "folders", it's just one way of using the natural structures within Confluence.  The nature of Confluence data tends to make folders a redundant concept, but you can mimic them if you want.  It's not that useful in Confluence, but it doesn't stop you.

Like Stefan Daut likes this

"The Nature of Confluence data tends to make folders a redundant concept" 

Could you please expand on that? I would love to know how this post-folder world works and leverage its powers of efficiency.

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Folders work for structured classifications like file systems.  Confluence is a wiki, not a file system.  It's not like sharepoint where documents go to die, it's supposed to be a living collaborative space where the structure is more usefully classified by content than location. 

I was wondering what the format was. I've used wiki's before and I didn't even realize that's what this was (Only been using confluence for a week.)

However, as we may think the kool-aid is the best drink we ever tasted and evangelize on anyone who wishes for a sip of water - I'd like to put forth that, in a situation in which someone is specifically asking for water, that giving them a cup is probably the best idea.

Take my case for example, I DO just want some documents to die, but, I would also like them to be in existence, accessible, and within the same silo as my other documentation in case of the worst. I am just a nice guy like that. Hence, the need for a folder every now and then.

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Anytime some open source software doesn't do something, the true believers turn that from a bug into a feature.  

Re: 1. make sure your pages are in the hierarchy you want them:

But they're not.  How do I create a new entry in the hierarchy? 

And what is "hierarchy" here?  A hierarchy of "spaces"?

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Ah, you create a new space, then click on ... in the upper right, the "move".   Hmm, but I can't seem to move the new space to under my Confluence home page.    I think I'll just use Notepad.

I don't think you've grasped what the software does.

There is a hierarchy, which makes "folders" redundant (at best, a primitive way of thinking).  Go to a page anywhere (let's call it page A), hit "create page", put something in it and save it as Page B.  You now have page B in the hierarchy under Page A.  You can move it within the space in the space's tree under tools, or move it and give it a new page, or even space.

Like Jeffrey Leupp likes this

Re:  I don't think you've grasped what the software does.

I've used a lot of software over many years.  In design reviews, when developers blame the users, experienced managers will usually ask if the UI could be made more intuitive.

Re: create new page B under existing page A

Ah, so I need to create a dummy page to hold subpages, because there's no concept of a directory entry.   Got it. 

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Correct, because you don't need one.

Most people grasp that intuitively when introduced to Confluence.  It's not a developer blaming the user, it's another user pointing out that you've misunderstood something.

"There is a hierarchy, which makes "folders" redundant (at best, a primitive way of thinking)."

Only in the mind of an Atlassian developer would a blank confluence page be a reasonable substitute for a simple folder to better organize content.  If you genuinely can't picture why a user would "need" a folder, you lack imagination.

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Boy, I couldn't agree more. I spend some quality time looking for a way to start a "container" of pages.

It is beyond ridiculous that the evangelists in this thread would say that I should "intuit" that my 2 dimensional "sheet of paper" (page) will magically gain another dimension and become a "box of paper" when I click CREATE.

What garbage thinking is this. The mere fact of this thread should be informative to the designers that there is a problem.

<sigh> So you're suggesting that software that does "folders" two different ways is simple?  Really?

I am sure I was too heavy handed with my remark. It came after trying to figure out how to do something in Confluence that I and others have been doing for decades readily in other tools.

I am not suggesting that the software should do folders two different ways. I am suggesting that -

If a number of people repeatedly have a problem with how something is done with an app, it is reasonable to think that the app needs to adapt to the people as much as the people need to adapt to the app. It could be anything from hints to doc to whatever that can convey answers and alternatives. App adoption sometimes means the app isn't being used the way its creators and evangelists envisioned.

Like Benjamin Slade likes this

Nah, I'm the heavy-handed one.  I apologise for that.

How would you "fix" it?  Have folders that aren't pages as well as pages that already do the job of a hierarchy?  Throw away pages as containers completely so you have to build a hierarchy separately and then put pages into them independently (you can almost do this already - create "folders" as pages with nothing more than the {children} macro on them)?

Yes, that is what I would suggest they do.

Like Brian Cumberledge likes this

Ok, why?  Why would that be better than what we have now?  How would you suggest your average user decides whether to use a folder or a page hierarchy?

Please, explain the benefits?

Obviously you haven't read this thread in detail, so I'll explain.  Unlike most technologist who believe their solution, although technically correct, is the best solution I'm looking at what the users need to do their job.  My job is not to force an unwanted solution on users because it's "technically" correct but to give them the solution that helps them best to do their job and in turn benefits the company.  I've explained to my employees they are similar to snowplow drivers.  They're job is to clear the road so others can get to where they need to go.  The level of arrogance in this thread demonstrates why the technologist shouldn't make business decisions.  Everyone is asking for folders but Atlassian fights it for what reason?  Because they know how to do my job better than me?  There's enough reasons suggested in this thread to argue for folders but at the end of the day it's only folders and we've wasted too much time already discussing it.

Please don't accuse me of doing what you have done.  Read the thread.  Especially the parts where I ask how folders should be implemented, how they would be different to the existing hierarchy, and, most importantly, how they would be of any use?

Just saying "I want folders" is no good.  You need to explain how you would expect them to work and why that would be useful alongside the existing hierarchy.

And, why the simple "create an empty page with no detail (or a child page macro maybe)" does not make it work the way you want?  (Other than being pretty poor use for the reader)

Wow, once again you prove my point. Your thinking like a technologist and not a business person.  This is a waste of time.  If giving the user a folder saves them time then just do it.  Look how many people have wasted valuable company time researching this issue.  But you don't think in the business sense because it's not your money or time.  I'm done wasting my time with you.


Mark is accurate in his remarks. You are missing our shared point. It is up to you to provide a solution that makes this whole thread unnecessary. It is up to the designer to predict the problems of adoption (like: I am used to folders, where are they??). After "getting it" - just create a page and make it look like a folder - I moved on. But, it should not have take me the time it took to find that solution. The designers job is to predict and prevent these adoption problems. Here's an example - have an item under CREATE that is "Folder" but when someone clicks, create page with something in it that explains that a page can be a folder. I could work on that for a couple of days BUT IT'S NOT MY JOB, IT'S ATLASSIAN'S JOB. Do you get that when a lot of people have difficulty - IT'S NOT THE PEOPLE, IT'S THE APP.

In a way, I want to write "Please don't respond." because we've belabored this to death. Time is precious. Move on.


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I think you're still not understanding, but we'll have to agree to differ.

I'm not a designer, a "technologist" or an Atlassian, just someone who likes simple systems that work. Most people who adopt Confluence do not have a problem with wanting "folders", the hierarchy of pages works fine for what the system is for.

All I've asked for is an explanation of how folders would work and how they would be better than a useful page hierarchy. With nothing of any use coming back, there's not a lot more to say.

I'm glad you worked out how to make low-content pages that give you a folder structure that's already there - I'd recommend that if you create templates for them with that name. (And keep an eye on how much they get used as folders because most people won't)

It is indeed time to move on, as I'm clearly not going to get a useful answer to my questions.

Hi all, great discussion.

I've been using Confluence less than a week. I've already encountered the "why don't we just have folders?" issue.

With reasonable exposure to electronic document and records management systems I've realised (eventually and painfully) that standard electronic folders have limited usefulness, are a massive maintenance overhead and, over time, an enormous barrier to productivity. There are a number of reasons for this. Virtual folders (ie, those dynamically created based on metadata) are much more useful and provide far greater capability.

So my first thought about this in Confluence was, how do I save this search so I can present users with a list of pages that meet certain parameters? There doesn't appear to be a saved search function. Is that correct? Would others see this functionality as desirable?

My second thought was to use the Content by Label macro to produce a list of linked pages on a page. One advantage of this is that the same page can appear in multiple virtual folders (lists), whereas it can only be in one place in the hierarchy solution discussed above.

I've only dabbled with this so far, so I don't know for sure, but it might satisfy my requirement for functionality often ascribed to an electronic folder. Has anyone else used this macro for this purpose?

Might this be a viable solution for other folder-ish applications?

Are there any other similar work-arounds for content presentation in Confluence?

Like Daniel Eads likes this

>"why don't we just have folders?" issue.

Because you already do, they're just called "pages" instead.

Unlike most of the other people in this conversation, who really have no idea how information really works and becomes useful, you have said some things that do make sense.

Just to kill off the main thing - "folders" are useless here.  Everyone here who has claimed "folders" might be helpful has been completely incapable of explaining why they think they might be useful.  This is because "folders" are useless.

You say:

>folders have limited usefulness, are a massive maintenance overhead and, over time, an enormous barrier to productivity.

Yes, yes, yes and thrice more yes.  Folders look like a great thing at first, but as soon as you have more than five of them, you have failed.  It's too complex and you need a better system than folders.

>There are a number of reasons for this. Virtual folders (ie, those dynamically created based on metadata

Virtual "folders" based on metadata are very much the way to go. 

Nic said, "How would you "fix" it?"

As I said in a later discussion:

If the "Create" button mouse-over help had said "Create blank page under the current page", it would have helped me. 

I would also say that if the "Create" (unidentified thing at an unidentified location) button was changed to "Create Subpage" that would have been easier for me to understand.

I think it is clear, by looking at what comments are receiving the "likes", that people are unable to get confluence to work in the way that they want.

Nic denigratingly states that "it's not like sharepoint where documents go to die".  People responded, in effect, yes, that's what I want them to do.  It is called archiving.

Perhaps people inside of Confluence don't want to think of their system as a document archival system, but that is *exactly* what most organizations - including mine - are using it for.

He mentions "it is more like a wiki".  I would first argue that it is not sufficiently like a wiki; I keep trying to use Markdown syntax and failing.  But to the bigger point, I would claim that wikipedia is the mother of all wikis, and it is *absolutely* meant as *both* an archival system *and* a discovery system.

Confluence, it appears, is proactively ignoring a potential utility in their product, simply because of a "copy and paste" mentality that I claim it is mis-representing in the first place: wikis are for archival... and discovery, and education, and...

Just create and empty page with no content. Then add child pages to that page.

Like David Williams likes this

This works until you have to add two folders somewhere with the same name.

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I do not see a button or a menu item "add a child page" on my page.

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Go to the page you want to create a child of.  Click "create".  The default place for the new page is under the page you were looking at.

Like David Williams likes this

Just remembering my initial impression when I first used the "Create" button (create page).  It wasn't clear to me where the new page would go.   

The "Create" button is up with top level items such as Spaces, People, Calendars.  My first impression is that it would create something associated with those top level items.  I didn't want to be the newbie doing stupid things like accidentally creating new Spaces.

Looking at the top of the current page subframe (CSS DOM id=main) , there are actions like Edit, Watch, Share  (in a subsection with CSS DOM id=main-header.navigation).  There is also an anonymous 3-dots pulldown menu (no mouseover description) on the current page with fancier extended actions like:  Page history, Restrictions, etc.   But there's no option to create a subpage.

The mouse-over popup help the the "Create" just says "Create blank page".   It doesn't say where.   

In fact, if you click on the 3 dots next to the Create button, and choose something like "Balsamiq Wireframes" it does create a new page with the wireframes at the point in the page hierarchy above the current page (different behavior from the create page operation)

No big deal once you understand it. 

If the "Create" button mouse-over help had said "Create blank page under the current page", it would have helped me.   If there was a "Create subpage" under the unnamed 3 dots menu (in the current page), that would have helped me.

Like John Naughton likes this

It's interesting, I popped on here because I had the same question - I wanted to create a very simple taxonomy (just a clear separation of a couple of subject areas) so the lists of content didn't overwhelm. I was failing to find structuring mechanism beyond adding a placeholder page (I was hoping for something I could select that would show all the contained pages in the main view - perhaps even along with a short description - without manually creating that.

So, I found the make a blank page, add a sub-page. Fair enough, it works - could be improved (esp. regarding discovery) but it is what it is.

The bizarre thing (and this is my first post) is the aggressive and unhelpful nature of the 'Community Champion' commentators. This was a genuine surprise! Let's get one thing perfectly straight - users are not 'wrong' if they are unable to discover how to do something - the solution is incorrect (this might just mean not fit for what that person is trying to do, but it's certainly not a 'this software is perfect, go learn how to use it' moment).

Anyway, back to the solution...

Make a blank page, move the sub-page under that. Cool.

(and be careful about naming - there are some strange restrictions on duplicates if I recall).

Stay happy :)

great- how do you move a document in progress (*unpublished) into a new space that you are creating under a space for expressly that purpose- and more importantly, if you have a existing hierarchy of say 100 documents with images and cross references that you need to format into confluence for easy reference, that are all linked by an existing taxonnomy, how do I get them into a linked "spaces" setup exactly reflecting this existing structure? 

Also, could someone point to useful (therefore not Atlassian) documentation on how to create "spaces" that do not have anything in them for use in confluence ? And documentation on how to move things around in Confluence? All Atlassian documentation seems to reference multiple ways to do things none of which are related to actual solutions.  

I'd rather not have to go create 100 dummy spaces, then 100 dummy pages, then fill each out, then copy paste dozens of times and reformat, then move each around.. hours of work and copy paste- ? I think I'll just move it to a file share and point to it rather than try to use this? 

Well put, Rick.

You don't create a folder in Confluence because that is not how Confluence works. You create spaces and pages inside spaces. Or did I misunderstand the question?

And you create subpages under pages.

2c - i also came here after wasting tons of time trying to figure out where "create folder" went. if a "page" actually means a space that can contain a page or a folder than we probably need a name for that thing which captures both concepts. Bottom line - I am a user wanting to create a folder to put stuff and I see this: next move is to start googling how to create a folder, and landing at this thread. Having to select blank page violates the principle of least surprise.

(Tangent: please provide a markdown alternative to wysiwyg)

So, Is there a way to create a folder underneath another. I have 00's of reports to add and I don't want them obscuring other attachments in the folder above - simple use case.  But Confluence does not seem to be very intuitive, as can be seen by this thread.

PS: The structure at the top certainly looks like a folder structure, no matter what you want to call it. I need to add one, not move one though.


Dazed and Confused

Like Paul Dymecki likes this

No, there is no such thing as a "folder" in Confluence.

To split up your content in the tree, put it on the pages.

That's semantics. They don't call them folders, but pages can have a 'folder like' structure (see very first post) and you can use them like folders.  So, for all intents and purposes they act like folders, but more flexible.  We will call them pages form now on so you can get over that point. 


My Q. still stands as per this thread.

How to I create one and assign it as a child?

what menu option, where?

It's ok, someone else has shown me.

BTW, Confluence does have folders - check this out - looks like a folder to me . . . . 

Even has a folder icon, but I must be wrong . . .confluence.png 



It is not a folder.  It's a page, just like any other.  The icon with a folder on it is an indicator that the template it is showing is something to do with files.  In fact, it's a page that the template will put a "file attachment display" macro on for you.

It remains simply a page, not a folder.

Are there seriously no folders in Confluence, 7 years later? I spent forever trying to figure out how to make one, before accidentally creating a page as a child of an existing page.

This is such a simple, necessary feature... why are we arguing about it?

A child page is not a good substitute for a simple folder. I don't want to have to create and edit pages, even with a "list of children" template/macro, just to organize things into groups =/

How is this controversial?? I don't understand why there is an active hatred of folders. If they're there, it would help those of us with coworkers who demand folders. If you don't use them, then don't use them, but why prevent their addition to the software? It's a business requirement for a lot of people, and there's exactly zero chance of convincing them that some of sort post-folder metadata utopia is the way to go. They don't want to waste brainpower dreaming of the next best thing since folders, they just want... folders. Sigh.

Edit: The Gmail "labels" implementation is a good hybrid of tagging + folders, with a nested hierarchy and without the need to maintain a separate "list of children" template. It's a "browsers vs searchers" thing: different users organize information differently in their minds. As the documentation writer, I don't get to dictate how they think, only how I organize the information so they are able to find what they need. Telling them "Confluence doesn't have folders because folders aren't the right way to organize information in a wiki" doesn't result in a moment of enlightenment and sudden appreciation for this futuristic way of working. It results in "Ok, guess we'll find another platform that does." Even Wikipedia has the Categories feature.

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Yes, love the "<sigh>" - we are better than you attitude . . . . (credibility lost)

Guess what, you really are not.  There are a lot of things that can be improved in JIRA and Confluence e.g. navigations - where are all my disparate pages that the team can't find unless they have the link? and of course, folders to use as a repository.  It is also no intuitive as I wished it would be - try doing some basics, then you end up asking experienced users how to do things . . .

Can't wait until someone develops the SharePoint/JIRA/Confluence hybrid app so it can be all things to ALL people.

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Deleted user Apr 12, 2019

your space is the folder that holds all documents added to confluence.

Perhaps you're referring to create groups for such users. Can you polease clarify about create a folder in Confluence?

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