Disabling PDF and Word export

Raymond Wan January 11, 2023


Dear all,

I'm an administration of our organisation's Confluence on the cloud and I have a question.  It seems that under "Settings | Space Permissions", I can create a group that is unable to export a Space.

However,  I was wondering if it is possible to prevent certain users (i.e., in a group that isn't the administrator's group) from performing an export of a single page?  So, let's say, on each page, "... | Export" is completely removed.  Ideally, it would also be good if we could also prevent them from perform a "print" (i.e., print to file, etc.), but I guess that would be difficult since if you can see a page with a browser, you most likely can print it.

I did find this page which explains how to "disable PDF export", but it seems relevant to just the server and data centre platforms.  Indeed, when I tried these steps and went to "Settings | Manage apps | Confluence PDF Export", no "Disable" button was there.

Any suggestions or advice would be appreciated!  Thank you!


PS:  I see from this question from 4 years ago that someone else had the same question and there wasn't a solution then.  Just wondering if things have changed and/or if there's an app I can install that could do this.


3 answers

1 vote
Raymond Wan January 11, 2023


Hi @Max Foerster - K15t ,

Hmmmm, that's a reasonable question and certainly one I was thinking of as I was asking that question.

I think I don't necessarily see Confluence as a Wikipedia-style wiki which is open to all to read.  Instead, I see it as a wiki but for an organisation or company.  And, like any organisation or company, there might be information that you want shared among the team, but there might be reasons to limit it, or at least make it "cumbersome".

For example if it's an old-school type of "binder of documents", one might want to prevent it from being taken out of the workplace and/or photocopied.  So, maybe it would be in some kind of "Reading Room" with a "Not to be removed" stamp on it.  And just by being hundreds of pages might discourage people from photocopying.

Of course, at the end of the day, if someone really wants to take a copy of this binder, there's nothing that can be done.  They could even just rip the page out...something I've sadly seen in public libraries...

Returning to your comment about my question...I see your point about "internal communication and training".  But sometimes it's good to not rely on it entirely and have a mix of "internal communication and training", courtesy from readers (by obeying the "Not to be removed stamp"), and some technology to back it up.  A wiki like Confluence complicates the situation over a "binder of documents" considerably since the thick binder alone was discouraging already; but being electronic means that it can easily be done.

Similarly, restricting exporting alone is already helpful if screenshots and/or printing to PDF creates a document that is a mess (i.e., due to HTML frames, etc.).  So, making it look ugly / difficult to look at is a somewhat form of discouragement (again, coupled with training).  I mean, "better than nothing".

Not sure if I've answered your question?  I think in terms of our use case, I think I'm coming from the direction of "binder of company documents / manuals" in a "Reading Room".  As someone on the receiving end of such instructions (many years ago), I certainly never thought that my employer didn't trust me.  On the contrary...they hired me because they trusted me.  But...it was company IP and I had to use it within some limitations.


1 vote
Max Foerster - K15t
Community Leader
Community Leader
Community Leaders are connectors, ambassadors, and mentors. On the online community, they serve as thought leaders, product experts, and moderators.
January 11, 2023

Hi @Raymond Wan

I'm not aware of any way to achieve this. Maybe others are. But I would like to ask the general question, why are you trying to keep people from printing and exporting the Confluence contents?

I don't understand the general idea behind it. You would also like to disable the printing option of the browser/operating system. Would you also want to keep users from copying and pasting content to a text editor or making screenshots? I only ask these questions to show you the difficulty of implementing this topic and, at the same time to say that I think it is fundamentally wrong to consider such measures instead of internal communication and training. Who needs access to that pages while not being trusted enough not to print them? :) Maybe there's a way to solve this with a different approach if you care to explain your use case.

Best, Max 

Richard Cross March 26, 2024

In high security industries (such as finance, military), this helps prevent data leaks (e.g. exporting the data as PDF, and then emailing it out of the organisation).

In such industries, you cannot rely solely on training (or firing miscreants, after the fact).

It's very typical to implement belt & braces measures, implementing whatever restrictions you can at each stage.


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0 votes
Ashwini Rattihalli
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
January 2, 2024

We have released a feature to prevent data export for all users based on policies configured by organization administrators. See more details in Prevent data export

While it does not support data export only by admins, you can use it based on your company's needs. 


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