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How can I make a change to a template and apply to all pages using this template?

I've created a custom global template for business requirements. If I use this template through out a space and decide changes are needed to the template format, by making these changes to the global template, will it then apply them to all the existing pages throughout a space (hundreds) already using this template? Or would I need to edit each page separately?

Or is there a way to reassign the existing pages to a different global template? If so, I could create a new template and reassign each existing page to the new template to apply the changes.

Any creative solutions would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

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You don't, that is not what templates are for.

A template is a shape you use when you initially create a new object.  The object takes on the shape of the template and then you use it as is, or change it to suit things. 

Changing a template can't have any effect on the objects created using it retrospectively.  They're not frameworks or layouts, they are, well, templates.  

Templates are used only during initial creation.  If you think about it, you couldn't do retrospective changes anyway - what would you do with an object that is no longer the same shape as the template? (As, in fact, every single page will be).  How would you know how to change it to re-fit the template?

There are no "creative solutions" here.  If you want to change something you've used across a load of pages, you'll have to edit the pages.

Thank you for the feedback!

So, if that's not how templates work in Atlassian, is there some other kind of formatting framework or layout that can be used instead? I'm a newbie to Atlassian, and am really puzzled. Every content management or just plain word processing system I've ever used  in the past 40 years has SOMETHING along those lines, where you can set up a format "scheme", then apply it to existing pages, and where changes to the basic scheme get automatically applied to all pages that use that scheme. Maybe I'm just looking under the wrong terminology?

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That's not how templates work in the real world, it's not just Atlassian that does it this way.  They have got this one right - a template in Atlassian stuff behaves as the dictionary definition of a template - it gives you a shape for creating a new thing and lets you do what you want thereafter.   It's for the new thing now, not telling you how objects might change later.

None of your content management or word processing systems have anything doing this differently to Confluence's templates.  Most of them probably have templates themselves.

I think the problem is that you're mixing up "template" with "the visible framework".  You say "format scheme" - a template gives you a suggestion of content, the "format scheme" is how you configure your Confluence space to display.

If you want to represent a load of different pages in a different format, forget the (page creation) templates and look at the space's layout and themes.

I agree that is how templates work. The question is a relevant one though; how could one separate the content from the presentation layer, in such a way that "errors" of deleted, changed, merged sections etc. would generate an overview where you then decide whether to keep or drop the information.

This would for instance be especially useful if you have a page properties table in a template, and you have already generated hundreds of pages based on that. If you then decide to add/change the table, and reapply it to the pages which were based on the previous version of the template, you 'd have the option to insert/delete/update the page properties table on hundreds of pages all at once, optionally with an overview or a decision page for conflicts.

At first glance this sounds like a simple functionality, and a useful one, but not a very straighforward one to develop with a variety of use cases and scenarios in mind.

That has to be a case for looking for a "search and replace" function, not a template or theme thing.

Or, better, you should have had your people create pages that use a single included page rather than copying common data.

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