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How do I edit instructional text in the new editor?

It appears that once instructional text is added to a template, it cannot be edited. The only workaround I have found is to delete it and start again. Has anyone else come across this?

We have a long form template we use for teams to create a PMP and each section has a long piece of instructional text as an intro... Not being able to edit it as we could in the old editor is taking up massive amounts of wasted time. 

Is there something I am missing? It seems this must be possible!

2 answers


For what it's worth... Whilst waiting that this is fixed, you can go in the Web Browser code inspector to modify the text in the placeholder (Right-click + "Inspect" on Chrome, look for the text and correct the html code :) 



Works for me this one!

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Thanks Marie-Claude.  I'll give this a try next time.

Like Marie-Claude FRASSON likes this

I was excited to see this workaround, but I've tried it several different ways and each time I hit Save on the template, the changes are not kept. :(

1 vote
Shannon S Atlassian Team Feb 26, 2020

Hello Laura,

Thank you for bringing this to us.

The Placeholder Text in the new editor (formerly Instructional Text) cannot be edited at this time but there is a request to improve this below:

  • CONFCLOUD-67333 Placeholder text on templates created with the new editor cannot be selected nor edited

By clicking Vote for this issue it will allow us to properly prioritize this request in the future. It will also ensure that you receive updates on the case going forward.

Let me know if you have any questions about that.



I'm not sure why this is considered a feature request... it was something that used to work and now doesn't... surely this is the definition of a bug??? I can't believe how crappy the new editor is... we've lost sooooooo much.  We've lost fully functioning panels, we've lost the ability to add images to templates, we've lost the ability to edit placeholder/instructional text. It goes on and on and on.  Literally I am spending hours of every day trying to find work arounds for functionality I once had that is now missing. 

I voted for it... but seriously... it's getting rediculous.  At this point, I am coming across about 1 (new-to-me) bug a day for things that used to work in the legacy editor and don't now. 

Like # people like this
Shannon S Atlassian Team Feb 27, 2020

Hello Laura,

The former macro, Instructional Text, has been completely rewritten and replaced by the Placeholder Text macro. The Placeholder Text macro lacks the feature to edit, thus having been created as a feature request.

I'm so sorry for the difficulty the new editor has been causing you. If there are any other features that are missing, please check the Confluence Cloud editor roadmap to see which features we hope to re-introduce in the future, and the status on others that are simply missing from the new editor. If a bug ticket or feature request is linked, you can help us to prioritize the most in-demand features by voting on the feature request or clicking This affects my team in the case of a bug.

It's still possible for a number of Confluence Cloud sites to create pages using the legacy editor. If you don't have the option at the moment, you can raise a support ticket so the support team can take a look at your site and help you out with that. If you need my help for anything, please let me know!



While your response outlines what occurred, and why this feature doesn't work anymore, it doesn't give a way to actually edit Instructional text.  

I figured out a hack...  

1. Copy instructional text from one of your pages

2. Paste into word

3. Edit

4. Copy/Past Back into Confluence

What is interesting, is that this only works if I paste it into an existing document.  Doesn't work if I paste into a new document...

Like Laura Bier likes this
Shannon S Atlassian Team Aug 14, 2020

Hi Chris,

Welcome to Atlassian Community, and thank you for the follow-up. 

To confirm, there's currently no way to directly edit Placeholder Text in Confluence on templates that use the new editor. 

Thank you for sharing your workaround for this! Hopefully it will be able to help other people who are in need of editing the Placeholder text in their new templates.

Take care,


Even just being able to highlight and copy to clipboard would be a semi-reasonable workaround but that does not work.

I suspect the underlying ProseMirror collaborative editor javascript library has 'selections' somehow disabled for placeholders even in template edit-mode, thus a normal triple-click to highlight (and a chrome extension to auto-copy to clipboard) does not work.

With some chrome devtools work and bookmarklet encoding I can at least enable copy-to-clipboard with a doubleclick using code like this (only tested in chrome)

if ("span[data-placeholder]") ){

As a bookmarklet, it looks like this:
Confluence Placeholder Dblclick to Clipboard 

Clicking the bookmarklet once on a confluence page with placeholder text, simply doubleclick the placeholder text to have it copied to your clipboard.  You'll have to re-invoke the `/placeholder` macro dialog to paste into, but at least you can edit that a little bit.

Like Laura Bier likes this

Adding my disappointment in the new editor. In fact I've avoided converting any existing pages/templates due to the reduced functionality and have just come across this new challenge in editing with it, so will be upvoting for a "Feature" that is in fact fixing reduced functionality.

As someone who managed the engineering team that builds Rich Text Editors, and now develops TinyMCE, that Atlassian used as it's editor, the new interface and reduced functionality is extremely disappointing. From experience, this is something that can drive customers away, especially in a product like Confluence when editing is a significant part of the use case.

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