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How do I make the table fixed width instead of responsive?

It seems with the new update that tables are responsive by default (default to the width of the page!) and although the tutorial says you can toggle between the two, there is nowhere to select this.

7 answers

1 accepted

2 votes
Answer accepted
Sven Schatter _Lively Apps_
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
Nov 05, 2019 • edited

Sounds like you're using Confluence Cloud? In the new Confluence Cloud editor experience this is currently not possible. If you check the feature comparison between the old and the new editor you will see that in the old editor you could choose between fixed-width and responsive while in the new editor you can only choose between 3 set widths (small, medium, large) using this button next to the table:

tables.pngThere is a ticket currently in the gathering interest phase that you can vote on if you're interested in getting this feature back.

Indeed I'm using Confluence Cloud new editor and yet another feature they have removed *sigh*.

Thanks for your response.

Like # people like this

Need to have this in the new version as well..........why would these options be removed?

Like # people like this

As far as I can tell, even that button is now missing. The table has to be the full width of the body, and I have no say in the matter.

Like # people like this

Has this been resolved as of Feb 2022?

Not that I know of, not sure why such features are removed!

Like Erik Anderson likes this

We just migrated from Confluence Server and not being able to set a fixed width for a table is my biggest pet peeve. It is super annoying to have a table that has small values and be forced to suffer through the table taking up the entire width of the page.

Like # people like this

It is annoying to see a column with short content on most wide emptiness, whereas a column full of text squeezed vertically spanning many pages but in a narrow width.

Like # people like this

Please fix this. Also, can we get an update (last update is from Jan 2022. Another 8 months without any comments.

Some of us really really need this -- the default formatting is not the best, and we need the control back.

Like # people like this

not sure that anyone at Atlassian is really paying attention to our requests :(

Like morris green likes this

That RFE is three years old with 875 votes and yet is still in Under Consideration status which boggles my mind and make me certain that Atlassian isn't properly prioritizing customer needs.

We migrated from Confluence Server a few months ago and the first and loudest complaint from our user base was the loss of control over column widths so I found that RFE immediately and was disappointed at the lack of responsiveness (pun intended) from Atlassian there.

For me the worst part is having a two column table where the data in both columns is very small (width-wise) and the table still stretches across the entire width of the page. Sometimes my table will have 10 characters in each of two columns so it is ridiculous that the table is 1500+ pixels wide in a browser.

Like # people like this

Has anyone figured out how to enable the old editor as default?

Like Erik Anderson likes this

Migrating from Confluence Server to Cloud brings over templates with the legacy editor so the only way I know of to sort of make the legacy editor default is to modify a migrated template so it is empty and use that every time you create a new page. I know that's not what you meant by "default" but I think that may be as close as you are going to get.

From experience in trying to design table mechanisms that attempt to work with various form factors,  I found that it is never a win-win outcome.  What's needed is to implement two separate mechanisms, each corresponds to its own use case (by page author's choice):  

  1. a simple table mechanism for a simple list or illustration in a confluence page or article.  This case is for covering a dozen or so rows spanning a few columns and does not really need filtering, sorting, etc., but can use the intelligent responsiveness to automatically fit the auto-recognized form factors, i.e., smartphone access, and then separately 
  2. a complex table mechanism for capturing larger lists and matrices in uniform columns and can fully benefit from scrolling, sorting, filtering, and pagination (local and remote) features.  Data loading between server and browser should be piecemeal (pagination) and that table data is not pushed to the browser in its entirety. This use case is really for browser access (forget about accessing the information on smartphone devices. Use mechanism in 1 instead).

The second mechanism could then be carefully evolved in the long run with more responsiveness and auto-formatting as possible, but it should still be given to the Confluence page author the choice and not governed by Confluence default.  For example, if a page author wants the second column to be fixed-width at 12 characters, then so be it and not be overridden by confluence.

But the table isn't responsive, it is wider than the page! The contents don't need such width, how can I make it narrower?

Like Erik Anderson likes this

Therein lies the problem, you cannot control the width of the table. The best you can do is make the page full width so that it's the same width as the table.

Like Erik Anderson likes this

The table is even wider than the full page width. Somehow it decided it needs tons of pixels for empty cells.

Like Erik Anderson likes this

@Baksa Péter totally. Still cannot figure out why this feature would be modified in the CLOUD version.

@Atlassian, if it ain't broke don't fix it!!!!

Like Erik Anderson likes this

The RFE had this note added on 2023-09-18 "I'm excited to share that we plan to start progressively rolling out this feature over the coming weeks. The new solution will allow you to resize tables in both fixed-width and full-width Confluence pages."

For any company I've worked for, a feature that used to work and no longer works was known as a "Defect" or "Bug", not a feature request. When my new refrigerator stops refrigerating, I don't call Maytag and request a new feature.. I ask them to fix the defect in their product. Not sure why the rules are different here....

Kinda surprising that coming up on 3 years and still no ability to do fixed width tables.

Where this becomes a huge problem is when doing panels (ex: "page properties") because the table still tries to do the entire page width, but the layout+panel make it only 50% so what ends up happening is horizontal scrolling.

Talk about getting knee-capped on features

Still can't believe they don't use so many useful features from the old editor in the new one. 

Totally agree, they should at least poll users before taking away features!!!

Like Erik Anderson likes this
2 votes
Herve Frydlender
Rising Star
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Nov 05, 2019

When editing the table you have an additional menu top left:


This is the old editor. In the new version, the tables are not responsive.

Like # people like this

We still have this editor in our Server version, BUT
neither "Responsive" nor "Fixed width" do anything change in the behavior of the tabel.

When choosing "Fixed width" you'r lucky if you manage to finde the blue boarder of the column, and when you found it it doesn't do anything.

I realy buggy editor ... :-/

Responsive feature is extremely useful and I miss it!

It looks like there is a feature request logged here:

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