How to edit the pages in Confluence 4.0 like in 3.5? Any hacks?

Hi, it's so difficult to use the new editor of 4.0 for complicated pages we have. Is any way to swith to classical text editor? It was so easy and clear, you can copy-paste a part of wiki markup anyway you want.

Any plugins? Hacks? Otherwise, I think we'll downgrade it to 3.5.

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No, the wiki markup has gone from 4.0 completely. Your only option is a downgrade at the moment.

I've got a feeling a couple of people are looking at some form of wiki editors, but it's early days.

There's no workaround and no getting the Wiki Markup editor back in 4.0. Atlassian have made their decision and have given no indication that they would even consider making Wiki Markup mode an option. I guess it'll be up to some enterprising developer to try and fix this "feature" with a plugin.

We have already cancelled a planned upgrade to 4.0 from 3.5 after a near riot when users (mainly devs and QA folks) found out that they had lost the ability to do Wiki Markup on the pilot 4.0 site we had set up.

And I have to say I agree with them. The loss in productivity in going to rich text editing from Wiki Markup mode is simply not worth it for those of us who prefer to work in plain text and to rarely raise our hands from our keyboards to touch a pointing device. There's simply no comparison.

Still don't understand why we completely lost Wiki Markup mode in the editor, but there seems to be an awful lot of cheerleading going on from the folks at Atlassian (just keep trying this New Coke! It's so much better than Coke Classic! Really it is! Stick with it for long enough, and you'll like it, too).

I doubt that complaining about the situation to them will do anything to change their minds, but as always, we can (and will) vote with our wallets.

I'm curious to learn what actions you are trying to perform in the new editor that making you pick up your mouse? Like you, I prefer to do everything with the keyboard so I'd love to know what areas we can improve on with the new edior to eliminate the need to pick up your mouse.

Example: We have tons of code samples. We are used to just typing {code:language=java} (or language=whatever) to mark the start of a code sample, but now we have a macro window opening where we have to set the language parameter for the code macro if we are not using the default setting. I realize that you can change the default language setting, but we have Java, bash, XML, and PHP samples in roughly the same numbers, so changing the default wouldn't really make a difference.

The same goes for setting any non-default parameter for a macro; there's no longer any way to just type it in. You have to deal with the macro browser popup.

Also, for those of us used to just typing away in wiki syntax, if you don't select any options from the popup window that appears after typing an opening bracket, and you just keep typing, the new editor just sees the wiki markup as regular content and does not interpret it as a macro. So then I have to go back and delete that "content" and go through the whole popup window routine again just to set my code sample parameter. I go through all of this just to do something that used to take me just a couple of seconds in the Wiki Markup editor. And when you're doing it dozens or even hundreds of times a day, the frustration builds...

BTW, I realize that I'm not a "mainstream" user and that those of us who prefer authoring and coding in plain text are in the minority, but surely there must be some way to accommodate those of us who simply don't want to work in a WYSIWYG editor. I have a feeling that I'm not the only one who feels left out in the cold on this one.

Also, thanks for the responses. I realize that this must have been a controversial decision internally at Atlassian as well, and now you have to make lemonade with those lemons, whether you like lemonade or not.

Also forgot to mention that there's something broken when you try to use markup w/ autocomplete to do bold and underline formatting. Probably a bug that you already know about, I'm sure, but I thought I'd mention it.

Still don't understand why we completely lost Wiki Markup mode in the editor

@Brian - Up to now, Confluence has stored its content in the database as wiki markup. In Confluence 4.0, the content is stored as XHTML. Since we no longer store content in wiki markup it's not possible to allow you to edit content in wiki markup.

Seems like a classic case of an internal technical decision that may be good for Atlassian's technical architecture driving a "feature" that is causing major pain to a significant subset of your user base. One of the reasons we chose Confluence was because we *wanted* to edit in plain text. The rich text editor needn't even have been there.

Now, with the loss of plain text mode, we will stick with 3.5 for the indefinite future and look for alternatives.

Thanks for the reply, Brian!

but now we have a macro window opening where we have to set the language parameter for the code macro if we are not using the default setting

It's not the ideal UX but you can still achieve this without opening the Macro Browser, or using your mouse. Watch this:

http://screencast.com/t/3jobjlAW

Also, for those of us used to just typing away in wiki syntax, if you don't select any options from the popup window that appears after typing an opening bracket, and you just keep typing, the new editor just sees the wiki markup as regular content and does not interpret it as a macro

This is a known issue that Bill Arconati (Confluence Group Product Manager) has responded to here. I've quoted his response below for your benefit.

I've noticed a recurring theme in this thread that people want to be able to set macro paramters without using a mouse. One of the macro autocomplete refinements we made over the many months of dogfooding within Atlassian was to only open the macro browser if you're inserting a macro with madatory properties. Otherwise, it just inserts the macro with the default parameters set - For many macros, you just want to use the defaults.

But what we're hearing you say is that you do sometimes want to set optional macro parameters (e.g. code:language=bash) when using autocomplete. So one idea we have is to open the macro browser if you type a colon (':') while inserting a macro with autocomplete. This would signal that you want to set some paramaters.

So in the {code:language=bash} example above you'd type "{code:" and then the macro browser would open with the first field of the code macro selected. You could then tab through to change your parmaters and hit ENTER at any point to insert the macro in the page all without using the mouse.

Do foiks think this would solve some of the problems you're having?

RE: the bug with autoformatting of bold underlined text, that is a known bug that we hope to fix soon. Hope that helps, Brian.

*sigh*

Alright, who the heck asked for this "improvement" anyways?

I don't think I can deploy this. It's going to alienate my early adopters to the point where they are likely to stop using it and won't pull the rest of the peeple into it. No wiki markup in a wiki? Not even as an option?

I guess I don't understand what was so broken with wiki markup that required the switch. Seemed like an extremely efficient way to get knowledge into a page. Maximized FOK (Fingers on Keyboard) Time. Now I have the equivalent of Clippy interrupting me at every step and turn.

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