How to paste code properly in Confluence 4 Edited

Update 2018-06-26: This relates to the current version of Confluence in 2011. Please stop answering this question in relation to new versions (2017+)


When I paste code in Confluence 4, whether in a code block, preformatted text, or anywhere else, the whitespace is mangled and I need to correct it by hand.

Is there a way to correctly paste code so that my whitespace is preserved? Leading whitespace and empty lines in particular are causing the problem.

7 answers

1 accepted

11 votes
Answer accepted

Go to Insert

Insert Wiki Markup

Insert the following


Your code here...


You may modify the code first tag to format specific code type like java or xml.

doesnt keep tab indents.. 

noone can easily copy and paste the code since it adds line numbers that get highlighted

and also cant be used for inline code...

I cant find a viable option for code so far


Our dev team is moving to confluence and seems pretty bad for code examples.

Here's the original code in my IDE (Eclipse):

ConfluenceCodeFormatExample1.pngIn your Confluence doc, type "{code" and choose the Code Block macro:


Paste the code into the Code Block, publish, and Voila!:


As you can see it keeps tab indents and all formatting. You also have the option of including line numbers.

You can also install and use Better Code Block, which supports more languages and has better highlighting, but at the expense of being slightly slower and not supporting line numbers.

This is with the online ("Cloud"?) version of Confluence. Hope this helps - Good luck!

Hmmm thats really weird... 

Before I was seeing line numbers and tab indenting wasn't pasting in. Today it seems to work exactly as you said I dont have line numbers or formatting problems.

The other day our lead dev was experiencing the same thing as me where tab indents were removed when pasting in code but only some times, was intermittent issue for him and happening all the time for me.

But problem seems to have resolved itself. 🤔

By any chance are you using any kind of remote desktop type software? I've seen similar issues when I've got a NoMachine session open to my work computer (running Linux for what it's worth). Sometimes if I copy from the work computer and paste into a Confluence page open on my home (Windows) machine it will lose the formatting.

I didn't copy from an RDC but I probably had one open int he background somewhere. I use windows RDP and Anydesk and Teamviewer for different systems so perhaps it was one of those modifying the clipboard as soon as I copied it.

If it happens again I'l make a note of witch one(s) i have open and see if closing them fixes the problem.

2 votes

The other thing you can do is select Insert > Macro and select the Code macro. You should then be able to paste in that macro and it shouldn't be "mangled". If it is, you might want to raise a bug.

If I do that it adds an extra blank line between every line of code. (And no I'm not going to raise a bug - there are so many formatting bugs I assume it is just infeasible to fix them.)

It's very non-intuitive. Why do we even have a misleading 'Preformatted' styling option? I kept using this and wondering why it won't preserve any code indentation at all.

Now I know I have to use the Code Macro that is buried in the list of macros.

I like the Code Macro, but honestly, it NEEDS to be displayed in an accessible manner. The toolbar needs to have a dedicated button to insert Code with ONE CLICK (not Insert > Other Macros > search "code" > Click Code > Click Insert).

Yes, I know now that I can just type {code to get a code block quickly. But how is a beginner supposed to know that? When I first started, I tried using the most obvious option which is Preformatted text and I was frustrated at how finicky it is.

Like 2 people like this

Here is a way

Use a macro called "no format"
So be where you want to paste in the confluence document. Type a left curly bracket (uppercase the left square bracket), then start typing no format. Select the "no format" option. This creates a box that when you paste single spaced text it stays single spaced in the box.


Exactly what was wanted, thanks :-)

This works better than the accepted answer when your input starts with a single leading space. It also doesn't do syntax highlighting.



  1. Edit the page
  2. Click on Insert
  3. Choose Wiki Markup
  4. Paste the same code onto the Wiki Markup window in between <tt>code</tt> tags
  5. Save the page and you will get the expected outcome

Here is my original solution:

1. Open Firefox (it doesn't work in Chrome and I haven't tested it in IE)

2. Paste the code into the page (not inside of a code block).

3. Highlight the code you just pasted, click Insert > Other Macro > Code

This will preserve the indentation. You still have to remove the duplicate line breaks.

4. Before you manually delete the line breaks:

  • save the page
  • reopen it for edit
  • manually delete the line breaks

For some reason, if you don't save first, the line breaks reappear.

0 votes
Joe Clark Atlassian Team Nov 03, 2011

There's already a bug report for this:

Add your vote and comment! :-)

This issue has been resolved in Confluence 4.0.5 which is now available. Thank you for your patience.

How was it resolved? I still get blank lines every other line of code pasted.

For HTML try these steps:

1. Copy and paste your code into this link:


3. Insert your cursor into the HTML (ignore the markup for brackets...) and copy all of the code

4. Open your Confluence page.

5. {code...: Paste the code into the code block and you will have good results.

I use similar for VB, C, etc, but agree: sometimes I have extra lines and cleanup.

Am I seeing that a bug was reported on this in 2011 and its now 2018 and the issue is not resolved??

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