Inherit changes from space template?

I'm trying to figure out how to inherit changes from a space template.  Not sure how to go about doing this.  I've read the "Adding a Template" documentation article and it specifically states:

Page templates are used only when adding a page. It is not possible to apply a template to an already-existing page. Once a page has been added using a template, the template is no longer linked to the page. All further editing is performed as if the template was never used.

Is there a way (even if it is not templates) to be able to have a way to have a "template" and then if I make changes to that "template", it will make changes on all pages?  Not sure if BluePrints would do this or not.  I'm pretty new to confluence and I need this functionality.  Specifically, what I'm doing is making an informational template for troubleshooting general issues.  Basically, I have a template that the user would put in all the details needed in (when they are filling it out it looks just like the template), however, if I want to go back and add a section to it, etc, I would want that section to change on existing pages as well. For example if I had the following list:

Name:

Age:

Sex:

Say, I have 100 pages that use this template and, so I basically have the 100 pages out there, but then I go and update the template to look like:

Name:

Age:

Sex:

Hobby:

I would want the "Hobby:" section on my pre-existing pages (but with no data in them).  From what the article explains above as well as my experieince, it will not do this, due to the fact that once the page is created, it is no longer associated with the template. This seems like a very simple item that should be pretty easy to implement, but I can't figure it out.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks!
Drew

6 answers

1 accepted

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I'm afraid the really short answer is "no". 

That's not what templates or blueprints do.  They create pages when you use them as starting points for your work.  Changing a template or blueprint later has no effect on existing pages because they're there to help you create new stuff, not change the shape of old stuff.  (In fact, it would be an unmitigated disaster for most users if they did, because a change to a template would change pages that almost certainly should not be changed)

 

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so nobody more interested in it? rly?

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thats sad

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No, it's very very sensible.  If I change a template, in the overwhelming majority of cases, I don't want that change to go destroy what I had before.

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Hey Drew,

Take a look at Service Rocket's add-on named, "Scaffolding." It looks like creating a template with the live-template macro might do just what you are looking for.

Live Templates are dynamic templates that you only need to edit once, and the changes are reflected automatically across all the pages that use that template. No extra action required.

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Sounds like a sophisticated and very frequently needed ability. But for some it would be a time saver (me for example). 

For many, it would be a disaster.  A change to a template that affected all the stuff I'd created with it could easily destroy swathes of pages I'd written before. 

You would have to be extremely careful with this sort of function, and make sure it is written in a way that does not damage old pages.  The easiest option is to simply not do it.  If you do do it, you would need to implement something that makes the users check every affected page to see if the change should be applied. 

If you have things that you think should be in a template and could change like this (and I have no doubt that you do), then you're looking in the wrong place.  You should be looking to have shared global stuff that you can edit in one place and then draw into pages separately (and those calls should go into your templates)

Applying changes when edits in a template are saved, could be optional to keep everyone from a disaster (like you describe). That's it. But not any "cool" feature will get to the roadmap for many reasons. Simplest reason can be demand (or it's absence). 

In the real world, it's actually quite hard to justify doing this.  Imagine a well-used Confluence.  I've created hundreds of pages, mostly from assorted templates.  If an admin decides that one of the templates needs to change, they're going to have to check ALL of my pages for impact, ask me to check, or decide to change nothing because they don't know.  Their instinct, and mine, is always going to default to "do nothing"

Template changes sound like they have uses, but the reality is that they're not useful because people will (inadvertently) damage things, or not use them because of the risk or effort.

When you come across something and think "that should be in the template and affect all the old pages that used it", you're not wrong, but the template is not the right place the thing should be in.  It should be included or drawn into the page, or even moved into the layout.

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