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Is anyone having issues with editing within Confluence?


It's kind of hard to explain, but when I try to edit in Confluence right now, I am experiencing some technical difficulty. First, I'm having a hard time getting my text select cursor where I want it. It will go to the next line or very close to where I want it, but not the exact position (most often after or before a link). Even when I try to use the arrows on my keyboard instead of my mouse, it does the same thing. Then sometimes when I type, it will show the text select cursor in the right position, but it will show what I'm typing in the wrong position (about 4 spaces ahead). I've never experienced this before, but started having the issues yesterday. I gave it a day and restarted to see if it would make a difference, but I'm still having the issue. 

2 answers

The problems with Confluence editing began (IMHO) about 8 years ago as they tried to create a "New User Interface" that looked pretty for beginners.  The problem was that making a pretty WYSIWYG editor broke many plain text editing features that have been in people's muscle memory for decades.  This forced us to abandon keyboard expertise and (as @mykenna so aplty put it) go into "precision mouse mode" (AKA ultra slow, ultra frustrating mode), shifting cognitive load away from the real task at hand.

There are loads of these issues.  I've stopped pretending that Confluence is a real editor, and have started treating it as a zombie (looks like it's real, but doesn't act that way), and I am more amused at the myriad ways it obfuscates trivial editing tasks.   And, it gives me practice with my patience.

Here's just one of many similar obfuscated trivialities.

Up-arrow and down-arrow behave inconsistently.  As everyone has learned on nearly ever text editor this millennium (and even decades prior).... some number of up-arrow presses followed by an identical number of down-arrow presses should return you to where you began.  That worked for me in 1980 even before DOS or Windows.  It does NOT work in Confluence.  Mostly it doesn't work because at-references act as a Roach Motel(tm) (you can check in, but you can't check out).  But at-references are not the only sticky hazard to navigation.  Headers, horizontal lines, and page references will often intefere, too.

I don't know you, but my heart beats with yours.

0 votes
Mykenna Cepek Community Leader Jan 26, 2021

I suspect you might be having two separate problems.

The first problem you describe happens to me all the time in Confluence also. It can be extremely frustrating to position text in the line BEFORE a heading. You have to aim just above that line of text, in order to get the cursor on that line.

Not sure what this problem is exactly, but it's consistent for me as well. One workaround is to put the cursor above that line, and then down-arrow the cursor there. Usually instead I mentally go into "high precision mouse clicking mode" and just "try harder". It's frustrating.

I scanned for an existing bug report, but could not find one. I'd say it's worth reporting, since it's repeatable. If you do, be sure to include your OS, browser, and steps to reproduce. You're on the Standard plan, so you should be able to get some attention from support.
_ _ _ _ _ _ _

For your second problem, I'd recommend checking a different browser to see if occurs in both. Is anyone else in your team/dept/etc experiencing it? Doing a browser clear-cache might be worth trying also (flush out any stale javascript).

Sounds like a video capture of your screen would help illustrate the problem. If you get a video capture, that would also be worth reporting in a separate bug report.

I have never experienced this, and I'm Confluence almost every day.

Would be nice to hear what you discover that helps get past these problems! 

Mykenna, the cursor issue was (I guess) just an example. Using the Confluence editor is a horrible experience for any person with experience in any editor. It's *by much far* the worst editor I have ever used.

Other examples are:

- Clicking 3 times on a line/paragraph does not select the line paragraph.

- Coppying plain text from a text editor modify the original CR/LF

- Trying to use special chars like :B converts them to emoji without asking (what are we, 10 yo or are we supposed to be working grownups?)

- Writing a path in a text like /home/myhomedir opens a dialog in this path without asking. I might just want to write this and not select a file


IMHO the product manager of Confluence should jump in and correct this huge mistake.

Mykenna Cepek Community Leader Mar 04, 2022

I get it, @Salvador Martin. I'm not going to be an apologist for Atlassian, as I've been pretty outspoken about certain areas of their product line myself (e.g. Automation).

However, let's remember that Confluence is a "mature" product, which has advantages and disadvantages. I suspect that most of the problems you outline above are not only quite old in origin, but also fairly difficult to "fix". Any change to a mature product will encounter resistance and complaints from the many, many users who effectively use the product "the old way".

On the positive side, I tried the four examples you listed above in the latest WYSIWYG editor in Jira Cloud (for the "Description" field), and I think you'd be happy with how all of those work. They didn't misbehave as you described.

So I actually have hope that the lessons Atlassian is learning from their recent improvements in Jira (e.g. recent updates to the "New Issue Editing" experience) can be brought over to Confluence soon. Why have hope on this? Because a consistent editing experience across product lines is good for Atlassian and makes (even long-time) users happy.

Let's not hold our breath waiting. But I fully expect that in time Atlassian will improve the editing experience in Confluence.

Hi Mykenna.

Thanks for your answer. The editor of the "mature" confluent was changed around 2 years ago, so Confluence shows little respect for the people used to work "the old way". The same happened with the editor in Jira Service Desk, which used to work more or less fine, until the decission was to "tiktokize" it, adding emojis and simplifying it in a silly way, and changing the behaviour completely. Clicking in the three dots menu on top right there is still a "See the old view" option which lets you use the old version. Jira, tought, do not remember this choice or let you use it by default, so if you want to "See the old view" you have to do it every time you open every issue.

I realize I sound like a hater. I am not. I llike most of Jira/Confluent, but the editor is simply a broken piece of software that should be fully replace by an editor which respects basic editor behaviour standards.

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