Link to a non-existant sub-page? (in Confluence)

Every day I have to create links to pages that do not exist yet. And in most cases these are sub-pages of parent pages that are also new (like ExistingCategory/NewCategory/NewEntry). I can not figure out how to create links to new sub-pages in Confluence.  Preferably, I want to do this on the fly - just by typing.

I tried the syntax that is explained on the official documentation about 'undefined page links', but that does not work. When I enter a slash-separated path it uses the entire path as the page title.

I also read the discouraging Question from kerrin.hardy 2012. But that (hopefully) does not reflect the current  development state.

From all Wiki software I used before, I am used to create links to not yet existing (new) pages just by typing the path. Something like this always worked:


How can that be done in Confluence?

8 answers

It seems this simply cannot be done. 

I had the same question Tilman:

Please let me know if you find otherwise. I have the same need.

Note: I first entered this as an answer. However, I opted to pull back the 'answer' and make this a comment - so that the question remains unanswered.

Thank you Scott!

I tried to search for existing request, but I missed yours. (If some kind of admin reads this: Please join these requests, if that is technically possible)

My thoughts are similar to the ones you mentioned in your request: Confluence developed too far away from a "real" wiki. Of course you might argue what a real wiki has to look like. But, a simple, fast and intuitive way of creating links to non-existing pages at any place of the wiki is a fundamental wiki feature:

Ward Cunningham and co-author Bo Leuf, in their book The Wiki Way: Quick Collaboration on the Web, described the essence of the Wiki concept as follows:[7]

  • A wiki invites all users to edit any page or to create new pages within the wiki Web site, using only a plain-vanilla Web browser without any extra add-ons.
  • Wiki promotes meaningful topic associations between different pages by making page link creation almost intuitively easy and showing whether an intended target page exists or not.
  • A wiki is not a carefully crafted site for casual visitors. Instead, it seeks to involve the visitor in an ongoing process of creation and collaboration that constantly changes the Web site landscape.

The concept of wiki is well-established and has gone through years of evolution and selection. I find it absolutely important to keep the fundamental features alive. Confluence is used by IT professionals and they expect some standards.

No worries Tilman. I could not find a way to link the questions myself. I could really use an answer or an alternative. I routinely try to do this and it simply doesn't work. I fear I am losing track of more and more content that needs to be authored :-/

On the aside (true Wiki), while I appreciate your point of view - and share it -, I can appreciate that Atlassian feels they have a better idea - at least for those invested in their ecosystem. No doubt Confluence adds value.

Where my employer/client has Confluence, it's a fine tool and I'll use it. Where my employer/client has nothing, I can't recommend it (as a stand-alone Wiki product). I would REALLY hate to have to support it. I have a cadre of Wiki administrative scripts that I can not readily rework for use with Confluence, largely due to the lack of Wiki markup. Ditto for 10 years of habitual Wiki authoring practice. sad Alas, their product, their call (to drop Wiki markup).

0 votes

I've supported it for years, in many environments - it's mostly a doddle to support because it works.  To the point where at my last place, we had to hire someone to handle all the conversions from other wikis into Confluence.  Not because it was mandated, but because the end-users all preferred it, and once converted, the "support" work was minimal.  The only down-side I've seen is doing other full-time wiki support people out of a job (I don't know a full-time Confluence admin - it's so easy to look after, nobody needs one!)

I'm with you on the wiki markup though.  You can still add and edit pages and use it.  But it's then converted to the new format.  Technically fine, displays great, but when I edit, I want to edit what I typed, not some indecipherable or unrelated stuff I did not put in.

Interesting Nic. Thanks for sharing. Perhaps I am projecting issues that will never materialize. GREAT! I have never been a full time Wiki admin and I definitely do not want to become one wink.

Out of curiosity, what do your users do when or if they need wholesale changes? Say for example they were using 'TagA' but need to change it everywhere to 'TagB' - or the like. I see Confluence handles page move/rename better than many Wiki products I've worked with so, that's seemingly handled. Nice! I can't see though how to change/correct tag names in bach. 

Although, I suspect I may be leverage the Confluence REST API to rework my 'cadre of Wiki administrative scripts'. My initial foray is promising. My primary interest is facilitating wholesale (systematic) edits. No one want to navigate one-by-one to many, many pages just to correct or change content.

Thanks again for sharing the info. Much appreciated.

0 votes

For the tagging thing, sadly, nothing native, but there's some add-ons that can help.  A lot of us do script some stuff from the outside when we need to, but I'm not aware of people who have huge libraries of scripts.

I'm told there might be something nice coming out of AtlasCamp 2016 on this subject too.

0 votes

And, here it is -

The suggestions for features and canned scripts were mostly made by admins with more Confluence time under their belt than me, but a couple of mine were incorporated.  It includes a rename-label canned script too.

Thanks Nic. Sadly, I am presently constrained to out-of-the box solutions... augmented by whatever I can invent (via the APIs).

Suggest an answer

Log in or Sign up to answer
Community showcase
Posted Feb 06, 2019 in Confluence

Try out the new editing experience

Hi team, I’m Avinoam, a product manager on Confluence Cloud, and today I’m really excited to let the Community know that all customers can now try out the new editing experience and see some of the ...

783 views 33 5
Join discussion

Atlassian User Groups

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Find a group

Connect with like-minded Atlassian users at free events near you!

Find my local user group

Unfortunately there are no AUG chapters near you at the moment.

Start an AUG

You're one step closer to meeting fellow Atlassian users at your local meet up. Learn more about AUGs

Groups near you