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Picture and table explanatory text, formatting in general

Tom Erik Roberg Oct 28, 2013


When creating a confluence page I start with a blank page. I create headings and text below it.

When I then insert a picture/table I would like to have a nice text to go with it (i.e. "Table 1. Measurement results" or "Picture 1. Test setup")

Is this possible at all?

In general I find the formatting in Confluence too much of a hassle... Why is it necessary to write all kind of codes to make the text underlined or similar, why is a buttion (like in Word) not present for more functions? Better flexibility in general would be greatly appreciated when formatting a page to my needs (making it look structured and tidy).

Hope you can point me in the right direction or even inprove on this issue.

5 answers

1 accepted

0 votes
Answer accepted
mick davidson Oct 28, 2013


No, I do agree with you about the text under a picture. And you might be able to do that by customising the CSS for a space. I recently did this for the headings as I felt the white space was too big.

I'm no expert, but it might be possible to create a new heading that is smaller and not in bold, and use that for text under a graphic. I agree about putting graphics in tables - not a great look at all!

You should be able to customise tables using CSS too.

I'd still advise having a look through Answers for info on customising tables and exporting to PDFs. I'm sure there's info here that explains how Atlassian does it as well as info from other users about their solutions and ideas. It might be a good idea to look at the Atlassian marketplace to see what plugins 3rd parties offer for customising.


Tom Erik Roberg Nov 04, 2013

Thanks for your answer!

I still find the formatting to be unecessary complicated and I hope formatting tools will get more user friendly in a future version. As it is now, it is not good enough at all for us.

0 votes
Peter Van de Voorde Oct 28, 2013

Hi Tom

If you want a footnote like in MS Word that's currently not possible (as part of the picture)

You can ofcourse always type it yourself in a smaller font just beneath the image you added in Confluence.

You could also add a title to the image, this will be displayed when somebody hovers above the image.

Any suggestions you have for confluence can be always be added here :

Best regards,


0 votes
Tom Erik Roberg Oct 28, 2013

Thanks for the answer Peter.

If i decide to type it in a smaller font under the picture it will jump around and cause me a headache if i make formatting changes to the page... believe me i've tried.

Changing font size would also be greatly appeciated, I feel very restricted by the current options in Confluence.

We do quite alot of .pdf exports (for procedures etc.) and the the title option is pretty much useless, sorry.

We try to use Confluence for all aspects of our documentation, it works great, BUT the formatting part is very frustrating to us all. It just seems needlessly overcomplicated or flawed.

Thanks for an otherwise excellent product.

Tom Erik

0 votes
mick davidson Oct 28, 2013


There is quite a bit of info here in Answers about customising PDF's and there is also some info on exporting to PDF here:

There's nothing to stop you adding a line of text under a picture or table. I do this all the time and do not find it difficult nor does it move around on the page. In my experience 99% of the formatting works 100% of the time, so I'm not sure what issues you are having that makes you feel uncertain about these things. You can also keep this text with the table by adding an extra row at the bottom of the table and putting the Figure text in that. For a picture you could put that in a two row table with the pic in one cell and the text in another

At the top of the edit page there is a row of buttons and icons which you can use to format the contents quickly and easily. You can also use shortcuts to do this. You can read about these here:

So you don't have to write anything, you can simply highlight the text and press CTRL+B or CTRL+I etc, much as you would in MS Word.

If you are not seeing these buttons etc then there might be something wrong with your setup, so is it possible to have that checked?


Tom Erik Roberg Oct 28, 2013


I will read up on the .pdf exports options pronto, thanks.

So you do not agree that adding a separate line under the picture (without the possibility of making the font smaller) is a poorer solution/less appealing?

I think putting pictures in tables etc does not look professional at all, sorry.

Customizing table properties would also be nice. (size etc.)

I can see the buttons for Bold, Italic etc. , my comment was mostly to have even more of the formatting options available as buttons.

I will read up on the documentation you linked to, as I do admit that I am no expert. A little more flexibility and control would be nice however.

0 votes
Steffen Heller Mar 16, 2015

I think what this discussion comes down to is that confluence lacks specific formats for e.g. table/image captions and has no option to easily* create your own custom formats. That is a limitation compared to Word, html editors, LaTeX, FrameMaker, etc. and the only way to get around that is try to work with a combination of the included formatting options like bold, italic, underline, etc.

That can work to a certain extent but is not a "clean" solution, not failure proof, more difficult to maintain, bloats up the code, makes CSS definitions more difficult and so on...


* You can create formats with the CSS macro and include them with the div or span macro, though.





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