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Table Cell Background Custom Color

The following confluence issue shows that it should be possible to use custom colors for table rows/cells

I am using the latest version of confluence and can only see 5 light colors. How can I choose a custom background color for a cell/row?

This is an essential functionality and I can't find it.

10 answers

It's a shame that this most basic and trivial feature is open since 2012 - 7 years:

But it's OK: we're locked in to Atlassian, so you can plan the next price increase because "Atlassian puts so much energy" into its products.

Mickey Houlder
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Dec 12, 2022

Why, why, why, why can you not use custom colours in tables. The most basic functionality... truly terrible. What are the devs actually doing?

Apparently writing new API's that have breaking changes.

5 colors and it's 2019.  When will this be improved?

Like Tim Forstner likes this

5 colors? Ridiculous. 

Palette selectors are so futuristic. :P

Like # people like this

It really is.
I don't understand the color and style limitations (and the color picks within those limited selections!).  Please open this up more, Atlassian.

3 votes
Atlassian Team
Atlassian Team members are employees working across the company in a wide variety of roles.
Sep 20, 2017

Hi Steven,

The development team considered the ticket you linked to be fixed when they added the 5 light colors. For more, here is the suggestion: More cell highlight colors in Confluence If you comment or vote on it, you will be added to notifications.

In the meantime, I recommend using the Panel Macro to add color to your tables.



This is ridiculous. Why not have the same colors as available for fonts? 5 colors, some of which are so light I literally do not notice them on my monitor??

Like # people like this
Mike Bowen
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Dec 13, 2018 • edited May 29, 2019

Dammit Atlassian, we are in 2018 not 1996. Surely you can add the rest of the colour spectrum to a table cell. Every table / spreadsheet application known to man has the full colour spectrum. 5 colours is just plain mean. As James has pointed out, on some monitors these light colours are not visible, especially non-HDMI monitors. What is the reason for not allowing more colours? 

Like # people like this

The panel macro could be so very much more useful if you could set panel width and had a free-form style box for applying things like float:right. Then I could use it to put the ToC in a panel that would float to the right side of the content, or things like that. Why limit it so much by only having a few specific css elements?


Maybe add the free-form elements under an Advanced expand? I have seen some macros do that.

Ann, the Panel Macro has been deprecated and is not available in the new editor. The advice for setting a background color in the announcement is to use an Info Panel. Info panels have pre-defined colors based on an icon.

There is no add-on in the marketplace that works with Cloud that will let me create a block of color. The only thing I can see that will work in MY case is to upload an image that's a swatch of the color. But that doesn't solve the problem that's in this thread and for which there is no longer any solution at all.

I don't understand why there's only five colors available and that was considered an appropriate solution to the eight year old request.

Laura Campbell _Elements_
Community Leader
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Aug 05, 2020

@Rick Measham, I don't know if you are looking to add custom colors to table cells, but the add-on my team makes Elements Spreadsheet would allow you to create custom colors in cells on Cloud.

I posted an article here on Community to show how it works.

No one is going to like my solution, but here it is.

Create a Word document with a table that has the cell shading you want. Then, import that document into Atlassian. There's an option to import that you can find explained somewhere online. Once it's imported you should have the table(s) with the colors you want, beyond the basic few, and you can copy/paste the table as needed.

Sorry the answer isn't better.

That’s a great answer, if it works for you.

I do not seem to have the "Import Word Document" option that is described here:

I am using the locally installed version of Confluence, not the SAAS version.

You can do a simple copy/paste of the table from Word into Confluence.

That doesn't work for me. I get the table, and its text contents, but no background colors.

You can add an HTML macro to the cell and set the background/text colour - it's not perfect because it only sets the colour on the line where the text is (not the entire cell) and it doesn't appear to keep the colour when you print but it's something.

2022 and we're partying like it's 1999 with the same 7 table colors. This is embarrassing, Atlassian.

And as the costs to move to Confluence Cloud are higher than for Server, it is stuff like this, the sheer antiquated UI and capabilities of native Confluence, that is making it harder to justify keeping it to management in a cost conscious business environment. Migrating to SharePoint is becoming harder to push against.

Like Sharon Welensky likes this

Ya i truly don't understand why the old Confluence really got busted down to less colors, less user choices in many things etc. In order to create a good presentation, it's always a struggle to be able to pick 3 or 4 decent colors for the thing without making it look like a circus, simply because we have no control over the color palette. As a person in tech that is also a graphic designer, this is very frustrating. For documentation that is technical, colors are not just used for decoration - they are part of a toolkit to communicate by showing separation, priority, etc.
Please bring back the ability to choose from a spectrum of dark to light colors - for text and for table cells.

Like Karl Andina likes this

Just adding to the frustration that we are unnecessarily colour-limited.

My solution is to copy-paste my table to google docs, make the changes there, and then copy it back :\

For those using Confluence Server, I have found a way to re-purpose the colors they give you.  I didn't like the pastels that Atlassian chose, so I adjusted them using a custom style sheet.  To do this I went to "Space Tools" > "Look and Feel" > "Stylesheet", and added the following:

<style type="text/css">
  table.confluenceTable th.confluenceTh.highlight-green,
  table.confluenceTable th.confluenceTh.highlight-green>p,
  table.confluenceTable td.confluenceTd.highlight-green,
  table.confluenceTable td.confluenceTd.highlight-green>p {background-color:#92d050}
  #table-highlight-group .table-highlight-picker a.highlight-green {background-color:#92d050 !important}
  table.confluenceTable th.confluenceTh.highlight-red,
  table.confluenceTable th.confluenceTh.highlight-red>p,
  table.confluenceTable td.confluenceTd.highlight-red,
  table.confluenceTable td.confluenceTd.highlight-red>p {background-color:#ff5f5f}
  #table-highlight-group .table-highlight-picker a.highlight-red {background-color:#ff5f5f !important}
  table.confluenceTable th.confluenceTh.highlight-blue,
  table.confluenceTable th.confluenceTh.highlight-blue>p,
  table.confluenceTable td.confluenceTd.highlight-blue,
  table.confluenceTable td.confluenceTd.highlight-blue>p {background-color:#65a2ff}
  #table-highlight-group .table-highlight-picker a.highlight-blue {background-color:#65a2ff !important}
  table.confluenceTable th.confluenceTh.highlight-grey,
  table.confluenceTable th.confluenceTh.highlight-grey>p,
  table.confluenceTable td.confluenceTd.highlight-grey,
  table.confluenceTable td.confluenceTd.highlight-grey>p {background-color:#dedede}
  #table-highlight-group .table-highlight-picker a.highlight-grey {background-color:#dedede !important}
  table.confluenceTable th.confluenceTh.highlight-yellow,
  table.confluenceTable th.confluenceTh.highlight-yellow>p,
  table.confluenceTable td.confluenceTd.highlight-yellow,
  table.confluenceTable td.confluenceTd.highlight-yellow>p {background-color:#feff67}
  #table-highlight-group .table-highlight-picker a.highlight-yellow {background-color:#feff67 !important}
  table.confluenceTable th.confluenceTh,
  table.confluenceTable th.confluenceTh>p {background-color:#dedede !important}

Unfortunately, Confluence Cloud restricts custom CSS.

This seems like a decent solution, except that I don't have "Stylesheet." I only have "PDF Stylesheet." My guess is that only our admin can edit the overall stylesheets.

Deleted user May 28, 2019

You are correct that someone with the Space Admin permission must install this stylesheet for you.

Mike Bowen
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May 29, 2019

Hi Jeff, 

When you say "a Space Admin must install this stylesheet", is the stylesheet a plugin that needs installing? 

I am a Space Admin and under Look and Feel I see 4 tabs only; 

  1. Themes
  2. Header and Footer
  3. PDF Layout
  4. PDF Stylesheet

Like James I don't see Stylesheet. 

Is this for Confluence Cloud or Confluence Server? 



Deleted user May 29, 2019

Hmm, I guess I don't know.  I'm new to Confluence.  I'm on Confluence Server version 6.15.1.  Here is what I see:


I would think that if you put the CSS code under "General Configuration" > "Stylesheet", it might also work, but there are limitations to doing it that way, which are that the Space's theme or stylesheet can override it.  That's why I did mine in the Space's stylesheet.

Mike Bowen
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May 29, 2019

Hi Jeff, 

Right, you are on the Server (physical version of Confluence). I am on the Cloud version. That option doesn't exist for us. 

Thanks for clarifying. 


Deleted user May 29, 2019

Thanks, Mike. Answer has been updated to specify Confluence Server.

I am using Confluence cloud. I don't understand why the colours are limited to just 8 (inc white & grey). We should be able to pick custom colours

Like # people like this

Reading this email thread.

I will take the 5 colors and a native way to add the colors instead of the Panel macro ;)

We are moving lots of our documentation into Confluence (replacing MS Word). So 5 colors is plenty at a documentation point of view. 

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