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What is the best way to import a document so that it doesn't lose formatting?

Is there a document format (Word, pdf, other) that holds it's formatting when imported into Confluence?

4 answers

Thanks @Matt Reiner _K15t_ for the shout-out! Hi @Jeff BurrellI'd start by asking two questions,

  • what is the scale or scope of your import? If it is just one or a few documents, converting to plain text, importing, then redoing the formatting is the safest bet.
  • what is the purpose of the formatting you want to preserve? Is it about appearance only, or functionality? Can it be done differently, or better in Confluence? Wiki is a whole new paradigm.

Multiple rounds of editing in MS Word can result in deeply nested (and/or conflicting) formatting instructions that can actually break a wiki page. There are scripts and tools to strip the invisible formatting junk that MS Word puts into a document. "Clear formatting" buttons are available in some software and can help. 

Not long ago I had to re-create a wiki page that was broken and showing two places in the page tree. (Not an indexing problem) The text had originated in Word and there was so much garbage in it, it had corrupted the page and the only solution was to remove it and start over.

0 votes
Matt Reiner _K15t_ Marketplace Partner Mar 24, 2021

@Michelle Rau wrote a really great article on this topic. She broke down everything that is and isn't imported using the Word importer:

Not really, if you check a word file by for example exporting it to an HTML file, you will see that its extremely formatted and that formatting will not be retained in the import process as when the import takes place it needs to be converted to the Confluence *wiki* format, so the result will differ in some way or another.

The best way that i have found to get as close as possible for a 1 to 1 import from a source file, is to have the source data as an HTML file, and then to save a page in confluence then edit and use the HTML source code. This is something that I use primarily when I need to do something with tables. Its not 100% anyway though as Confluence will not display everything even of you use the HTML source.  

Hi @Jeff Burrell ,


Welcome to the community. 


You can use the document import option with word documents. 

This way, most of the formatting will be kept, as far as confluence supports the formatting. 

You can do formatting in word that is not supported by confluence, so such things will be lost.

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