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Click, Customize, Create: A Confluence Macro Crash Course πŸ’ͺπŸ†

Feeling overwhelmed by Confluence macros? Fear not, Atlassian newbie! This guide is your shortcut to mastering these powerful tools.

Whether your Confluence pages need a touch of flair or a boost in collaboration, macros are here to help. But what exactly are macros in Confluence Cloud, how do you add them? Plus, what's the deal with these shortcuts everyone's talking about?

This ultimate guide (focusing on Confluence Cloud, not Data Center) has all the answers you need. We'll explore what Confluence macros are, provide examples of some of the most popular ones, and offer step-by-step instructions on how to leverage them effectively.

 

What are Confluence Macros, and Why Use Themβ“πŸ€”

Imagine Confluence macros as mini-apps that supercharge your pages. They let you embed content, visualize data like a champ with charts, automate tasks, and even customize the look and feel of your pages. Basically, macros make your content more engaging, informative, and actionable for your team.

The best part? Confluence Cloud macros are categorized by function, so finding the right tool for the job is a breeze. Need to embed a video, create a dynamic table, or integrate with another app? There's probably a Confluence macro for that!

 

confluence macro overview.jpg

 

How to Work Your Magic with Confluence Macros πŸŒŸ

Now, let's get down to business – adding and using macros in your Confluence playground. There are two ways to do it, catering to both the click-happy and shortcut-savvy folks out there. Take your pick!

First off, hop on over to your Confluence page and find the spot where you want to sprinkle some macro magic. Hit that Edit button (it looks like a little pen) in the editor toolbar to get started.

For those who prefer to point and click:

  • Click on Insert in the editor toolbar
  • Choose your desired macro from the list
  • If needed, tweak any parameters
  • Hit that Insert button and watch the magic happen!

 

Insert Confluence Macro v2.GIF

 

If shortcuts are more your thing, type the backslash character / to initiate the macro list and follow the same steps to insert it.

 

confluence macro insert with shortcut.gif

No matter what you decide, you will see that there are a variety of macros you can choose from to improve the functionality of your Confluence page.

 

Discover the Most Popular Confluence Cloud Macros πŸ’‘

 

We mentioned the last selection of macros available in Confluence Cloud, each offering unique ways to enhance your page functionality. But a few stand out as some of the most used and helpful. Let's delve into how these can elevate your Confluence experience:

 

Attachments Macro πŸ”—

This workhorse macro displays a list of files attached to a specific Confluence page, whether it's the current one you're on or another within your instance. Need to provide quick access to project files, forms, images, or diagrams? The Attachments macro is your go-to tool.

Macro ATTACHMENTS.png

 

For even greater control, you can customize it with these options:

  • Filename patterns: Filter attachments by name patterns (e.g., .*jpg or .*png) using commas to separate them.
  • Attachment labels: Filter attachments based on labels (e.g., department, project) by using commas to separate multiple labels.
  • Include old versions: Set a "true" value to show older/previous versions in the list.
  • Show previews: Display a preview of each attachment.
  • Sort by: Choose the sort order (date, size, name, created date) for the list.
  • Allow upload: Enable users to browse and upload new files.
  • Page title: Display attachments from another page. Leave blank to show attachments from the current page.
  • Number of items: Set the number of attachments to list.

 

Macro ATTACHMENTS final.png

Panels Macro πŸ“‹

Need to draw attention to specific pieces of information? The Panels macro is your solution. It lets you create colored boxes with customizable features like background color, borders, titles, and text color. This gives you more control than the built-in Info, Tip, Note, and Warning macros.

Panels are perfect for breaking up your page layout and highlighting key points of interest. You can use them anywhere, from the main body of your page to within table cells!

 

panel macro example.jpg

Status Macro: Track Progress and More πŸ“Š

Similar to the Panels macro, the Status macro can be placed anywhere on your page or within a table cell. Most commonly used to highlight project or task status, it can also indicate progress levels or any type of categorization.

The beauty of the Status macro lies in its flexibility. You can customize the text to fit your needs, making it a versatile tool for various labeling purposes.

For instance, the table below uses the Status macro to show selected options, effort levels, and estimated costs. It works seamlessly alongside the Table macro and even Emoji macros for a visually engaging presentation.

 

Macro STATUS.png

Unveiling Data with the Charts Macro πŸ“ˆ

The Charts macro is a powerful tool for transforming dry data tables into visually compelling charts. It offers a high degree of flexibility and customization, allowing you to tailor the chart to perfectly represent the information you want to convey.

Let's walk through an example:

  • Create Your Data Table: Start by building your data table in Confluence. This table should house the information you want to visualize in the chart.

  • Insert the Chart Macro (It's Easier Than You Think!): Simply switch your page to Edit mode and select the Confluence table you want to transform. Look for the "Insert chart" option in the menu that appears below the table. That's all it takes to initiate the chart creation process!

 

Insert Chart.png

  • Customization Heaven: Now comes the fun part! The Charts macro offers a plethora of customization options within the "Chart Options" menu. You can choose the perfect chart type (bar, pie, line, and more!), adjust its orientation and opacity, add a descriptive title, and even customize the X and Y-axis titles for clarity. Legends are also available to enhance understanding.

Macro CHART v2.GIF

 

Here's the best part: the Charts macro is dynamic! As you update the data in your table, the chart automatically reflects the changes, ensuring your visualizations stay current and accurate.

Macro CHART Final.png

Anchors Macro πŸ“Œ

Ever created a Confluence page that stretches on for miles? Fret not, the Anchors macro is here to become your navigation hero!

This handy tool lets you create jump points within your page, allowing viewers to seamlessly move between sections or even navigate to other Confluence pages and external websites.

Here's how Anchors streamline your reader's experience, especially on lengthy pages:

  • Effortless Scrolling: Anchors act like signposts. Place one at the bottom of your page (like in our example named "page-end") and another at the top where you want readers to jump to. Now, viewers can easily navigate back and forth, saving them from endless scrolling.
  • Quick Links to Specific Sections: Need to direct readers to a specific point in your page? Anchors can handle that too! Simply place an anchor macro at the relevant section and create a hyperlink in another part of the page that points to it. All you need to do is add a "#" symbol before the anchor name in the hyperlink, and voila! Instant jump points.

Bonus Tip: While the macro automatically inserts dashes for spaces in anchor names, it's good practice to avoid them altogether for clarity.

 

Macro ANCHOR v2.GIF

 

Bridging the Gap: Jira Issues Macro πŸ“‘

The final piece in our Confluence macro exploration is the Jira Issues macro. This powerful tool becomes especially relevant if your team utilizes both Confluence for knowledge sharing and Jira for project management within your organization.

Connecting Confluence and Jira for Enhanced Visibility:

The Jira Issues macro allows you to seamlessly integrate Jira data directly into your Confluence pages. You have the flexibility to display a single specific issue, a filtered list of issues, or even just a count, all based on a JQL (Jira Query Language) search, filter, or URL.

 

Macro JIRA ISSUE v2.GIF

 

To leverage this macro effectively, you'll need to ensure your Confluence and Jira applications are connected via Application Links. The level of customization you can achieve depends on your mastery of JQL, offering a vast potential for tailored data retrieval.

For instance, in our example, we displayed information from a specific Jira project. We filtered the results to show only "Tasks" with a "To Do" status, ensuring the Confluence page reflected the exact data we needed. The Jira Issues macro truly empowers you to bridge the gap between Confluence and Jira, fostering seamless collaboration within your team.

 

 

Confluence Text Formatting: Beyond the Basics πŸŽ¨βœ¨

We've explored some powerful Confluence macros that enhance functionality. But what if you want to elevate the visual appeal of your pages? While built-in macros offer a foundation, you might crave more creative options.

 

Several third-party apps offer a range of formatting tools to take your Confluence pages to the next level. These apps provide a variety of features, allowing you to create truly engaging content.

image 489.png

 

Many of these solutions prioritize user-friendliness. They often employ a WYSIWYG (What You See Is What You Get) approach, allowing you to see your page formatting live as you build it. This drag-and-drop approach makes creating beautiful Confluence pages accessible to everyone, regardless of technical expertise.

 

The pictures show screenshots from the macro suite Aura - Content Formatting Macros by appanvil.

 

aura background transparent .jpg

 

Confluence Macro Mastery: 10 Pro Tips to Take Your Pages to the Next Level πŸ› οΈ

Ready to unlock the full potential of Confluence macros? We've compiled ten "Pro Tips" to guide you on your journey to macro mastery. By incorporating these suggestions alongside the knowledge you've gained so far, your Confluence pages will shine!

 

1. Know Your Macros:

Confluence offers a diverse selection of macros categorized for specific purposes – formatting, navigation, content, reporting, and integration. Familiarize yourself with these categories to find the perfect tool for each job.

2. Dive into Documentation:

Each macro comes with comprehensive documentation explaining its functionality, settings, and usage examples. Consider this your macro instruction manual – refer to it often to ensure you're using each tool effectively.

3. Experimentation is Key:

Don't be afraid to play around with different macro settings! Experimentation is the best way to discover how each parameter affects the final output. This hands-on approach helps you achieve the desired results for your pages.

4. The Power of Combination:

Think beyond using just one macro at a time! Combine multiple macros to create richer, more interactive experiences. This approach allows you to craft truly engaging and functional Confluence pages.

5. Automate Your Workflow:

Macros can be powerful allies in streamlining repetitive tasks. For instance, the Jira Issues macro lets you automatically display relevant Jira issues on your Confluence page, eliminating the need for manual updates.

6. Keep it Organized:

For improved clarity and collaboration, group related macros together on your pages. Add clear labels and descriptions to make it easy for others to understand your page's structure and purpose.

7. Stay Up-to-Date:

Atlassian frequently releases new macros and updates existing ones. Stay informed by following their official announcements and release notes. Experiment with new macros as they become available to see how they can enhance your workflow.

8. Share the Knowledge:

Empower your team! Share your macro knowledge and encourage them to explore the vast capabilities of Confluence. Fostering collaboration allows everyone to leverage Confluence's full potential.

9. Community is Key:

The Confluence community thrives online! Join forums, user groups, and discussions dedicated to Confluence. Connect with other users, share best practices, and seek support when you encounter challenges.

10. Practice Makes Perfect:

The more you practice, the more comfortable you'll become with macros. Dedicate time to experiment with different options, explore features, and create sample pages to test your skills.

 

Bonus Tip: Explore the Atlassian Marketplace πŸ”

User reviews and ratings on the Atlassian Marketplace offer valuable insights into the practical use and performance of macros. Gain valuable knowledge from real-world experiences shared by other users. Explore these resources to discover how macros can benefit you, your teams, and your entire organization.

 

Aura marketplace review.png

 

Your Next Steps

We hope this guide has equipped you with practical information and real-world examples to unlock the power and expandability of Confluence macros. Remember, your Confluence instance comes with a variety of built-in macros ready to use. Additionally, consider exploring third-party solutions for even more creative possibilities.

Now it's your turn! πŸ’¬

  • What are your favorite built-in Confluence macros, and why?
  • In your experience, have you found a need for third-party macros to achieve your Confluence page goals? Share your thoughts in the comments below! 

 

 

 

2 comments

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Lukas Nicolai May 14, 2024

Great summary! I always try to make my Confluence pages a bit prettier with Aura. Works awesome! I definitely need to try out the charts macro as well.

For third-party apps, you can also use AutoPage to display Jira issue content on Confluence pages. After setup, it creates pages automatically from Jira, and changes in Jira are live in sync.

Like β€’ # people like this
Patricia Modispacher _appanvil_
Marketplace Partner
Marketplace Partners provide apps and integrations available on the Atlassian Marketplace that extend the power of Atlassian products.
May 14, 2024

Thank you so much for your acknowledgement, @Lukas Nicolai ! 

 

Your fave sounds pretty nice! Thanks for the recommendation.

Like β€’ Andy Gladstone likes this
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