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6 min read

What are Confluence macros? How to use them to create beautiful Confluence pages

ES
People with paint rollers and tools working on a large screen

Confluence is a brilliant platform for any business that wants to enhance collaboration and improve knowledge sharing. Whether you're building an internal wiki or brainstorming with colleagues around the world, Confluence is a remote-friendly content platform that enables your team to do their best work.

Not all Confluence pages are equal

Confluence has thousands of customers worldwide, but not all of them are using the tool perfectly - or to its full potential. If Confluence spaces are not set up and managed properly, users can find it difficult to navigate and find the information they need, while admins may struggle to onboard users fast and help teams get the most out of the tool.

That’s why many organisations turn to Confluence editor tools, also known as Confluence macros. Whether it’s to visually enhance the way content is displayed, structure content in a more organised way or completely change the functionality of a page, using Confluence macros can help everyone unleash the true power of Confluence. Here's how to get started with Confluence Macros:

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What are Confluence macros?

Confluence macros are also known as add-ons and plugins. They're tools which can extend the functionality and design of Confluence content. Available natively within Confluence and also as free or paid apps in the Atlassian Marketplace, there are hundreds of macros available to customise your Confluence pages.

Confluence macros typically require a more sophisticated setup than the basic Confluence functionality you see in the main toolbar. But don’t let the slightly more complicated application scare you off. Confluence macros can be incredibly powerful and take your pages and spaces to a whole new level.

Example use case: Your team is working on a new project. They work remotely and need to collaborate in real-time, and you want to make the project space as engaging and visually appealing as possible. Confluence macros allow you to add extra functionality and design elements such as buttons, cards, footnotes, and expandable sections. In turn, this can help to enhance communication and collaboration, allowing your team to perform more efficiently and effectively.

Discover how to use Confluence macros to transform a Confluence page in just five minutes

How to use Confluence macros

Using Confluence macros requires a bit of know-how, but once you know where to find them and what information you need to set them up, you’ll be creating beautiful Confluence pages in no time. 

Note: The steps for inserting Confluence macros - and the selection of macros themselves - vary between Confluence Cloud and Confluence Server/Data Center.

Below is the process to insert macros in Confluence Cloud.

How to add a macro in Confluence Cloud

  • From the page you want to add a macro to, click the pencil icon to enter the Confluence editor
  • In the top right corner of the editor toolbar, click the + button and then ‘View more’
Screenshot of Confluence Macros in use
  • From the ‘Browse’ screen, select a macro from one of the sections provided. You can also use the search bar to look for the name of the macro you want to use (eg "Content Formatting Macros for Confluence"), or the functionality (eg "button" or "tabs"). If you can’t see the macro you’re looking for, you might need to download it from the Atlassian Marketplace or wherever you get your Confluence apps.
Screenshot of Confluence macros browsing screen
  • Click on the macro you want to use and then click ‘Insert’. This will add a macro placeholder to your page, which you will then need to edit (double-click on the macro placeholder) to add your information and parameters. This will vary from macro to macro, so check the documentation for the app you’re using.

Pro tip: When you’re editing a Confluence Cloud page, you can simply type / onto the page to bring up the macro selection. If you’re using Confluence Server or Data Center, type {

Make the most of Confluence with these native and advanced macros

Confluence comes with native (built-in) macros which are available as standard with every Confluence trial and licence. There’s also a wide range of third-party advanced macros you can trial and buy to add more powerful functionality. These third-party Confluence apps can be found on the Marketplace - simply filter by product and hosting type.

Looking for macro inspiration? Check out this selection of popular, powerful Confluence macros:

Confluence native macros (built-in to Confluence)

Table of Contents macro:

You can add a Table of Contents macro to any Confluence page, giving you a neat summary of information to quickly show readers what they can expect from a page. If you’ve got lots of content and want to help your users navigate big chunks of text, a table of contents is a quick and easy solution.

Screenshot of adding a table of contents macro to Confluence

Expand macro: 

The Expand macro allows you to place content in expandable and retractable sections within a page. Visually reduce the amount of information you have on a page and encourage users to interact with it. You can find this macro under the ‘Formatting’ category of the macros menu in Confluence.

Expand macro in Confluence

Roadmap Planner: 

The Roadmap Planner macro acts as a project timeline - or roadmap - to help visualise a project or task’s lifespan and progress. It’s available in the ‘Visuals and images’ category of the macros menu.

Roadmap planner macro

Page Properties macro:

The Page Properties macro works with the Page Properties Report macro to pull information from designated pages to display in one easy-to-read table. It’s useful for project updates and status reports, allowing you to display on one page the most relevant information gathered from various pages.

Page properties macro in Confluence
People adding cards to a Confluence page.

Read more on creating better Confluence pages in our guide

We've put together everything you need to know to make your pages pop.

Read guide

Advanced Confluence macros and tools (third-party plugins)

Content Formatting Macros for Confluence

The Content Formatting Macros for Confluence suite boasts 12 powerful macros on Cloud and 43 on Server and Data Center. The collection of macros helps to improve the design, functionality and user experience of Confluence content, extending its functionality and giving users the tools to build better documentation, wikis, knowledge bases and branded pages.

Here are some of the most popular macros from Content Formatting Macros for Confluence:

Tooltip macro

The Confluence Tooltip macro is a simple macro that lets you add detail to a page without cluttering it with extra text. Tooltip lets you display text to users when they hover over or click on the tooltip icon, making it ideal for referencing or adding extra context for users who want to learn more. See it in action below:

Get started with the Tooltip macro

Tabs macro

Tabs is an extremely simple yet effective macro that does what it says in the name: it adds tabbed content to a Confluence page. This lets you organise information into sections for users to navigate to and click through, making it ideal for breaking up large chunks of text and for keeping pages streamlined and organised.

Tabs in Confluence

Card macro

Available as part of Content Formatting Macros for Confluence Cloud, the Card macro is one of the most popular ways to add design flair to a Confluence page. Use it to add cards containing images, text and even hyperlinks to pages. It's ideal for team profiles, homepage menus and blogs, helping Confluence content look more like a professional website.

Ready to add these macros to your Confluence site? Click below to try Content Formatting Macros for Confluence for free.

Try Content Formatting Macros for Confluence for free
Card macro in Confluence

Forms for Confluence

Run surveys, ask users for feedback and carry out business processes with Forms for Confluence. Available on Cloud, Server and Data Center, the Confluence forms macro allows you to build and embed forms directly within Confluence. It’s easy to use, secure and engaging. Find out more about how Forms for Confluence can benefit your business in our blog.

Community Forums for Confluence

Encourage your team to contribute to discussions with Community Forums for Confluence. This app helps to boost collaboration and encourage engagement by adding forums directly into your Confluence pages. This app is available on all hosting platforms.

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Try Content Formatting Macros for Confluence for free!

Like the sound of Content Formatting Macros? You can try them all right now without paying a cent. Click below to start your free trial of this powerful app and start making your Confluence pages look better than ever!

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About the authors

Emma Smith

Emma is a Senior Content Marketing Manager specialising in Hierarchy for Jira, Content Formatting Macros for Confluence and Forms for Confluence.