6 min read

What are Confluence macros? Learn how to use them to create beautiful Confluence pages

LP
Linh Pham
19 August 2021 Confluence
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Confluence is a brilliant solution for any business looking 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 created equal

Confluence has thousands of customers all over the world, but not all of them are using the tool perfectly - or to its full potential. As with any software, Confluence is only as good as the team using it, and its out-of-the-box functionality may be limiting for some. If it is 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 it.

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 allow you to extend the functionality and design of Confluence content. They are special add-ons that are inserted into Confluence pages to add functionality or enhance content. Available within Confluence and also extendable through Marketplace apps, 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.

How to use Confluence macros

Using Confluence macros requires a bit of know-how, but once you know where to find the macros 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 - varies between Confluence Cloud and Confluence Server/DC. Below is the process to insert macros in the Cloud.

Adding 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, you can 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, or the functionality. 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 Confluence Cloud, Data Center and Server, 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: 

Available in Confluence Server, Cloud and Data Center, 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.

Expand macro in Confluence

Roadmap Planner: 

The Roadmap Planner macro is available on Cloud, Server and Data Centre. It 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

Jira Issues macro:

Use the Jira Issues macro on Cloud, Server and Data Center to pull in and display information directly from Jira. This reduces context-switching and allows your team to see relevant Jira issues and tasks right within Confluence. It’s ideal for project status updates, team meetings and sharing Jira updates with your Confluence users.

Jira issue filter 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 a variety of pages. It’s available on Server, Data Center and Cloud.

Page properties macro in Confluence

Confluence advanced macros (third-party plugins)

Tooltip

The Confluence Tooltip macro is part of the Content Formatting Macros for Confluence suite. It’s 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.

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, adding interactivity to your Confluence pages.

Card macro

Another Content Formatting Macro for Confluence, the Card macro is a popular way to make pages more visually appealing. Add cards containing images, text and hyperlinks to Confluence pages to highlight key information. You can try it now on Confluence Cloud.

Community Forums for Confluence

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

Discover more macros with The Homepage on Content Formatting Macros for Confluence Cloud

Content Formatting Macros for Confluence offers a wide range of powerful macros. Whether you want to add contextual information with the Tooltip macro or add new interactive elements with Cards, you'll find what you're looking for in the in-app homepage.

Homepage in Content Formatting Macros for Confluence Cloud

Get ready to harness the power of Confluence macros

Take your Confluence content to new levels with native and third-party macros. For more information and inspiration, check out our Confluence blogs.

Rocket heading towards planet with Confluence macros spinning around it

Learn more about The Homepage on Content Formatting Macros for Confluence Cloud

Our blog shows you where to find it and how to use it.

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