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  • You must have system administration privileges to install the theme
  • You must have correctly set the Base URL in Confluence's General Configuration settings.

(lightbulb) Should you encounter any problems, please see our Troubleshooting Guide which lists all common problems and how to fix them.

Plugin Requirements Overview

Confluence Version

Plugin Repository

Theme Builder

Content Formatting Macros

Page Information Tools






2.0.x – 2.1.x










2.3.x - 2.4.x







2.0.9 or above





2.0.9 or above, 3.x for best results


1.2.8 or above



3.1.4 or above


1.2.8 or above



3.1.4 or above


1.2.8 or above

(info) Confluence 1.4.x is no longer supported - you can try Builder 1.4 or 1.5 if desired. The Content Formatting and Page Information Tools plugins were not required for Builder 1.x.

Installing the Builder Plugin

If you are upgrading from an earlier version of Builder, please see the important notes on upgrading Builder later in this tutorial.

(warning) When manually downloading plugins using Internet Explorer, make sure the file extension isn't changed to ".zip" - if it is, change it back to ".jar" before installing the plugin.

1. Install Dependant Plugins

Theme Builder requires two open source plugins, both developed by Adaptavist, to be installed:

The easiest way to install these plugins is via the Plugin Repository. Alternatively you can download these plugins manually and install via the Plugin Manager or "Uploads" tab on the Plugin Repository.

Note: These plugins are only required for the navigation and title panels default settings - if you don't want to use tables or display page information in your customised theme design, you will not require these plugins.

2. Disable "Compatibility Macros" plugin

...or "incompatibility nightmares" as Adaptavist lovingly refer to them!

In the Plugin Manager, you'll see a plugin called "Compatibility Macros" - it's developed by Atlassian and is bundled with Confluence. It's enabled by default and sometimes also gets enabled after doing a Confluence upgrade in some circumstances, even if you've previously disabled or uninstalled it.

Unfortunately, the macros in this plugin break stuff - especially the table macro. Very few wikis actually need the plugin so generally we recommend disabling it completely. The main culprit is the table macro which can be disabled in isolation if desired.

If you have one of the very rare wikis that need the plugin, specifically the table macro, then you won't be able to use the macro of the same name from Adaptavist's free Content Formatting Macros plugin. The table macro is used primarily in the Header, Navigation and Title panels of the DEFAULT layout so you'd have to find some alternate way of arranging the content in those panels if you're unable to disable Atlassian's bundled Compatibility Macros plugin.

3. Install Theme Builder

Take a full backup of Confluence then follow the instructions applicable to the version of the Builder theme you are using as shown below:

 Theme Builder 1.x
  1. Manually download the plugin from the URL in your license email.
  2. Install the plugin using the Confluence Plugin Manager (in Administration Console)
  3. Restart Confluence to complete the installation
 Theme Builder 2.x
  1. Manually download the plugin from the URL in your license email.
  2. Install the plugin using the Confluence Plugin Manager (in Administration Console)
 Theme Builder 3.x
  1. Install the plugin using the Plugin Repository
  2. Click the "config" link that appears next to the plugin and enter your license key

4. Applying the Theme

Once the theme is installed, you need to apply it to spaces (or globally) for it to take effect. For more information, please see: Enabling the Theme.

Before your first use of the theme, you will have to accept the End User License Agreement - if you do not, most of the themes features will be disabled.

To customise the theme to your requirements, please see Theme Configuration.

Upgrading Theme Builder

Take a full backup of Confluence before upgrading Theme Builder or Confluence.

Before installing a new version of Theme Builder, the old version must first be uninstalled:

  • If using the Plugin Repository to install the new version (including using the "Upload" tab), the old version will be automatically uninstalled
  • If you uploaded via the Plugin Manager, first select the existing version of the plugin (by clicking the link in Plugin Manager) and click the "Uninstall Plugin" link to remove it
  • If you manually installed the plugin to the WEB-INF/lib folder (not a good idea), you must manually delete that file from disk

Specific notes for various upgrade scenarios are shown below - click all that apply:

 Uninstalling Theme Builder on Confluence 1.4 - 2.2

On some occasions, you may get an error message stating that the plugin could not be uninstalled. Should this happen, restart Confluence and try again.

 Upgrading to Confluence 2.3 or above when using Theme Builder 2.x or earlier

Make sure to copy the /config folder to the new Confluence installation.

Also, be sure to install the correct versions of Theme Builder and dependant plugins as per the table at the top of this page.

 Upgrading to Confluence 2.5 or above

Remember to upgrade Page Information Pluign and Theme Builder to the versions stated in the table at the top of this page.

 Upgrading to Confluence 2.6 or above

If possible, upgrade to Theme Builder 3.0 or above which is more heavily tested on Confluence 2.6 and above.

If you are unable to upgrade to Theme Builder 3.0 or above, upgrade to at least version 2.0.9.

Upgrade to the latest version of Page Information Tools plugin.

 Upgrading to Confluence 2.7 or above

You will need Theme Builder 3.0 (at least beta 23 or above) for Confluence 2.7 compatibility.

 Upgrading Theme Builder 1.x to 2.x or later
 Upgrading Theme Builder 1.x or 2.x to 3.x

All currently known issues relating to upgrades of Theme Builder or Confluence are covered by our Builder Troubleshooting Guide.

Bug Reports and Feature Requests

Before reporting a bug, please check our Builder Troubleshooting Guide and Release Notes - it's possible a solution already exists or a recent version of the theme already resolves the issue you have.


  1. Anonymous


    I'm currently running Confluence 2.2.9 with Builder (and a bunch of other plug-ins) installed.

    I'm wanting to upgrade to confluence 2.3.1.

    I'm following Atlassian's upgrade doco, specifically "Method One", which is to unpack confluence 2.3.1 to a new directory, edit the new confluence/WEB-INF/classes/ file and set the "confluence.home" variable to point at the location used in 2.2.9.

    It seems to be working okay - the content etc is loaded - but some plugins are not working. When go I into Administration -> Plug ins, I see that Builder plugin reports "errors loading plug in".

    Since the plugins seem to be installed below the "confluence.home" area, rather than inside the confluence app itself, I hoped that they would just automatically pick up...

    Any suggestions, about Builder and/or plugins in general?


    1. When upgrading to v2.3.1 we suggest that you first get a list of the plugins you want to keep, then remove all the plugins from your confluence home directory before upgrading. Then download the latest versions of those plugins via the plugin repository and you should be handed compatible versions.

      If you don't want to revert and re-upgrade, then if you can give a list of the Adaptavist plugins (including versions) you are running, I can tell you if they are compatible or not.

  2. Unknown User (

    I'm begginer in Confluence + Theme builder. I've installed the last Confluence evaluation version and I've loaded Theme Builder 3.1.1. I would like to know where all the changes are stored, where the configuration xml files are and in which directory I can save the pictures. Where can I find more details and more information about? I've almost read everything in your doc and tutorial section and I didn't found it.

  3. Unknown User (baaderst)

    Dear Adaptavists,

    after we upgraded Confluence from 2.8.1 to 3.3 we recognized that it's necessary to upgrade Theme Builder too.
    We upgraded Theme Builder 3.3.5 to the latest version 4.1.1

    But now all settings in "Builder Administration" / "manage spaces" are replaced by strange data values in all rows. No space title, no space key and no assignment to a layout is available.

    Stefan Baader

    1. Thanks for the bug report, we will be addressing this in the next release.