Confluence Tips: Stop Re-Typing Content, Just Include It

Posted by Bill Cushard on September 28, 2020

This blog was first published by Bill Cushard (@BillCush) on February 05, 2014.  It was last updated on September 28, 2020.

For most of us, when learning any new technology tool, especially one that is easy to use, we get excited and start using it fairly rapidly. This is great because often the best way to learn is by doing. The downside is that without understanding the full functionality of the tool our initial attempts at using it result in a lot of mistakes.

This is decidedly true when we begin to use Confluence. We start adding pages quickly because adding pages is easy. And certainly our first pages are not as organized as they could be, but starting is better than not starting, and we will learn as we go. One of the best ways to shorten the learning curve is to take a training course.

CRM-Solution

One simple way to think about reusing content in Confluence is with team meeting agendas and minutes. Let’s say you use a Confluence page to create and distribute a team meeting agenda and record meeting minutes. The result of a good meeting is a list of action items assigned to specific people. And if you are a good meeting leader, you write down these action items and keep track of them for the following week. Then you write down these actions items again for the next meeting. And again for the next.

What if you could write it once on a Confluence page and include that content automatically on another Confluence page? You can do this quite easily with an Include Page Macro.

PM-Problem

Stop Duplicating Work with the Include Page Macro 

One feature that is often underutilized is the Include Page Macro. You can do two things with this feature. First, you can include content from from one page in another. Second, you can include just an excerpt from one page into another page.

Why re-type content (or even copy/paste) when you can just add this simple macro to a Confluence page?  It not only save times, it prevents mistakes that often occur from re-typing.

 

How to Include Content from One Page on Another Page

To Include an Entire Page from another Confluence page, follow these steps:

  1. Create a new page
  2. Place your cursor in the body of the page where you want to include content from another page. Click the plus sign at the top of the page.
  3. Select “Other Macros” from the drop down menu
  4. Search for the keyword “Include”
  5. Select “Include Page”
  6. Search for the name of the page you want to include
  7. Click “Insert” at the bottom of the page
  8. Preview your page and finish the content accordingly.

To include an excerpt of another page on your new page, use the same steps as above, but change step 5 from selecting the “Include Page” macro to selecting the “Excerpt Include” macro.

The only other difference is that in order to include an excerpt of one page in another, you must define a part of the source page as an excerpt. That way, when you include the excerpt in your new page, it will only display the specific excerpt of the source page on your new page.

It takes some getting use to, but once you get the hang of it, you can cut down on a lot of duplicate work. 

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What are some ways you could use the Include Page Macro in your Confluence instance? 

Share your ideas, ask questions, or otherwise brainstorm ideas in the comments below.

 

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Topics: Confluence Tips, Mini Lessons, Atlassian Training

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