The Documentation Theme

The Documentation theme is going away in Confluence 6.0.
Read more about this change. 

The Documentation theme is one of the themes bundled with Confluence. It provides an inbuilt table of contents for your space, a configurable header and footer, and text styles suited to documentation. You can also configure it to restrict the search results to the current space, rather than searching the entire Confluence site.

(warning) Please note, the Documentation theme doesn't support the JIRA links feature.

Quick guide to using the Documentation theme:

  • The left-hand panel contains a page tree. This is a table of contents that shows the pages in the space.
  • Pages with arrow symbols to their left have child pages. Choose the arrow(s) to show and hide child pages.
  • Drag the thick vertical bar between the left-hand panel and the page to change its width.
  • Choose the left-hand panel icon  in the header, next to the search field, to hide or show the left-hand panel.
    Alternatively, press '[' on your keyboard to show/hide the left-hand panel.
  • Overriding a space-restricted search: If your theme is configured to restrict the search to the current space, you can enter 'all:' and your search term to search the entire site.

Customise the Documentation Theme

A space administrator can customise the Documentation theme as follows:

  • Change the content in the left-hand panel and add a header and footer to the page.
  • Restrict the search so that it will show results from the current space only, not from the entire Confluence site.

For more, see Configure the Documentation Theme

Search the space or the site

When using the Documentation theme, the Confluence search offers a few options as described below.

Using the search box at the top right of the page:

  • By default, the main Confluence search is configured to search the entire Confluence site.
    • You will see the words 'Search Confluence' in the search box at top right of the page.
    • The Confluence search will look for matches in the entire Confluence site. This is the default behaviour for other themes too.
  • A space administrator can configure the Documentation theme to restrict the search to the current space.
    • You will see the words 'Search this space' in the search box at top right of the page.
    • The search will return results from the current space only.
    • You can override the search restriction. Enter 'all:' and your search term to search the entire site. For example, enter the following into the search box at top right of the page to search the entire site for 'technical writing':
      all: technical writing
      

Using the search box in the left-hand panel:

  • By default, the Documentation theme's left-hand panel includes a search box. Enter your search term there, to restrict the search to the current space. Specifically, this will search only the pages that are children of the space's home page.
  • If your administrator has restricted the main search to the current space, there will not be a search box in the left-hand panel.

Hints and tips

Below are some hints that you may find useful when using the Documentation theme.
Where can I see a working example of the Documentation theme?

The Confluence documentation uses the Documentation theme. If you are reading this documentation online on the Atlassian documentation wiki, you are seeing a working version of the Documentation theme.

Which pages will appear in the Documentation theme's table of contents?

The theme constructs the page tree in the left-hand panel from all pages that are child pages of the space’s home page. Each space has a single page designated as the 'Home' page. You can specify the home page in the space administration section.

Help, my pages do not appear in the Documentation theme table of contents

Cause 1: Your pages are not under the space's home page. The most probable reason why your pages do not appear in the page tree in the left-hand panel is this: The theme constructs that table of contents from all pages that are child pages of the space’s home page. If your pages are above the home page in the page tree, they will not appear in the left-hand panel.

There are two ways to fix the problem:

  • You can change the designated space home page in the space administration section.
  • Or you can drag and drop all your pages to make them children of the current home page. You can drag and drop pages in the 'Pages' section of the space 'Browse' screen. See Move and Reorder Pages.

Cause 2: Problem with upgrade from Confluence 3.1, with Documentation theme as plugin, to Confluence 3.2 or later with Documentation theme bundled. If your existing Confluence installation already has the Documentation theme plugin installed, you may find that after upgrading to Confluence 3.2 the left-hand navigation bar is empty in the spaces that use the theme. The fix is to enable all modules of the Documentation theme plugin. See the knowledge base article.

Help, my left-hand panel has disappeared

If your entire left-hand panel has disappeared when using the Documentation theme, this is probably because you have clicked the sidebar icon at top right, next to the search box. Click the icon again to restore the panel.

Can I change the default width of the left-hand navigation panel?

The Confluence user interface does not offer a way to change the default width of the left-hand navigation panel supplied by the Documentation theme. Users can change the width by dragging the middle bar, but the default width is not configurable. This post on Atlassian Answers gives a way to do it with CSS: Documentation Theme - Default Width (in px) of left panel.

Notes

  • The Confluence default theme supplies a sidebar, which is different to the left-hand panel in the Documentation theme. For information about the sidebar, see Configure the Sidebar.
  • The Documentation theme supplies a Browse menu in the Confluence header, which gives access to the space administration and advanced options.

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