Documentation for Confluence 5.4.
Documentation for Confluence OnDemand and earlier versions of Confluence is available too.

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There are two ways to modify the layout of a Confluence page. You can:

  • use Page Layouts to add sections and columns, or
  • use macros to add sections and columns.

Page layouts provides a simple, visual representation of your page layout in the editor, while the macros are more flexible and allow for greater complexity in your layout.

Using page layouts

The Page Layouts tool allows you to structure your page using horizontal sections and vertical columns. By adding multiple sections with different column configurations you can build quite complex layouts very easily.

On this page:

Screenshot: Editor view of a page showing three sections with different column configurations. 

Start by adding a horizontal section to your page. 

To add a section:

  1. Choose the Page Layout button on the editor toolbar.
  2. The Page Layout toolbar appears. Choose Add Section.

The new section appears below your current content. The boundaries of the section are indicated by dotted lines. These are not visible when you view the page. 

To change the column layout in a section:

  1. Place your cursor in the section you wish to change.
  2. Choose a layout from the Page Layout toolbar (for example two column, three column).

Any text, images or macros in your section are not lost when you change the column layout. When you decrease the number of columns, Confluence will move your content to the left. When you increase the number of columns, Confluence will add blank columns to the right of your existing content. 

To move a section to another part of the page:

  1. Place your cursor in the section you wish to move.
  2. Choose the Move up or Move down buttons.

The section and all of its content will be moved above or below other sections on the page. 

To delete a section:

  1. Place your cursor in the section you wish to remove.
  2. Choose Remove section.

The section and all of its content will be removed. 

Notes about Page Layouts

  • Column width - The width of the columns are fixed. If you need more than three columns, or columns of a specific width, you should use the Section and Column macros described below. 
  • Very wide tables. The width of each column is set to a percentage of the page width. The icons in the drop down menu indicate the relative widths for each layout. In most cases, Confluence will adapt the width of the columns to fit the width of the page. If a column includes a large table, the content may not fit into the width of the page. You will see a horizontal scroll bar when viewing the page.

Using the Section and Column macros

You can use the Section and Column macros to add a set of columns to the page. The Section macro defines an area that will contain the columns. You can have as many sections as you like. Within each section, you can have as many columns as you like.

The Section and Column macros are useful if you want to define a specific percentage or pixel width for each column. 

To add a section and some columns to a page:

  1. In the Confluence editor, choose Insert > Other Macros.
  2. Find the Section macro, select it and insert it onto the page.
  3. Choose Insert > Other Macros again.
  4. Find and insert the Column macro.
  5. Add your content to the column.
  6. Insert as many columns as you like within the section.

Screenshot: A section and two columns in the editor


When you see the page in view mode, the above layout is displayed like this:

Content for column 1 goes here

Content for column 2 goes here

Macro parameters

 Parameters are options that you can set to control the content or format of the macro output. Where the parameter name used in Confluence storage format or wikimarkup is different to the label used in the macro browser, it will be listed below in brackets (example).

Parameters of the Section macro

Parameter

Default

Description

Show Border

false

Select this option to draw a border around the section and columns.

Note: Without a Column macro, the border will not be displayed correctly.

Parameters of the Column macro

Parameter

Default

Description

Column Width

100% of the page width, divided equally by the number of columns in the section.

Specify the width of the column, in pixels (for example, 400px) or as a percentage of the available width (for example, 50%).

Notes about sections and columns

  • All content within your section must be enclosed within a Column macro, otherwise the section layout will not work as expected.
  • You can put tables inside columns.

  • No labels

37 Comments

  1. Is there a way to customise/add 'page layouts' ?

    1. This might not be the best approach, but I've found that this works for me...

      Add the code below to the Look and Feel > Stylesheet section in Administration:

      The above code will set the width of the left column in a left-sidebar page layout to 250px. (That style defaults to a width of 29.9%, if I remember correctly.)

  2. It would be nice to be able to specify prinatable state for a section or a code block as these may contain information that you either don't want to share with some audiences.

  3. Anonymous

    i want to create a space template using page layouts - how can i find out the wiki markup for those page layouts? thx a lot!!

    1. There is no wiki markup equivalent for the page layouts. To use them in templates, you will need to upgrade to Confluence 4.3, which allows creation of templates using the new editor.

  4. Anonymous

    How can I ensure that the page width will be printable?  Some of our wiki editors put in very wide images or tables. Is there a way to limit the width of the wiki page while it is being edited, to prevent folks from adding content that is too wide?

    1. Have you tried exporting to PDF and then printing?

  5. I have a user who has managed to "stack" page layouts, by putting one three-column layout with headers and footers on top of another one. Is there a way to remove the extra layout elements from the page?

     

     

  6. Anonymous

    Is there a way to SIMPLY set the columns in a table?  I see the page and columns but I have a table and need to fix the width of the columns.

  7. Anonymous

    Hi,

    can we take more layouts inside one layout?. and what is the reason for getting exception like "Force close"?.

  8. How do you make a page like this one where the TOC is on the right, but after it, the content on the left spans the whole page?  I know you use a TOC macro, but do you use sections and column's for formatting?

    1. Hallo Wesley

      Yes, we've used a Section macro and two Column macros for the top part of the page. The rest of the page, where it spans the entire page, is without Section/Columns.

      Hint: You can see the macros and other layout elements on this page, by choosing "Tools" > "View Source" at top right of the page.

      Cheers, Sarah

      1. How did you set the width of the entire page to fixed width centered in the browser?  I don't seem to figure out how to do that in my Confluence page.

        1. Hi Abhir, we've used some custom CSS on this space to achieve the fixed width, and centred layout.  See Styling Confluence with CSS.

  9. Hi there, I'm currently on Confluence 5.1.3 and I couldn't find the option to add or remove sections (no toolbar like in the first image). I understand that this section is for 5.2 but I was just curious if there's anyway to do that on 5.1.3. Thanks!

    1. Same here. Looks like the feature is gone. (sad)

    2. Glad you like the feature! It's a new feature coming in Confluence 5.2 that's available in OnDemand today. Confluence 5.2 will be available for download very very shortly though. Some more information about page layout improvements... http://blogs.atlassian.com/2013/08/introducing-page-layouts-2-0-one-page-unlimited-layouts/

  10. Hi,

    We recently updated to 5.0.3 and I am having trouble with sections.

    When I use this macro it places a huge gap between the content of the section and the top of the page no matter what it looks like in the editor. Now I understand some of that gap can be attributed to the use of Heading 1 font stying on the first text in the section but is there anyway to reduce/remove the remaining gap?


    Thanks

  11. Anonymous

    Can you tell me what layout this page is using?  Is the left nav built within the page? or is it a sidebar that you have stylized?

    1. Anonymous

      NM   I see you used the "documentation" template.  thx

       

      1. Anonymous

  12. Can anyone help me with this -

    I have two sections in my page , and i want to update only one section through a script , so how can i differentiate the two sections so that i can mention which section to be updated in my script

  13. Hi,

    I have Confluence 5.1.4 and I do not see this Page Layout tool that you speak of??? I really like this but can't find it? Is it in my version of Confluence? If so how do I find/Enable it?

    OK, so I just read the entire thread above and see it's not released until 5.2, which is not yet available (sad).  Since you already have it OnDemand, how about providing a plugin for us download users.  This feature will be a long way off for us!!! 

  14. We normally provide a new feature like this as a plugin when we can. In this case the page layouts 2.0 requires core changes to the product so a full upgrade is necessary.

    1. Thanks, understood...

      When can we expect 5.2 to be released?

      1. look for something next week.

        1. OK, Just installed 5.2.3 and very disappointed with page layout... It's not that much different to what was already there.  What I was hoping for was to create a 5 column page that was easy for people to add content to (make it a template), using Section and Column macros is just way to messy (not very WYSIWYG).

          I tried just using a Table, but because they auto size depending on content, the results for this purpose is hopeless.

          Help, what can I do???

           

          Is there any way to add customised sections to the tool (ie. a 5 column section)?

          Also I found this reference to a table-plus macro that used to exist - this would also do the trick for me, but what happened to it??? https://wiki.mq.edu.au/pages/viewpage.action?pageId=65963269

          1. Thanks for the feedback Chris. That's not something you can do at the moment unfortunately, but we might consider in the future.

            The Table plugin is available here on the Marketplace.

  15. Adding sections and columns simply DOES NOT WORK when it comes to exporting. When using sections and columns and exporting to .pdf, the columns stack and words break in strange areas.  This does not happen when using the Page Layout option; however, the existing template column sizes are not conducive to suit my needs.

    1. Hi Robin, you're correct, the Page Layout method will correctly export to PDF.  Column and Section macros appear one after another (which can lead to confused content depending on how you've structured the content in your macros). 

      There is an issue here that you can follow about allowing column widths to be resized in page layouts  CONF-25519 - Page Layout Columns Should Be Resizable Open

      1. Thank you for the feedback, Rachel. When using sections and columns, the columns layout/sizes remain the same 99.9% of the time throughout the entire page (text column, space column, image column); however, the PDF export ALWAYS stacks the text on top of the image.

         

        I will be sure to follow the JIRA issue.

  16. I like working with the new sections, I think they offer a lot better possibility to make the pages clean. 

    My problem is that when I export the pages to .pdf I always get an empty page first if I have more than one section on the page. As long as there is only one section it is fine but if I add a second section the pdf output will give me an empty page in front of the content. 

     

    1. Hi Edda, are you exporting a single page to PDF or the whole space?  I have just tried this out and wasn't able to replicate your problem. 

      Some things to check:

      • If you're exporting the whole space, check if you have a customised PDF stylesheet - the customisations might be causing this to occur
      • Do you have macros or other content on the page that might be causing the page break? 

      If you have no luck with either of these, feel free to contact Support who will help you troubleshoot, or raise a bug here. 

  17. Also having issues trying to print three-column pages to page. I have used the page layout but the .pdf stacks, as described above. I have recreated the page using Sections and Columns, but same result. 

    What is the JIRA ticket I should be following?

     

    1. CONF-25519 - Page Layout Columns Should Be Resizable Open

    2. Hi Jim, the issue with page layouts (using the page layout tool, not the section and column macros) not being maintained in PDF exports was fixed in Confluence 5.3.4. See  CONF-25240 - PDF export does not handle page layouts Resolved

      Does the content of any of your columns exceed the width of the column? For example a large image or macro that might cause the column to scroll horizontally?  This might affect the output in the PDF. 

      If you continue to have problems please raise an issue so our developers can look into it. 

      Note: using the section and column macros will always result in a 'stacked' output in your PDF. 

  18. As floats function in the PDF export, a possible workaround to section/column formatting problems in older versions of Confluence may be to create a column layout using floats. You would need to be able to work with HTML (e.g. div macro) and CSS. I tried this out by following a basic tutorial I found from a web search and I got three text columns on my page in my PDF export.