Concurrent Editing and Merging Changes

Sometimes, another user may edit the same page as you're editing, at the same time you do. When this happens, Confluence will do its best to ensure nobody's changes are lost.

How will I know if someone else is editing the same page as I am?

If another user is editing the same page as you, Confluence will display a message above your edit screen letting you know who the other user is and when the last edit was made.

Screenshot: Notification of Simultaneous Page Editing



What happens if two of us are editing the same page and the other user saves before I do?

If someone else has saved the page before you, when you click Save, Confluence will check if there are any conflicts between your changes and theirs. If there are no conflicting changes, Confluence will merge the changes.

If there are conflicts, Confluence will display them for you and give you the option to:

  • Continue editing - Continue to edit the page; useful if you want to manually merge the changes.  
  • Overwrite - Replace the other person's edits with yours (their edits will be lost). 
  • Cancel - Discard your changes and exit the editor, keeping the other person's edits. 

Example Scenario

For example, Alice and Bob both edit the same page at the same time.

If Alice clicks save before Bob, Bob is now effectively editing an out-of-date version of the page. When Bob clicks save, Confluence will examine his changes to see if any overlap with Alice's. If the changes don't overlap (i.e. Alice and Bob edited different parts of the page), Bob's changes will be merged with Alice's automatically.

If Bob's changes overlap with Alice's, Confluence will display an error message to Bob showing where Alice has changed the page, and giving Bob the options to overwrite Alice's changes with his own, to re-edit the document to incorporate Alice's work, or to cancel his own changes entirely, maintaining Alice's changes.

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42 Archived comments

  1. User avatar

    Anonymous

    In confluence 3.3, I don't see a merge option. Am I missing something, or by merge do you mean that I can cut & paste all the changes into the wiki editor box? If so, that's not really a merge. That's a "go fix it yourself" box.  

    04 Oct 2010
  2. User avatar

    Anonymous

    Can we lock pages?? Rather than allowing anothe user to edit a page when a user is already editing that page? I found something in release notes for version 1.1 but just sort of explains the concept, it doesn't say how to switch from the "merge on conflict" mode to the "do not allow conflicts" mode.

    HELP! :)

    23 Mar 2011
    1. User avatar

      Anonymous

      I would like to be able to "lock" the page if one person is editing.  Anyway to do iths?

      12 Apr 2011
  3. User avatar

    Anonymous

    I'm not given the option to merge changes? Is this something I need to set up?

    01 Apr 2011
  4. User avatar

    Anonymous

    I hope you'll catch up to Google Docs some day and allow true concurrent editing. That would be a killer feature for a Wiki!

    13 Dec 2011
  5. User avatar

    Anonymous

    Catch up with google docs? Google docs is not that great. And you cannot compare Confluence and Google docs - they're completely different.

    12 Jan 2012
    1. User avatar

      Anonymous

      This article is about Concurrent Editing and Merging and then Google Docs is the greatest in all categories and has been for several years.

      12 Jul 2012
  6. User avatar

    Hieu Le Trung

    I'd like to have a feature that Lock to Edit as well.

    23 Aug 2012
  7. User avatar

    Jorge

    There are certain situations that concurrent editing is  important. For instance when sitting in an online meeting when we can work together easily. However, giving access to multiple people to edit a file is outdated since the moment that they open it is a bit too complicated to handle. My simple and easy solution would be to allow to CHECK OUT the page (with limited time and notification of who has it checked out).

    05 Sep 2012
    1. User avatar

      Anonymous

      Yes, either merges changes automatically, like Google Drive, or CHECK OUT. Must update this somehow!

      27 Mar 2013
  8. User avatar

    Guangwu He

    Does it support the content with non-english character?

    I try it with chinese characters,it does not work.(sad)

    12 Nov 2012
  9. User avatar

    Anonymous

    Locked edits are a terrible idea. If you enable it we will go back to the days a of a locked file on a random server and admin support to force unlocks and all that nonesense. Please get concurrent editing working or make a better version merging interface

    01 Feb 2013
    1. User avatar

      Anonymous

      Agreed.

      Check-out a page? how very developer of us. 

      18 Mar 2013
  10. User avatar

    Anonymous

    So, I'm running a meeting where different parties coming from disparate locations around the country are looking at the same page. Today one of the attendees edited the meeting agenda/notes pages two minutes before the meeting time. I had already opened up the meeting agenda/notes pages 5 minutes before that, so I was looking at a version that my colleagues has in the meantime already updated. So when it came time for me to save the meeting notes I obliterated his changes. Locking would be nice. I can think of one way of doing this using tools > page restrictions > restrict editing to "me" and then unlock. But that seems incredibly cumbersome... Maybe one could have the OPTION to lock a page, which would be OFF by default?

    03 Apr 2013
  11. User avatar

    Anonymous

    This is so fucked up. I am ashamed for humanity that people choose to use Confluence. It has so many moronic things, but the totally broken concurrent editing is what pisses me off the most. Please discontinue this product and migrate users over to, about any other wiki on earth. Actually since JIRA is so badly written and designed too, maybe you should just let the whole company move over to flipping burgers or something you might be capable of doing well.

    07 May 2013
    1. User avatar

      Jorge

      get checked, you might have a hormonal imbalance (wink)  its just software

      10 May 2013
    1. User avatar

      Matthew Taylor

      I don't understand. They are different and complementary tools: use Google docs for the multi-user authoring feature, then paste the result in a Confluence document for archival purposes.  Seems like you'd get the best of both?

      10 May 2013
  12. User avatar

    Matthew Taylor

    Google Drive/Docs is different from Confluence. There is no notion of version control or restoration of former versions in Google Drive. And this is bad. Not to mention that it's impossible to see which crazy collaborator mangled what.  I have no doubt that Confluence can solve this problem and address both needs in time: allowing multi-user concurrent edits (that save to drafts with multi-author attributions), and keep the notion of formal save states (again with multi-author attribution, e.g. "last edited by Sarah and John").   

    For arbitrating multi-editor access, I like the idea of "first" editor priority. First person to edit a page has exclusive access, subsequent requests to concurrently edit the page should be approved in realtime by the person who has primary edit access to the page.  

    10 May 2013
  13. User avatar

    IT Omnitracs

    Google drive has version history. You can always see other changes.

    13 May 2013
  14. User avatar

    Anonymous

    test comment

    17 Jun 2013
  15. User avatar

    Anonymous

    Another voice here requesting a feature where we can make some pages single edit only.  I fully understand the consequences of this such as people not saving or locking other people out.  However being able to selectively set the single-edit only flag on a page would vastly improve our work flow here.  As has been said before the tools are evidently already present in the confluence infrastructure so enforcing single edit is a very simple feature to add. 

     

    Please add this feature and make your software more valuable to us, and hence to your bottom line.

    04 Jul 2013
  16. User avatar

    Steven Parsons

    The ability to lock a page for editing needs to be implemented. If you are worried about lockouts give the Space Admins permissions to override this setting.


     

    12 Jul 2013
  17. User avatar

    Stefan Braunewell

    This feature does not work reliably in Confluence 5.1.

    Sometimes the Notification of Simultaneous Page Editing is not displayed, sometimes changes are overwritten without any warning. When productively working in the system, this is a serious problem. Are there plans on reworking this?

    15 Jul 2013
    1. User avatar

      Alexander Seith

      Hi Stefan,

      we've faced the same problems you described and came to the conclusion that it's better to work with page locking. We've made an extension that locks a page when it's currently edited and removes the lock afterwards. Not very cool, but it works reliably.

      Regards

      Alex 

      15 Jul 2013
      1. User avatar

        Stefan Braunewell

        Hi Alexander,

        thanks for your reply. Is this available as a plugin? I haven't found it on the marketplace.

        15 Jul 2013
        1. User avatar

          Alexander Seith

          Hi Stefan,

          we haven't released it yet, but are planing to do so (don't know how long it will take). If you're interested, I can have one of my collegues to get in touch with so you can use/evalute it before the release.

          Regards

          Alex

          15 Jul 2013
          1. User avatar

            Craig Castle-Mead

            Alexander,

            I'm also interested in evaluating/using this plugin if possible.

            Regards, Craig

            12 Aug 2013
          1. User avatar

            Anonymous

            Hey Alex!

            This is definitely something I'd love to get my hands on ASAP. Is there an eta for this feature to be released? If not, is there a Atlassian Documentation page or distribution list we can join to stay up to date with it's progress?

             

            30 Oct 2013
          1. User avatar

            Mike Pompa

            I'm also interested in the plugin. The other day, we had someone whose hour's worth of edits were lost due to someone else's tiny change because the other person expected the merge to work.

            31 Jul 2014
  18. User avatar

    Anonymous

    This is the most wanted feature for me. I was waiting for years, but until today it's still not reliable. Other part of Confluence is perfect. Great job!

    19 Jul 2013
  19. User avatar

    pedro catacora

    Hi Alexander we are very interested in the plugin as well, is there a way that we can also test and evaluate the plugin?

    25 Jul 2013
  20. User avatar

    E&P IT

    we use a new page in confluence for our staff meetings each week.  everyone is required to update whatever sections are relevant to them.  however we get issues as desribed in this thread.  previously we used mediawiki and each section that had an underline with that heading level also had an edit tab.   this allowed people to edit a section within a page and save it without affecting other users editing the same page.  mediawiki did not have section locking that would prevent more than one user from editing a section at a time but the number of conflicts was much less.   

    this is how i would like it to work.  

    • if someone edits a whole page then it is locked from anyone else editing it.  
    • headings that have an underline form the boundaries between "editable sections"
    • if someone edits an "editable section" then it is locked from anyone else editing it.

    • if someone wants to edit something that is locked then a polite notification is sent to the editing user.

    • if an editing user leaves their session idle for, say, 10 mins, then they loose the lock.  force a save.

       

    01 Aug 2013
  21. User avatar

    Leif Egil Hegdal

    When is this going to be released?

    We have several customers (I work at a Atlassian Technology Partner), where this is needed. Please put some effort on getting this plugin done (smile) 

    07 Aug 2013
  22. User avatar

    Anonymous

    It's really annoying that this feature doesn't work at all. I work as teacher on distance education programme where confluence is the platform provided by university. Staff and students doesn't understand why collaborative editing is not possible, while learning theories etc. tout how important collaborative learning skills are nowadays. 

    THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT FEATURE.  

    15 Aug 2013
  23. User avatar

    Anonymous

    Hi everybody, is there any new solution to help us? Who knows a plugin?

    10 Dec 2013
  24. User avatar

    Richard Boekweg

    Embedding a Google doc in an iframe has been a good workaround for us.  The native functionality has been very painful for us. 

    19 Dec 2013
  25. User avatar

    JGoodwin

    I'd not advocate locking of a page, it brings up more problems than it solves. What does need doing is improving the merge editor so that you can select which changes to include in your change. The idea of having to manually re-create the changes seems non-sensical.

    04 Mar 2014
  26. User avatar

    Loren Rothmann

    Please keep this request going! I heard it was coming at Summit. Just would like to know how soon.

    30 Sep 2014
    1. User avatar

      Rachel Robins [Atlassian Tech Writer]

      Hi Loren, Great to hear you're excited by collaborative editing, which was announced this year at Summit. We're super excited too. As for when, I'm afraid I can't say (smile)

      30 Sep 2014
      1. User avatar

        derek@sheeman.com

        Can you say when yet? (smile)

        26 Mar 2015
  27. User avatar

    Josephine

    You wrote: 

    If there are conflicts, Confluence will display them for you and give you the option to:

    • Continue editing - Continue to edit the page; useful if you want to manually merge the changes.  
    • Overwrite - Replace the other person's edits with yours (their edits will be lost). 
    • Cancel - Discard your changes and exit the editor, keeping the other person's edits. 

    Could you please provide a sample message and screen print so we can understand and review what is displayed in this situation?

    13 Apr 2015
  28. User avatar

    Shannon Mackie [Atlassian]

    For the users who desire the ability to limit or lock editing, a feature request has been created for this:

    CONF-34148 - As an admin, I want to disable or limit number of concurrent users editing a page New

    Please vote for the issue and follow it if you wish to see it enabled.

    Thank you for your recommendations!

    18 May 2015
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