Confluence Storage Format

This page describes the XHTML-based format that Confluence uses to store the content of pages, page templates, blueprints, blog posts and comments. This information is intended for advanced users who need to interpret and edit the underlying markup of a Confluence page.

We refer to the Confluence storage format as 'XHTML-based'. To be correct, we should call it XML, because the Confluence storage format does not comply with the XHTML definition. In particular, Confluence includes custom elements for macros and more. We're using the term 'XHTML-based' to indicate that there is a large proportion of HTML in the storage format.

On this page:

Macros

Storage format and wiki markup examples have been included in the documentation for each macro.

Headings

Format type

In Confluence 3.5 and earlier In Confluence 4.0 and later What you will get  
Heading 1

h1. Heading 1

<h1>Heading 1</h1> 

Underlined in the Documentation Theme
Heading 2
h2. Heading 2
<h2>Heading 2</h2> 

Underlined in the Documentation Theme
Heading 3
h3. Heading 3
<h3>Heading 3</h3> 

 
Headings 4 to 6 are also available and follow the same pattern        

 

Text effects

Format type

In Confluence 3.5 and earlier In Confluence 4.0 and later What you will get  
strong/bold
*strong*
<strong>strong text</strong>
strong <b> will also work but get converted to <strong> upon saving
emphasis
_emphasis_
<em>Italics Text</em>
emphasis <i> will also work but get converted to <em> upon saving
strikethrough
-strikethrough-
<span style="text-decoration: line-through;">strikethrough</span>
strikethrough <s> and <del> will also work
underline
+underline+
<u>underline</u>
underline  
superscript
^superscript^
<sup>superscript</sup>
superscript  
subscript
~subscript~
<sub>subscript</sub>
subscript  
monospace
{{monospaced}}
<code>monospaced</code>
monospaced  
preformatted n/a
<pre>preformatted text</pre>

 

 

preformatted text
 
block quotes
bq. block quote

or

{quote} 
block
quote
{quote}
<blockquote>
<p>block quote</p></blockquote>
block quote
 
text colour
{color:red}red text{color}
<span style="color: rgb(255,0,0);">red text</span>
red text  
small  n/a
<small>small text</small>

 

 

small text

 
big n/a
<big>big text</big>

big text

 
center-align n/a
<p style="text-align: center;">centered text</p>
centered text  
right-align n/a
<p style="text-align: right;">right aligned text</p>

right aligned text

 

Text breaks

Format type

In Confluence 3.5 and earlier In Confluence 4.0 and later What you will get
New paragraph
Paragraph 1
(empty line)
Paragraph 2 
<p>Paragraph 1</p>

<p>Paragraph 2</p>

Paragraph 1

Paragraph 2

Line break
Line 1 \\ Line 2
Line 1 <br /> Line 2

Note: Created in the editor using Shift + Return/Enter

Line 1
Line 2 
Horizontal rule ----
<hr />

— symbol

---
&mdash;

– symbol --
&ndash;

Lists

Format type

In Confluence 3.5 and earler In Confluence 4.0 and later What you will get
Unordered list – round bullets
* Round bullet list item
<ul>

<li>round bullet list item</li>
</ul>
  • Round bullet list item
Ordered list (numbered list)
# Ordered list item
<ol>

<li>numbered list item</li>
</ol> 
  1. Ordered list item
Task Lists
[] Task list item
<ac:task-list>
    <ac:task>
        <ac:task-status>incomplete</ac:task-status>
        <ac:task-body>task list item</ac:task-body>
    </ac:task>
</ac:task-list>
  • task list item

Format type

In Confluence 3.5 and earlier In Confluence 4.0 and later What you will get
Link to another Confluence page
[Link to another Confluence page|Page Title]
<ac:link>
<ri:page ri:content-title="Page Title" />
<ac:plain-text-link-body>
 <![CDATA[Link to another Confluence Page]]>
</ac:plain-text-link-body>
</ac:link> 
Link to another Confluence page
Link to an attachment
[Link to an attachment^atlassian_logo.gif]
<ac:link>
<ri:attachment ri:filename="atlassian_logo.gif" />
<ac:plain-text-link-body>
 <![CDATA[Link to a Confluence Attachment]]>
</ac:plain-text-link-body>
</ac:link>


Link to an attachment
Link to an external site
[Atlassian|http://www.atlassian.com/]
<a href="http://www.atlassian.com">Atlassian</a>
Atlassian
Anchor link (same page)
[Anchor Link|#anchor]
<ac:link ac:anchor="anchor">
  <ac:plain-text-link-body>
    <![CDATA[Anchor Link]]>
  </ac:plain-text-link-body>
</ac:link>
Anchor Link
Anchor link (another page)
[Anchor Link|pagetitle#anchor]
<ac:link ac:anchor="anchor">
  <ri:page ri:content-title="pagetitle"/>
  <ac:plain-text-link-body>
    <![CDATA[Anchor Link]]>
  </ac:plain-text-link-body>
</ac:link>
Anchor Link
Link with an embedded image for the body [!google.png!|pagetitle#anchor]
<ac:link ac:anchor="Anchor Link">
  <ac:link-body>
	<ac:image><ri:url ri:value="http://confluence.atlassian.com/images/logo/confluence_48_trans.png" /></ac:image>
  </ac:link-body>
</ac:link>

For rich content like images, you need to use ac:link-body to wrap the contents.

 

A note about link bodies

All links received from the editor will be stored as plain text by default, unless they are detected to contain the limited set of mark up that we allow in link bodies. Here are some examples of markup we support in link bodies.

An example of different link bodies
<ac:link>
  <!-- Any resource identifier --> 
  <ri:page ri:content-title="Home" ri:space-key="SANDBOX" /> 
  <ac:link-body>Some <strong>Rich</strong> Text</ac:link-body>
</ac:link>
<ac:link>
  <ri:page ri:content-title="Plugin developer tutorial stuff" ri:space-key="TECHWRITING" />
  <ac:plain-text-link-body><![CDATA[A plain <text> link body]]></ac:plain-text-link-body>
</ac:link>
<ac:link>
  <ri:page ri:content-title="Plugin developer tutorial stuff" ri:space-key="TECHWRITING" />
  <!-- A link body isn't necessary. Auto-generated from the resource identifier for display. --> 
</ac:link>

 

The markup tags permitted within the <ac:link-body> are <b>, <strong>, <em>, <i>, <code>, <tt>, <sub>, <sup>, <br> and <span>.

Images

Format type

In Confluence 3.5 and earlier In Confluence 4.0 and later What you will get
Attached image
!atlassian_logo.gif!
<ac:image>
<ri:attachment ri:filename="atlassian_logo.gif" />
</ac:image>
External image
!http://confluence.atlassian.com/images/logo/confluence_48_trans.png!
<ac:image>
<ri:url ri:value="http://confluence.atlassian.com/images/logo/confluence_48_trans.png" /></ac:image>

Supported image attributes (some of these attributes mirror the equivalent HTML 4 IMG element): 

Name Description
ac:align image alignment
ac:border Set to "true" to set a border
ac:class css class attribute.
ac:title image tool tip.
ac:style css style
ac:thumbnail Set to "true" to designate this image as a thumbnail.
ac:alt alt text
ac:height image height
ac:width image width
ac:vspace the white space on the top and bottom of an image
ac:hspace the white space on the left and right of an image

Tables

Format type

In Confluence 3.5 and earlier In Confluence 4.0 and later What you will get 
Two column, two row (top header row)
||Table Heading Cell 1||Table Heading Cell 2||
|Normal Cell 1|Normal Cell 2|
<table>

<tbody>
  
<tr>
    
<th>Table Heading Cell 1</th>
    
<th>Table Heading Cell 2</th>
  </tr>
  
<tr>
    
<td>Normal Cell 1</td>
    
<td>Normal Cell 2</td>
  </tr>
</tbody>
</table> 
Table Heading Cell 1 Table Heading Cell 2
Normal Cell 1 Normal Cell 2
Two column, three rows, 2nd and third with merged cells in first row N/A
<table>

<tbody>
  
<tr>
    
<th>Table Heading Cell 1</th>
    
<th>Table Heading Cell 2</th>
  </tr>
  
<tr>
    
<td rowspan="2">Merged Cell</td>
    
<td>Normal Cell 1</td>
  </tr>
  
<tr>
    
<td colspan="1">Normal Cell 2</td>
  </tr>
</tbody>
</table> 
Table Heading Cell 1 Table Heading Cell 2
Merged Cell Normal Cell 1
Normal Cell 2

Page layouts

Confluence supports page layouts directly, as an alternative to macro-based layouts (using, for example, the section and column macros). This section documents the storage format XML created when these layouts are used in a page.

Notes:

Element name In Confluence 5.2 and later Attributes
ac:layout

Indicates that the page has a layout. It should be the top level element in the page.

None
ac:layout-section

Represents a row in the layout. It must be directly within the ac:layout tag. The type of the section indicates the appropriate number of cells and their relative widths.

 

ac:type
ac:layout-cell Represents a column in a layout. It must be directly within the ac:layout-section tag. There should be an appropriate number of cells within the layout-section to match the ac:type. None

The recognised values of ac:type for ac:layout-section are:

ac:type

Expected number of cells

Description

single

1 One cell occupies the entire section.
two_equal 2 Two cells of equal width.
two_left_sidebar 2 A narrow (~30%) cell followed by a wide cell.
two_right_sidebar 2 A wide cell followed by a narrow (~30%) cell.
three_equal 3 Three cells of equal width.
three_with_sidebars 3 A narrow (~20%) cell at each end with a wide cell in the middle.

The following example shows one of the more complicated layouts from the old format built in the new. The word {content} indicates where further XHTML or Confluence storage format block content would be entered, such as <p> or <table> tags.

<ac:layout>
  <ac:layout-section ac:type="single">
     <ac:layout-cell>
        {content}
     </ac:layout-cell>
  </ac:layout-section>
 <ac:layout-section ac:type="three_with_sidebars">
     <ac:layout-cell>
       {content}
     </ac:layout-cell>
     <ac:layout-cell>
       {content}
     </ac:layout-cell>
     <ac:layout-cell>
       {content}
     </ac:layout-cell>
  </ac:layout-section>
  <ac:layout-section ac:type="single">
     <ac:layout-cell>
        {content}
     </ac:layout-cell>
  </ac:layout-section>
</ac:layout>

Emoticons

Format type

In Confluence 3.5 and earlier In Confluence 4.0 and later What you will get
Emoticons :) 
<ac:emoticon ac:name="smile" />

(smile)

  :(  
<ac:emoticon ac:name="sad" />
(sad)
  :P  
<ac:emoticon ac:name="cheeky" />
(tongue)
  :D  
<ac:emoticon ac:name="laugh" />
(big grin)
  ;)  
<ac:emoticon ac:name="wink" />
(wink)
  (y)  
<ac:emoticon ac:name="thumbs-up" />
(thumbs up)
  (n)  
<ac:emoticon ac:name="thumbs-down" />
(thumbs down)
  (i)  
<ac:emoticon ac:name="information" />
(info)
  (/)  
<ac:emoticon ac:name="tick" />
(tick)
  (x)  
<ac:emoticon ac:name="cross" />
(error)
  (!)
<ac:emoticon ac:name="warning" />
(warning)

Resource identifiers

Resource identifiers are used to describe "links" or "references" to resources in the storage format. Examples of resources include pages, blog posts, comments, shortcuts, images and so forth. 

Resource

Resource identifier format
Page
<ri:page ri:space-key="FOO" ri:content-title="Test Page"/>

Notes:

  • ri:space-key: (optional) denotes the space key. This can be omitted to create a relative reference.
  • ri:content-title: (required) denotes the title of the page.
Blog Post
<ri:blog-post ri:space-key="FOO" ri:content-title="First Post" ri:posting-day="2012/01/30" />

Notes:

  • ri:space-key: (optional) denotes the space key. This can be omitted to create a relative reference.
  • ri:content-title: (required) denotes the title of the page.
  • ri:posting-day: (required) denotes the posting day. The format is YYYY/MM/DD.
Attachment
<ri:attachment ri:filename>
	... resource identifier for the container of the attachment ...
</ri:attachment>

Notes:

  • ri:filename: (required) denotes the name of the attachment.
  • the body of the ri:attachment element should be a resource identifier denoting the container of the attachment. This can be omitted to create a relative attachment reference (similar to [foo.png] in wiki markup).

Examples:

Relative Attachment Reference
<ri:attachment ri:filename="happy.gif" />
Absolute Attachment Reference
<ri:attachment ri:filename="happy.gif">
	<ri:page ri:space-key="TST" ri:content-title="Test Page"/>
</ri:attachment>
URL
<ri:url ri:value="http://example.org/sample.gif"/>

Notes:

  • ri:value: (required) denotes the actual URL value.
Shortcut
<ri:shortcut ri:key="jira" ri:parameter="ABC-123">

Notes:

  • ri:key: (required) represents the key of the Confluence shortcut.
  • ri:parameter: (required) represents the parameter to pass into the Confluence shortcut.
  • The example above is equivalent to [ABC-123@jira] in wiki markup.
User
<ri:user ri:userkey="2c9680f7405147ee0140514c26120003"/>

Notes:

  • ri:userkey: (required) denotes the unique identifier of the user.
Space
<ri:space ri:space-key="TST"/>

Notes:

  • ri:space-key: (required) denotes the key of the space.
Content Entity
<ri:content-entity ri:content-id="123"/>

Notes:

  • ri:content-id: (required) denotes the id of the content.

Template variables

This screenshot shows a simple template:

The template contains the following variables:

Variable name Type Values
$MyText Single-line text  
$MyMulti Multi-line text Size: 5 x 100
$MyList List List items: Apples,Pears,Peaches

The XML export produces the following code for the template:

<at:declarations>
  <at:string at:name="MyText" />
  <at:textarea at:columns="100" at:name="MyMulti" at:rows="5" />
  <at:list at:name="MyList">
    <at:option at:value="Apples" />
    <at:option at:value="Pears" />
    <at:option at:value="Peaches" />
  </at:list>
</at:declarations>


<p>This is Sarah's template</p>

<p>A single-line text variable:&nbsp;<at:var at:name="MyText" /></p>

<p>A multi-line text variable:&nbsp;<at:var at:name="MyMulti" /></p>

<p>A selection list:&nbsp;<at:var at:name="MyList" /></p>

<p>End of page.</p>

Instructional Text

Instructional text allows you to include information on how to fill out a template for an end-user (the person using creating a page from the template). Instructional text will:

  • automatically clear all instructional text as the user types in a specific text block, and
  • automatically trigger a @mention prompt for user selection (for 'mention' type instructional text).

Screenshot: Example of instructional text.

<ul>
    
<li><ac:placeholder>This is an example of instruction text that will get replaced when a user selects the text and begins typing.</ac:placeholder></li>
</ul>
<ac:task-list>
    <ac:task>
        <ac:task-status>incomplete</ac:task-status>
        <ac:task-body><ac:placeholder ac:type="mention">@mention example. This placeholder will automatically search for a user to mention in the page when the user begins typing.</ac:placeholder></ac:task-body>
    </ac:task>
</ac:task-list>

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