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