Themes, the look and feel, and logos

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by Stefan Kohler | August 2013 | Enterprise Articles

In this article by Stefan Kohler, author of Atlassian Confluence 5 Essentials, we will cover the topics of themes – how to configure them, the look and feel of Confluence – how to customize it, and we will talk about logos that we will use in Confluence.

(For more resources related to this topic, see here.)

Themes

Themes are sets of predefined styles and can be used to personalize the look and feel of Confluence. Themes can be applied to the entire site and individual spaces. Some themes add extra functionality to Confluence or change the layout significantly.

Confluence 5 comes with two themes installed, and an administrator can install new themes as add-ons via the Administration Console.

Atlassian is planning on merging the Documentation Theme with the Default Theme . As this is not the case in Confluence 5 yet, we will discuss them both as they have some different features. Keep in mind that, at some point, the Documentation Theme will be removed from Confluence.

To change the global Confluence theme, perform the following steps:

  1. Browse to the Administration console (Administration | Confluence Admin).

  2. Select Themes from the left-hand side menu.

  3. All the installed themes will be present.

    Select the appropriate radio button to select a theme.

  4. Choose Confirm to change the theme:

    Space administrators can also decide on a different theme for their own spaces. Spaces with their own theme selections—and therefore not using the global look and feel—won't be affected if a Confluence Administrator changes the global default theme.

To change a space theme, perform the following steps:

  1. Go to any page in the space.

  2. Select Space Tools in the sidebar. (If you are not using the default theme, select Browse | Space Admin.)

  3. Select Look and Feel, followed by Theme.

  4. Select the theme you want to apply to the space.

  5. Click on Confirm.

The Default Theme

As the name implies, this is the default theme shipped with Confluence. This Default Theme got a complete overhaul in Confluence 5 and looks as shown in the following screenshot:

The Default Theme provides every space with a sidebar, containing useful links and navigation help throughout the current space. With the sidebar, you can quickly change from browsing pages to blog post or vice versa. The sidebar also allows important space content to be added as a link for quicker access, and displays the children of the current page for easy navigation.

You can collapse or expand the sidebar. Click-and-drag the border, or use the keyboard shortcut: [. If the sidebar is collapsed, you can still access the sidebar options.

Configuring the theme

The default theme doesn't have any global configuration available, but a space administrator can make some space-specific changes to the theme's sidebar.

Perform the following steps to change the space details:

  1. Go to any page in the relevant space.

  2. Select Configure sidebar in the space sidebar.

  3. Click on the edit icon next to the space title.

  4. A pop up will show where you can change the space title and logo (as shown in the preceding screenshot, indicated as 1).

  5. Click on Save to save the changes

  6. Click on the Done button to exit the configuration mode.

The main navigation items on the sidebar (pages and blog posts) can be hidden. This can come in handy, for example, when you don't allow users to add blog posts to the space.

To show or hide the main navigation items, perform the following steps:

  1. Go to any page in the relevant space.

  2. Select Configure sidebar in the space sidebar.

  3. Select the - or + icon beside the link to either hide or show the link.

  4. Click on the Done button to exit the configuration mode.

Space shortcuts are manually added links to the sidebar, linking to important content within the space. A space administrator can manage these links.

To add a space shortcut, perform the following steps:

  1. Go to any page in the relevant space.

  2. Select Configure sidebar in the space sidebar.

  3. Click on the Add Link button, indicated as 3 in the preceding screenshot.

  4. The Insert Link dialog will appear.

  5. Search and select the page you want to link.

  6. Click on Insert to add the link to the sidebar.

  7. Click on the Done button to exit the configuration mode.

The Documentation Theme

The Documentation Theme is another bundled theme. It supplies a built-in table of content for your space, a configurable header and footer, and a space-restricted search.

The Documentation Theme's default look and feel is displayed in the following screenshot:

The sidebar of the Documentation Theme will show a tree with all the pages in your space. Clicking on the icon in front of a page title will expand the branch and show its children.

The sidebar can be opened and closed using the [ shortcut, or the icon on the left of the search box in the Confluence header.

Configuring the theme

The Documentation Theme allows configuration of the sidebar contents, page header and footer, and the possibility to restrict the search to only the current space.

A Confluence Administrator can configure the theme globally, but a Space Administrator can overwrite this configuration for his or her own space. To configure the Documentation Theme for a space, the Space Administrator should explicitly select the Documentation Theme as the space theme.

The theme configuration of the Documentation Theme allows you to change the properties displayed in the following screenshot. How to get to this screen and what the properties represent will be explained next.

To configure the Documentation theme, perform the following steps:

  1. As a Confluence Administrator:

    1. Browse to the Administration Console (Administration | Confluence Admin).

    2. Select Themes from the left-hand side menu.

    3. Choose the Documentation Theme as the current theme.

    4. Click on the Configure theme link.

  2. As a Space administrator:

    1. Go to any page in the space.

    2. Select Browse | Space Admin.

    3. Choose Themes from the left-hand side menu.

    4. Make sure that the Documentation Theme is the current theme.

    5. Click on the Configure theme link.

  3. Select or deselect the Page Tree checkbox. This will determine if your space will display the default search box and page tree in the sidebar.

  4. Select or deselect the Limit search results to the current space checkbox.

    • If you select the checkbox:

      The Confluence search in the top-left corner will only search in the current space.

      The sidebar will not contain a search box.

    • If you deselect the checkbox:

      The Confluence search in the top-left corner will search across the entire Confluence site.

      The sidebar will contain a search box, which is limited to searching in the current space.

  5. In the three textboxes, you can enter any text or wiki markup you would like; for example, you could add some information to the sidebar or a notification to every page. The following screenshot will display these areas:

    • Navigation: This will be displayed in the space sidebar.

    • Header: This will be displayed above the title on all the pages in the space.

    • Footer: This will be displayed after the comments on all the pages in the space.

Look and feel

The look and feel of Confluence can be customized on both global level and space level. Any changes made on a global level will be applied as the default settings for all spaces.

A Space Administrator can choose to use a different theme than the global look and feel. When a Space Administrator selects a different theme, the default settings and theme are no longer applied to that space. This also means that settings in a space are not updated if the global settings are updated.

In this section, we will cover some basic look and feel changes, such as changing the logo and color-scheme of your Confluence instance. It is also possible to change some of the Confluence layouts; this is covered in the Advanced customizing section.

Confluence logo

The Confluence logo is the logo that is displayed on the navigation bar in Confluence. This can easily be changed to your company logo.

To change the global logo, perform the following steps:

  1. Browse to the Administration Console (Administration | Confluence Admin).

  2. Select Site Logo from the left-hand side menu

  3. Click on Choose File to select the file from your computer.

  4. Decide whether to show only your company logo, or also the title of your Confluence installation.

    • If you choose to also show the title, you can change this in the text field next to Site Title.

  5. Click on Save.

    As you might notice, Confluence also changed the color scheme of your installation. Confluence will suggest a color scheme based upon your logo. To revert this change, click on Undo, which is directly available after updating your logo.

Space logo

Every space can choose its own logo, making it easy to identify certain topics or spaces. A Confluence administrator can also set the default space logo, for newly created spaces or spaces without their own specified logo.

The logo of a personal space cannot be changed; it will always use the user's avatar as logo.

To set the default space logo, perform the following steps:

  1. Browse to the Administration Console (Administration | Confluence Admin).

  2. Select Default Space Logo from the left-hand side menu.

  3. Click on Choose File to select the file from your computer. For the best result, make sure the image is about 48 x 48 pixels.

  4. Click on Upload Logo to upload the default space logo.

As a Space Administrator, you can replace the default logo for your space. How this is done depends on the theme you are using.

To change the space logo with the default theme, perform the following steps:

  1. Go to any page in the relevant space.

  2. Click on Configure Sidebar from the sidebar.

  3. Select the edit icon next to the page title.

  4. Click on Choose File next to the logo and select a file from your computer. Confluence will display an image editor to indicate how your logo should be displayed as shown in the next screenshot.

  5. Drag and resize the circle in the editor to the right position.

  6. Click on Save to save the changes.

  7. Click on the Done button to exit the configuration mode.

To change the space logo with the Documentation Theme, perform the following steps:

  1. Go to any page in the relevant space.

  2. Select Browse | Space Admin.

  3. Select Change Space Logo from the left-hand side menu.

  4. Select Choose File and select the logo from your computer.

  5. Click on Upload Logo to save the new logo; Confluence will automatically resize and crop the logo for you.

Summary

We went through the different features for changing the look and feel of Confluence so that we can add some company branding to our instance or just to a space.

Resources for Article :


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Atlassian Confluence 5 Essentials Learn how to install, configure, and manage Atlassian Confluence 5 to build an enterprise-grade collaboration platform with this book and ebook
Published: June 2013
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About the Author :


Stefan Kohler

Stefan Kohler is senior Atlassian consultant for 42, a company that specializes in Atlassian and is known for its expertise in the field. Stefan was in a big way responsible for setting 42 on Atlassian's path and making sure the company has a solid plugin development, consultancy and support offering. Stefan is a much sought-after consultant, requiring his agenda to be planned months ahead.

Within the community, Stefan is a person of some renown, having set up the Dutch chapter of the Atlassian User Group in 2010. He has written a number of award-winning add-ons for Confluence and Stash, and has scored an Atlassian prize for the best website. On Atlassian Answers, Stefan is a highly appreciated contributor with his useful answers and suggestions.

Stefan has extensive experience with designing and deploying Atlassian solutions. He has got Atlassian solutions working for many customers, in various industries, such as Software Engineering, Healthcare, Government, and Finance.

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