Community Forums for Confluence Server and DC

Forum Features

The many available forum features are described on this page.

Forums Menu and Directory

The Forums menu makes it easier to visit a user’s recently accessed forums, browse the Forums Directory, or create a new forum. It can be found at the top left of the page. It must be turned on by a Confluence administrator to be visible. The Confluence admin can set the number of recent forums to display for users.

recent forums

Forum Summary & Sub-Forums

A great feature of Community Forums is the ability to create sub-forums within the forum. This allows the user to create separate sub-forums by type or by subject matter. It facilitates different teams to have their own sub-forum to discuss topics but have those separate topics in a single forum.

The Forum Summary macro can be used to list pages under the current forum that contains sub-forums. The summary macro creates a table with information about each forum which is easy to use and to navigate.

Topic Summary

Another tool is the Topic Summary macro, which gives users a snapshot of all topics across all forums in a space. This is a great way to get an overview of the conversations happening across an entire space and to see what people are interested in while giving users an easy way to jump into topics from all across the boards. There should be just enough information in the topic summary to pull teams into different conversations.

Search, Sort, and Filter

Community Forums provides the ability to search, sort, and filter topics within a forum.

The search, sort, and filter functionalities are not permanent and cause no changes to Confluence. These parameters are reset on any subsequent visit to the forum.

Users can search for topics within the forum using the Search bar and button. They can use multiple search criteria to search for topics.

Searching Tips

Tip

Usage

Example

Specific keywords

Use quotes ("") to return only topics that match the search term exactly.

"Topic"

AND operator

Using AND returns matches for topics that contain both the keywords.

x AND y

OR operator

Using OR returns matches for topics that contain either the keywords.

x OR y

NOT operator

Using NOT returns matches for topics that contain the first keyword but not the second keyword.

x NOT y

Group operators

Use a combination of the operators by grouping them together with parentheses ( ).

x NOT (y OR z)

Partial word search

Use an asterick (*) to complete the current word.

top*

Single character placeholder

Used for searching topics when you have an unknown letter.

top?c

Sort By

The Sort By feature allows users to readily change the order of topics so they can be arranged by different criteria. It’s a great way to quickly and easily navigate the forum. Sticky topics appear on top by default, but this can be changed, too, by unchecking the Sticky Topics on Top checkbox at the top of the forum table.

Filter

Community Forums provides filters which can be used separately or together to identify topics that match the required filtering criteria. Filtering also works in conjunction with the search and sort functions, simplifying the process of identifying topics of interest.

Topics

The Topics option lets users display only topics that are of the same topic type. Users can decide to show only: Open Topics, Locked Topics, Watched Topics (topics a particular user is following), or Hot Topics (which meet the activity score threshold). They can choose to apply one or more of these filters. For example, choosing Hot Topics and Watched Topics displays only those topics which have an activity score higher than the threshold and which the user is currently watching.

Author

The Author option lets users filter topics created by a specific user. Start typing the username, or the name of the person that created the topic, and a suggestion list appears. Once the author field has been completed, the topics filter instantly. This filter can work in conjunction with other filters and search. Only one author can be filtered per search.

Created

The Created filter allows users to narrow down topics based on when they were created. They can use the predefined filters ranging from the last 24 hours to within the last year, or they can use the Custom option and specify any two dates.

Last Activity Filter

Similar to the Created filter, the Last Activity filter allows users to filter topics based on when the last activity on the topic occurred. The last activity can include the last page edit, the last comment or attachment, or any other last activity on the topic. The same pre-defined filters can be used for the Last Activity filter as for the Created filter.

The Clear Search button (a small x icon) removes any search, sorting, and filtering that’s been applied to the forum. It’s a quick way to reset without reloading the page.

Any changes that have been applied through search, sorting, or filtering are reset to their original default value. The Sticky Topics on Top box also returns to its original value.

Pagination

Pagination splits the forum topics across several pages in the forum table. Pagination can be found at the bottom of the forum table to navigate between pages, facilitating easy navigation of the forum. Pagination can be set to a value between 1-100 by editing the Forum macro. By default, pagination is set to 20 topics per page.

New Topic Button

The New Topic button creates a page in Confluence as a child page of the forum’s root page. This button is added to the page by default.

Topic Template

The topic template feature allows the forum administrator to specify a Confluence global or space template page, which is then used each time a new topic is created. Edit the Forum macro to specify the template. More information on Confluence templates can be found on Confluence’s Create a Template page.

Sticky Topics

Sticky Topics are represented in the forum with a pin icon, and they are positioned at the top of the forum table, regardless of the last activity in the forum. Sticky topics are useful for topics that should appear permanently at the top of a forum table, such as rules or introductions. The sticky topic property can be set by going to a topic, clicking the Ellipses menu, and selecting Make Sticky or Remove Sticky.

By default, sticky topics are displayed on top, however this can be updated by editing the Forum macro. Alternatively, users can check/uncheck the Sticky Topics on Top button at the top of the forum table, which overrides the default behavior temporarily for the current user.

Locked Topics, Forums, and Sub-Forums

The topic locking feature allows users to stop all activity on a topic, freezing and saving the topic in that state. Similar to sticky topics, locked topics can be added or removed from a topic, and users can decide when they want to make it locked or not.

This feature can be applied to forums and sub-forums as well, allowing users to close off larger discussions but keep the information and the chronological order without losing any information.

Locked Topic Reply Removal

This feature removes the ability to post, edit, and delete comments for the topic, only displaying the timestamp of the comment.

Mark as Topic

The Mark as Topic feature enables users to mark a specific page as a topic from the Ellipses menu.

Unmark as Topic

The Unmark as Topic feature enables the user to maintain a page within a forum page tree, but unmark it as a topic so it does not appear as a topic in the forum table.

Configurable Forum Columns

The administrator can decide which columns to show by editing the Forum macro and removing or adding forum column macros to the Forum macro body. This allows targeted configuration for many uses. We provide a default configuration in our blueprint setup wizard, but the advanced setup provides a more custom configuration.

Topic Status Indicators

To quickly distinguish between topics the user has and has not viewed, there are certain indicators:

  • Blue topic text: indicates the topic has had new activity since last viewed.

  • Blue topic text with “new” written in red: indicates the topic is new (less than 7 days old) and has not yet been viewed by the user.

  • Purple topic text: indicates the user has viewed the topic.

status indicators

Once the user views the forum, there is a brief status update window which appears at the top right of the screen. This informs the user of any new or updated topics since their last visit.

Colour Palette

The colour palette option allows customisation of the forum headings and text. This can be useful to help users distinguish between different forums, to improve aesthetics, or to match the company colour scheme. The colour scheme is applied to the forum and to the forum summary located on the same page.

To use this feature, simply follow the steps below:

  1. Click the Confluence Administration icon, and select General Configuration.

  2. Select Colour Scheme from the Look and Feel menu in the left sidebar.

  3. Click Edit, change any customisable colours desired by clicking the colour blocks or entering the hex value directly, then click Save."