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The full documentation

The Atlassian Confluence website provides a comprehensive user guide which details all the functionality.

How to

Edit content

If an Edit button does not appear at the top right of an article you have not been enabled to edit that article.

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At the top right of an article there is an Edit button and the Add and Tools pull-down menus.

Click the Edit button and the page will open in the Rich Text editor. Modify the article then click the Save button.

Rich Text - This is the default editor, with an interface similar to a word processing application like Microsoft Word or Google Docs.
Wiki Markup - The article is stored in wiki markup code, similar to the way a web page is stored in HTML code. Select Wiki Markup if you wish to edit the code directly. If you don't wish to tangle with markup code, the Rich Text editor is fine.

You can create links to articles in the wiki and to external content.

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When in the Rich Text editor, place the cursor at the point where you wish to insert the link.
Click on the Insert/Edit Link button (it looks like three links of a chain).
A dialogue box will appear with four tabs: Search, Recently Viewed, Attachments, Web Link.

Search - You can use this tab to search the wiki for an article.
Recently Viewed - Will show you a list of articles you recently viewed.
Attachments - You can create a link to an attachment (see #Add documents) such as an image, document or spreadsheet.
Web Link - You can insert an external link, eg, to a web page or other web resource outside the wiki.

Create new page

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Click on the Add menu, then click on Page. A new page will open, with a template ready for editing.

The new template is exactly like the Rich Text editor that you'd see if you were editing an existing page. You can use it to write new content.

Add pictures

To add an object (eg, picture, spreadsheet, music file) first upload it to the wiki, then insert it in the article.

Uploading an image

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Click on the Add menu, then click on Attachment.
Under Attach File, click the Browse button and navigate to the file you wish to add.
Select the file and click Open.
Click the Attach button.
Click on the View button (top right-hand side) to return to the article.

Inserting an image

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Click the Edit button.
When in the Rich Text editor, place the cursor at the point where you wish to insert the picture.
Click on the Insert/Edit Image button (it looks like a little yellow frame with a mountain).
A dialogue box will appear. Select the image and click insert.

Add documents

Adding a document is similar to adding an image (as in previous section). First upload the file then create a link to it (this is where it differs from adding an image; you insert an image, you link to a document).

Uploading the document

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Click on the Add menu, then click on Attachment.
Under Attach File, click the Browse button and navigate to the file you wish to add.
Select the file and click Open.
Click the Attach button.
Click on the View button (top right-hand side) to return to the article.

Linking the document

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Click the Edit button.
When in the Rich Text editor, place the cursor at the point where you wish to insert the document.
Click on the Insert/Edit Link button (it looks like three links of a chain).
A dialogue box will appear with four tabs: Search, Recently Viewed, Attachments, Web Link.
Select the Attachments tab and select the file you want to create a link to.
Enter an Alias if you want (the Alias is what text will appear as a link in the article, if you don't set this the file name will be used)

Add diagrams

Similar in concept to inserting an image, inserting a diagram is different in that the diagram is created and maintained entirely within the wiki using a Confluence plugin called Gliffy. Gliffy works in much the same way as other diagramming tools such as MS Visio.  The difference is that anyone can update a Gliffy diagram - you don't need any additional software. Creating diagrams is simple with Gliffy. Just drag-and-drop shapes from an extensive library and point-and-click your way to format. View a demo.

Creating a diagram

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Click on the Add menu, and click on Diagram button to create a new diagram.
You will be prompted to Enter a diagram name, Select the display size of the diagram, Choose the horizontal alignment of the diagram, and Select an insertion point for the new diagram.
Fill in these prompts and click the Create diagram button.
Click the Edit new diagram link.
Create your diagram
When the diagram is complete, click the Gliffy File menu, then select Save And Close.  The diagram will be displayed on the wiki page at the insertion point you selected.

Viewing, editing and removing diagrams

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At the bottom of each Gliffy diagram are three links: Full Size| Edit Diagram| Remove
Click Full Size to view a full size version of the diagram (the diagram may be much smaller on the wiki page).
Click Edit Diagram to Edit the diagram.
Click Remove to remove the diagram.

Use labels (or tags)

Labels are keywords that you can add to an article, which can then be used to find content. 

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For example you've created an article about the student enrolment process, in order to make it easier to find, you might add the following four labels: student,enrolment,business_process,ndeva

.

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Click the Edit button
Scroll to the bottom of the editing page
Click the Edit next to the Labels area
Enter the labels you wish to add or select from the suggested labels area on the right hand side.
Click on save

In other wikis they may use the term tag instead of labels. The Wikipedia article on tags provides a good and more comprehensive description and explanation of tags (which are the same as labels).

Use breadcrumbs

The concept of breadcrumbs comes from the Brothers Grim story, Hansel and Gretel , in which the children leave a trail of breadcrumbs to find their way home. Similarly in a wiki or web site you can have breadcrumbs that work in a similar way, you may have noticed these on the University's home page where they appear like:

No Format
University home » Current students » Scholarships 

While this wiki does use and support breadcrumbs - it is better to view and treat a wiki as a system of articles rather than a traditional computer filesystem/folder/hierarchical type structure. Wikis are designed to be organic and flexible.

Additional tools

Automatically spell check content

You should use correct English grammar and spelling in the wiki. It's not a place for text-language (the abbreviated language that's commonly sent between mobile phones, e.g. 'Hi m8, hope 2 c u l8r, chur, jax). If you are using Firefox (or can install it) there's a great little plugin that does spell checking for you in any text box.

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Installing Firefox and the plugin

  1. Go to the Firefox site, download and install the browser.
  2. Once installed, go to the dictionary and language site and download the dictionary of your choice (British (English) is recommended).
  3. Restart the browser.
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Example of spell checking plugin in Firefox

Autosave

Confluence will autosave the page you are editing regularly (by default this is every thirty seconds), and maintains a copy of it as a draft in the event that some system failure or error prevents you from saving your changes.

  • Drafts are created while adding and editing a page or news item.
  • A draft is only available to you if you have not been able to save your changes. You cannot create a draft explicitly.
  • Drafts are listed in the 'Drafts' tab of your profile. Only you can view and edit your drafts.
  • Once you have resumed editing a draft, or chosen to discard it, it is removed from this view.

Macros

Confluence has a number of macros that can help organise your page and site design. You find more information about macros in the full documentation.

About wikis & our wiki

In the most literal sense, the work wiki is the Hawaiian word for fast; when the term wiki wiki is used in Hawaiian, it means what I know. CommonCraft have created this very easy to follow video which is a general guide to what a wiki is - the general concepts apply to any wiki.

Wikis are now commonplace on the web, being used by a huge variety of groups, from police, schools and businesses to universities. Wikis are designed to be organic and flexible collaborative tools - they can be used in a variety of ways, to achieve a variety of goals. The most notable success of wikis is Wikipedia - the free encyclopaedia. Wikipedia has a good article on the history of wikis.

The University of Auckland has a range of wikis used on campus by various groups. The wiki-engine (software) that runs behind each wiki varies; some departments use TWiki, others MediaWiki etc. The main University wiki (the one you are now reading) uses the Confluence wiki-engine.

Wiki etiquette

The greatest power of the wiki its ability to act as tool for collaboration. For collaboration to work, it's really important to have an appreciation for wiki etiquette. Wikipedia has a simplified ruleset that is also worth reading.

There are some things that are worthwhile keeping in mind when using this or any wiki:

  • Assume good faith - the overwhelming majority of contributions to wikis are from people wanting to improve things. If someone modifies content you added, review, comment and thank them for it.
  • Neutrality - When writing content it's important to make sure your contributions are fair, reasonable and civil. It's all too easy to write content with a bias; try to avoid this. If you disagree over some content, comment and make your point in a fair manner - do not get into making personal attacks and criticism.
  • Sharing is good - share your content, welcome others contributions. Really. In some cases it may not be appropriate to share all content, but these cases are very very rare. Even when wikis are completely open, the vast majority of people are wanting to make positive contributions (i.e. Wikipedia which allows contributions from anyone has a comparative error rate to completely closed systems).
  • Contribute - make contributions; from correcting spelling, grammar, improving content, and seeding articles - everyone is able to add value.

Wikis in the enterprise

Gartner analysts have said good things about the role wikis and blogs can play in the enterprise, and offer guidelines for their deployment and obtaining the maximum benefit from them. The articles Are Wikis and Blogs a Threat to Enterprise Content Management Strategies? and What We Learned From the Wikipedia Experience and Apply The Knowledge Gained From Building A 'Wiki' are good places to start.

Collaboration: freestyle vs formalism

It's clear there will be certain topics whose stance is ideally suited to the open and endless community editing for which Wikipedia is famous. At the same time, there will be other topics that require some kind of closure, either:

  • time-based
  • approval/signoff based
  • publication-based
    ...and several interesting, engaging, and valid viewpoints about:
  • the purpose of wiki
  • transitioning from collaboration to authoring
  • entry into a document management system
  • publication of formal artefacts to the University's web presence
    ...are being harvested in the dedicated article Harvesting From the IT Wiki.

Wikis in the world

Jimmy Wales, founder and chair of the Wikimedia Foundation, gave a SALT seminar (broken link) to the Long Now Foundation that makes for very interesting and entertaining listening — and:

Further information and resources

Personalising the wiki

Favourite pages and spaces

If you are interested in an article/space in this wiki, you can mark it as a favourite by clicking the 'star' icon next to it.