With Confluence, it's easy to create new content from scratch. But oftentimes the content already exists, and it would be more convenient to simply compile that content as a new document, especially for repetitive documents like business proposals or new contracts.
Scroll Documents offers an easy way to assemble a document from existing Confluence pages anywhere in your instance – no need to copy and paste content or rearrange pages in your Confluence page hierarchy.
This is especially powerful when your team needs to export a different combination of pages each time, customize the document's structure based on your requirements, and make final changes before you export the document.
You can watch the following tutorial to learn more about the document composer feature and use the following example to see how it works:
Example: Prepare a new proposal based on existing pages
For this example, we will build a new proposal to send to a client, but we'll assemble the content based on existing Confluence pages. The hierarchy of the proposal should look like this:
- IT Services Proposal: Acme Corporation
- Team and Workflow
- Terms and Conditions
- Intellectual Property Rights
Create a new document
From the documents overview, create a new blank document. Give the document a descriptive title – in this case, the client name – and optionally add labels and a summary:
In the Advanced tab below the Summary, give the document a Prefix. This enables you to avoid Confluence page title conflicts when copying content that already exists in the same space.
Click Create to create the new document.
Assemble existing Confluence pages via the Document Outline
Open the document in the Viewer. At this stage, the document only consists of a single page.
Use the Document Outline on the left to start adding existing pages to the outline. Start by selecting the Edit document structure button at the base of the outline:
From the search bar on the left you can search for pages within your space. Once you've found the right page, drag and drop it into the document on the right. You can then choose to either copy the page or dynamically include the page from the drop down menu. For the purpose of this example and because you'll want to make changes to the content of the proposal, select the copy method:
You can also use the filter options to filter by page label or Confluence space. If you label the common pages of your proposals with a specific label, then you can search for them in the document composer and add them to your document with one click:
Once your outline has been assembled, you can drag and drop the pages to reorder them and define a new hierarchy:
Click save to set the new structure. Your document is now pre-populated with the content of your copied and included pages:
Note that you can edit your structure at any point in the process to add new pages or copy in existing ones.
Make changes and tailor the content to fit your client's needs
Once you have the base of your content assembled, you can start making changes to the proposal and tailor the content based on the client's requirements. Since the pages in this document are copies of the originals, you won't have to worry about affecting the other pages in your instance.
To edit the document, select the Edit button next to the title of each page:
Export to PDF and Word and the Scroll Exporters will handle the rest
Scroll Documents offers an integration with Scroll PDF and Word Exporter. Users of these apps will have the added benefit of a seamless export experience, wherein all the the prefixes of the pages will be filtered out in the export. The templates you create with these apps will also respect the new hierarchy you defined for the document.
Remember when we added a prefix to the document as it was created? Here are how the pages of the proposal look in the Confluence page tree with the prefixes applied:
But thanks to the integration with Scroll PDF and Word Exporter, these prefixes will be filtered out of the document title and headings during export. Here's an example of that same proposal, exported with one of K15t's PDF templates:
This prefix handling also applies to any of the versions you create of the document.
Save your document as a template to save time and scale your process
For repetitive processes, you probably don't want to rebuild the same outline over and over. As a workaround, simply re-create the original document structure and assign a 'Template' label. This way, your team can simply copy this document and revamp it for the next client.
This solution isn't complete though, and the Scroll Documents team is working on new and improved templating features which include the option to save a custom page tree structure as a template, create new templates based on page labels, and even add custom placeholders to replace with client data or other repetitive entries.
If you're interested in tracking the development of these features, you can watch the Jira issues to get updates: