Must-Knows About Comments in Confluence

10 min read

You already give feedback to your team in a variety of ways, like writing comments or sharing content in Confluence. When it comes to collaborating in Confluence, we have a couple of options to communicate with each other – but they're not all created equal. Let's find out how inline and page comments can help you and your team work even better together with feedback mechanisms in Confluence.

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Get to the Point With Inline Comments

Inline comments are most useful when you want to give feedback on a specific section of content so that it can be discussed in context. Use inline comments to:

  • Highlight open points or offer corrections on specific parts of content.
  • Deliver feedback across long Confluence pages so your teammates – especially the author – can navigate through each inline comment, one after the other.
  • Encourage the author by spotlighting a point you like or that helps you.

When leaving an inline comment, be sure to @mention the author or teammates who should help address the feedback. These @mentions will ensure the teammate is notified of your comment both in Confluence and via email.

A big benefit of inline comments is the ability to Resolve them when you've actioned the feedback, which makes it easy for authors to keep track of which feedback still need to be addressed on the page.

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A little reminder: After resolving inline comments, they no longer appear on the page. 

To review resolved comments, open the ... menu in the upper right-hand corner and click Resolved Comments.

Resolve Inline Comments in the Editor 

In Confluence Cloud, you can view inline comments directly within the editor by default – a benefit that's not available by default in Confluence Server or Data Center. This feature speeds up the content creation and review process by enabling authors to work through and resolve comments directly where they edit content.

If you're looking for a similar Server or Data Center solution, our team at K15t developed Inline Comments in the Editor. Once installed, you'll be able to see and resolve inline comment in the Confluence editor. 

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To ensure feedback is preserved in the Resolved Comments list:

  • Always click Resolve
  • Avoid deleting comments in the editor

Write Valuable Page Comments

In addition to inline comments, the other option you have to offer feedback or start a discussion is with Confluence page comments. So when should you opt for a page comment instead of an inline comment?

Page comments are most effective when: 

  • Your feedback applies to the entirety of the page rather than an individual section.
  • You want to spark a discussion with your colleagues about the content of the page. 
  • You as the author want to alert your colleagues to the page and request their feedback. 

As with inline comments, always be sure to @mention your teammates to make them aware of your page comment to start a discussion.

Shout Out to Threaded Comments

That Reply button in page comments is there to be used. Make sure you always respond to a page comment with a direct reply, which will start a neat thread that helps you discuss that comment specifically. Confluence page comments have a way of building up and this mechanism helps make sure your team isn't faced with a messy section page full of disconnected comments.

On a similar note, if you have multiple discussion points to offer, split that feedback into different comments. That way, your team can answer directly in the related thread and others can easily follow the discussion.

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Unlike inline comments, page comments are a sticky method of feedback and by default will be visible on a page forever. You can delete them if you choose, but this approach isn't a typical workflow for most teams.

To help other readers in Confluence, try to document a decision within the comment thread – even if that decision was made elsewhere. Without this, it can be hard for others to know if a discussion was resolved or not.

K15t Conventions

Our team at K15t is a big fan of all things Confluence and comments help us create and manage our content quickly and effectively. After 10+ years of working with this tool, here are some of the conventions we've cooked up: 

  • Is a comment the way to go? When you are reviewing content you should always ask yourself: "Is this worth a comment?" An influx of inline comments with minor points like "comma missing" or "misspelling" can be very tedious for the author. If you find yourself in this situation as a reviewer, ask the author if it's preferable for you to fix these mistakes for them directly. Of course, this should only apply to small fixes and not larger content changes. If the changes are more conceptual, it's best if you have a discussion on the page first.
  • Stay in sync: If you find yourself leaving masses of inline comments or writing a very lengthy page comment, perhaps there’s just been a misunderstanding or you and the author aren't on the same page. Consider whether it would be better for you and the author to quickly sync up directly and clarify instead of trying to contain all of your feedback to a single page comment or spreading it across dozens of inline comments.
  • Like it – a lot! Use the like 👍 button to tell the author: "I like and agree with your content / page comment." We use it to confirm feedback, acknowledge comments, and to generally spread some positivity within our team. So if you find a page with content that really helps you, or a comment you agree with, then give them that positive feedback. It costs nothing but has the benefit of showing that you're engaged with the content and potentially means a lot to the author.