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Confluence 5.0 introduces significant changes to the user experience: A new way of creating content, more options in the header, a new sidebar, and new look and feel across your Confluence site.

People in your organisation will need to be aware of the coming changes, so that they can plan and prepare for them.

This guide describes the changes that may affect the way people are used to working. For an alternative view of what's new, see the Confluence 5.0 Release Notes. For an administrator's guide to preparing for the upgrade, see the Confluence 5.0 Upgrade Notes.

New way of creating content

The 'Add' option has disappeared from the top of pages and from the dashboard. Instead, Confluence 5.0 offers these options:

  • Create in the Confluence header, for creating a page or blog post
  • Create child page in the sidebar.
  • The shortcut key C, for quickly opening the 'Create' dialog.

When you create a page, you can choose to base it on a template. For a full description, see Creating Content.

To add a comment, scroll to the bottom of the page or press M on your keyboard.

Previously: 'Add' button on page

Now: 'Create' option in header

Or 'Create child page' in sidebar

Redesigned header

The Confluence header has been updated to look like the JIRA and other Atlassian product headers, and consolidates a number of options in one location:

  • If you have Confluence linked to JIRA or another Atlassian application, you can switch to those applications via the application switcher in the header. Administrators can also add links to non-Atlassian applications.
  • New options point directly to the space and people directories.
  • A help icon presents links to online help, keyboard shortcuts, and other useful pages.
  • The cog icon, for site administrators, offers management of add-ons, users, and other site administration tasks.
  • The user menu, now represented by your profile picture instead of your name, gives access to your personal settings. 

For a full description of the header and page, see Page in View Mode.



Browse menu gone, replaced by new sidebar

The 'Browse' menu used to contain a mish-mash of options, some relating to the current space, some to the entire site, and some random options like keyboard shortcuts. Now things are much tidier and will feel familiar to users of JIRA too:

  • Site-level items now appear on the left-hand side of the header: links to the dashboard, space directory and people directory.
  • Add-ons will also be able to add items to the header. For example, Team Calendars may add a 'Calendars' option.
  • Space-related items are now in the sidebar (under 'Space Tools').

For more details, see Finding Content.

Note: The 'Browse' menu remains available in the Documentation theme, because this theme does not include the new sidebar. Instead, the theme retains the left-hand navigation panel and the 'Browse' menu as in previous versions of Confluence.

Previously: 'Browse' menu in header

Now: New sidebar


More about the sidebar

Space administrators can configure what is displayed in the top section of the sidebar, adding shortcuts to important documents, and change the space logo and name. See Configuring a Sidebar.

People can collapse the sidebar to gain more space. See Finding Content.

The sidebar also gives access to the space administration pages and other tools. See below.

Reorganisation of space administration and space tools

We have changed the layout and organisation of the space administration pages and other space tools, to fit better with the new overall design.

  • The 'Space Tools' option on the new sidebar gives initial access to the space configuration, administration and tools.
  • A new tab-based navigation offers further access.

If you get lost in the new UI, or cannot find that essential option you know exists somewhere... do not despair. Our guide to spaces is fully updated.

Note: In the Documentation theme, you can still access space operations via the 'Browse' menu.

Previously: Side panels for advanced and space admin options

Now: Sidebar plus tab-based navigation

New way of updating site welcome message

We have introduced a system template containing the content of the site welcome message that appears at top left of the dashboard. The template offers the rich text editor for entering and updating the welcome message. See Editing the Site Welcome Message.

Previously: Text box in general configuration section

Now: System template

New way of updating default space content

This release also includes two system templates containing the default content for space home pages, for global spaces and personal spaces. You can now use the rich text editor to update the content. See Customising Default Space Content.

Previously: Text box accepting wiki markup

Now: System templates using rich text editor

Easy Reader theme replaced by default Confluence theme

Confluence 5.0 does not include the Easy Reader theme. If your Confluence site currently uses the Easy Reader theme, your site and the spaces that use the theme will be automatically transferred to the default theme on the upgrade to Confluence 5.0.

If you have feedback on this change, please would you add a comment to the following page: Feedback on removal of Easy Reader theme from Confluence 5.0.

Previously: Easy Reader theme

Now: Default theme

Other noteworthy changes

These changes may affect people using on your site:

  • Direct access to labels view no longer available via menus. In earlier versions of Confluence, people could get to the labels view by choosing BrowseLabels. Now that the 'Browse' menu has gone from the default theme, this option is no longer available.

    To find the labels view:

    • Where you see a label on a page, blog post or attachment, choose the label to go to the labels view. (Any page or blog post that has labels will have them listed together in a block at the bottom of the page.)
    • You will also see labels in the 'Attachments' view or in a listing of attachments provided by the Attachments macro.

    Alternatively, visit the following URL:


    For example:

    Note: The Documentation theme retains the 'Browse' menu in Confluence 5.0, and thus the 'Browse > Labels' option is still accessible.

  • Ability to add space labels has been removed. Existing space labels will be preserved, but you will be unable to add new space labels to your spaces. Space categories are not affected by this change. 
  • Metadata Details and Details Summary macros renamed.We have renamed the following macros: Metadata Details is now Page Properties. Details Summary is now Page Properties Report. When you upgrade to Confluence 5.0 or later, an upgrade task will automatically rename existing Metadata Details and Details Summary macros on your Confluence pages. The wiki markup and storage format code for these macros has not changed.

For an alternative view of what's new, see the Confluence 5.0 Release Notes. For an administrator's guide to preparing for the upgrade, see the Confluence 5.0 Upgrade Notes.

Upgrading from Confluence 3.5 or earlier

If you are upgrading from Confluence 3.5 or earlier please note that the change to the Confluence editing experience is significant. See our guide: Planning for Confluence 4.

Want to see Confluence 5 in action?

This video is an overview of what's new in Confluence 5.0:

And this one focuses on the new sidebar:

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