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  • Working with Page Layouts and Columns and Sections

When you want to add structure to the information on your page, it is often useful to split the information into columns. By 'column', we mean a vertical block of content. You may want more than one column across the width of the page.

You may also want to use a common structure on a number of pages, so that readers know where to find the information within each page. In addition to columns, sections are useful here. By 'section', we mean an area of the page. A section may contain one or more columns.

Confluence provides the following ways of creating columns and sections on a page:

  • Page layouts offer a set of predefined columns and sections.
  • The Section and Column macros allow more flexibility. You can set the width of the columns, and put the sections and columns in any part of the page.

Using page layouts

The Confluence editor offers a set of predefined page layouts. Each layout provides one or more columns. Some layouts also provide a horizontal block at the top and bottom of the page. The layout that you select determines the position of the sections and columns on the page, as well as the relative width of the columns. The page's content is confined within the borders of the layout. You cannot add content above or below the sections and columns provided by the layout.

To choose a page layout:

  1. While editing the page, click the page layout icon. A dropdown list appears, showing icons that illustrate the available layouts.
  2. Select a layout.

Screenshot: Choosing a page layout

If your page already has content on it, Confluence will put the existing content into the left-hand column of the new layout. If the page was using a different layout, Confluence will put the content into the appropriate sections and columns of the new layout.

Screenshot: A page with a three-column layout, in edit mode

Notes about page layouts

  • Very wide tables. The width of each column is set to a percentage of the page width. The icons in the drop down menu indicate the relative widths for each layout. In most cases, Confluence will adapt the width of the columns to fit the width of the page. If a column includes a large table, the content may not fit into the width of the page. You will see a horizontal scroll bar when viewing the page.
  • Mixing and matching. You can put Section and Column macros inside page layouts. You can also put tables inside page layouts.

Using the Section and Column macros

You can use the Section and Column macros to add a set of columns to the page. The Section macro defines an area that will contain the columns. You can have as many sections as you like. Within each section, you can have as many columns as you like.

To add a section and some columns to a page:

  1. In the Confluence editor, choose Insert (the plus icon) > Other Macros.
  2. Find the Section macro either by searching or browsing through the available macros, select it and insert it onto the page.
  3. Choose Insert > Other Macros again.
  4. Find and insert the Column macro.
  5. Add your content to the column.
  6. Insert as many columns as you like within the section.

Screenshot: A section and two columns in the editor

When you see the page in view mode, the above layout is displayed like this:

Content for column 1 goes here

Content for column 2 goes here

Parameters of the Section macro




Show Border


Select this option to draw a border around the section and columns.

Note: Without a Column macro, the border will not be displayed correctly.

Parameters of the Column macro




Column Width

100% of the page width, divided equally by the number of columns in the section.

Specify the width of the column, in pixels (for example, 400px) or as a percentage of the available width (for example, 50%).

Notes about sections and columns

  • All content within your section must be enclosed within a Column macro, otherwise the section layout will not work as expected.
  • You can put tables inside columns.
  • PDF exports do not handle page layouts.

Code examples


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