Skip to main content
Confluence dark mode: what you need to know
Share on socials

Confluence dark mode: what you need to know

A headshot of Holly Aspinall
Holly Aspinall
A headshot of Anya Poluianova
Anya Poluianova
25th September, 2023
A full moon with clouds on a dark blue background
A headshot of Holly Aspinall
Holly Aspinall
A headshot of Anya Poluianova
Anya Poluianova
25th September, 2023
Jump to section
What is dark mode?
Why is Confluence's Dark Theme important?
How to enable dark mode in Confluence Cloud
How to design dark mode-friendly Confluence pages

Create a more eye-friendly reading experience in Confluence! Get to grips with Confluence dark mode and design pages that work for every screen.

The wait is over - dark mode is finally here for Confluence Cloud! Let's discuss how to use Confluence's Dark Theme, and if you're a content creator, we'll give you some tips to create the best Confluence pages for dark mode users.

What is dark mode?

Dark mode is a setting that displays light text against a dark background. This differs from "light mode", which displays dark text against a light (often white) background. Dark mode is called "Dark Theme" in Confluence Cloud.
A screenshot with half of the Confluence page in light mode and half in dark mode
Confluence's Dark Theme changes the user interface to a darker colour

Why is Confluence's Dark Theme important?

  • Research suggests dark mode can actually reduce visual fatigue. That means no more eye strain while staring at long, text-heavy Confluence pages!
  • Dark mode is very popular (one large-scale survey found over 80% of Android users choose dark mode). With many of us using dark mode on other platforms, adding Dark Theme to Confluence creates a consistent user experience.
  • It's no secret that users find dark mode aesthetically pleasing! Confluence's Dark Theme can make your content more visual - if you follow best practices. Scroll down to learn how.

How to enable dark mode in Confluence Cloud

  • Click on your user picture in the top-right corner to show the Account dropdown menu.
  • Scroll down to Theme and select Dark.

See the steps in the gif below 👇
A gif of a user enabling Confluence dark mode through the theme settings
Navigate to Confluence's Theme settings to enable dark mode

How to design dark mode-friendly Confluence pages

Atlassian has reported that 60% of users choose Dark Theme as their theme of choice. Your Confluence content needs to be ready for dark mode because if your users haven’t already made the switch, many of them will very soon!

As a UX Designer for Kolekti, Anya Poluianova is passionate about designing accessible content for everyone. Here are her top tips for creating pages that work for every screen:

1. Make text easier to read with workarounds

Dark mode creates a subtle contrast between background and text colours, which can make different font styles and weights harder to tell apart. Here are a few solutions:

  • Don't just use normal text throughout the page. Confluence Heading Styles (in the editor toolbar) can help you create a structure that guides readers naturally through your content.

  • Maintain a consistent structure throughout your page. For example, if you use H2 for section headings, stick to it! Don't switch between H2 and H3 for similar content.

  • Add emojis to give minor headings more weight and help them stand out from regular text.

  • For text that needs less emphasis (e.g. text that adds extra context), I recommend picking a second, neutral colour from Confluence's colour palette.
Two paragraphs, one light grey and one dark grey, on a dark background
Use different font colours to change the emphasis of your text
⚡️Pro Tip: If you need a more consistent and scalable way to organise content, Numbered Headings can help. This feature automatically numbers your page headings, giving users extra guidance to navigate the page.

2. Highlight important content with tables and info panels

The Table and Info Panel already have Atlassian Design tokens applied, meaning they'll automatically look great in both Light and Dark Themes. Even better, these Confluence macros are extremely easy to set up!

The Table macro lets you add coloured backgrounds and extra separation between your title and supporting text. The coloured header row is great for emphasising page summaries or highlights.
Experiment with colour combinations to see what stands out best. I recommend using a darker tone background colour and a lighter text colour for Confluence dark mode. These colours will reverse when using light mode.

A two-cell table shown on a white background above and a dark background
A coloured background helps titles stand out on light and dark Confluence themes
Another way to highlight Confluence text is with the Panel macro. You can even add an emoji to draw the reader's attention. The panel macro comes in presets including info, success, warning, and more, but you can mix and match colours and icons to customise it how you want.
Two stacked Confluence Panels with one on a white background and one on a dark background
The Panel macro is a great way to highlight content for all screens

3. Check your page before publishing!

Not everyone will use Confluence's Dark Theme. If you want to be inclusive and create accessible pages for everyone in your organisation, you should check how your page looks for Dark Theme and Light Theme users.

Unfortunately, you can't change themes while editing a Confluence page, so you'll need to Publish the page and switch themes from the Account dropdown menu. It might be a little fiddly, but ultimately, the effort is worth it to create pages accessible for everyone.

⚡️Pro Tip: If you're still working on a page, you can click Publish and change the user permissions to hide it from users, or you can add an Alert macro to let people know it's a work in progress.

Dark or light, your Confluence page design matters

Dark mode isn't just a passing trend - it's a useful feature that helps you view content how you want. But even if users decide to keep their Confluence theme light, you still need to design Confluence pages that are easy to read, understand, and navigate.
A gif of a cursor switching between dark and light mode in the Content Formatting Macros editor dialog
Easily preview macros against dark and light backgrounds with Content Formatting Macros
If you need a little help, say hello to Content Formatting Macros for Confluence, the complete macro toolkit for making user-friendly content. It's easy to ensure macros look great on every screen with just a click in the macro editor - just switch between the moon and sun icons to get an easy preview, with no need to publish the page first.
Start creating better content for every screen.
Try Content Formatting Macros for Confluence free today👇
Help your team learn to use dark mode in Confluence! ➜
Written by
A headshot of Holly Aspinall
Holly Aspinall
Content Marketing Manager
Holly is dedicated to writing valuable, accessible guides that help users understand their tools better. She champions products that help modern workers do more with Confluence,, and beyond.

LinkedIn →
A headshot of Anya Poluianova
Anya Poluianova
UX Designer
Anya is a Product-led UX Designer who specialises in user-centric design, service design, and user research with years of hands-on experience. She strives to create products that positively impact the customer and the business.
Content Formatting