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4 ways to highlight text in Confluence Cloud
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4 ways to highlight text in Confluence Cloud

A headshot of Holly Aspinall
Holly Aspinall
26th October, 2023
6 min read
A highlighter pen surrounded by colourful shapes
A headshot of Holly Aspinall
Holly Aspinall
26th October, 2023
6 min read
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How to highlight Confluence text
Option 1: Page comments
Option 2: Status macro
Option 3: Panel macro
Option 4: Background macro
How to choose the right solution

Unsure how to make your Confluence content stand out? Explore four easy ways to highlight text in Confluence and why each is right for you.

Are users missing the key points in your Confluence pages? Struggling to make important messages stand out? There's an easy way to make your Confluence content more engaging - highlight it!

Highlighting text is a simple but effective way to draw attention to specific parts of your page, helping you to:
  • Emphasise information - Help readers notice and absorb important information.
  • Boost readability - Break up blocks of text and make content more visually appealing.
  • Improve navigation - Highlight text in different colours to help users understand what's crucial, secondary, and optional.
  • Easily flag errors and issues - Let readers know if a page is outdated or under construction, or flag broken links or inaccurate information for page admins to fix.

How to highlight Confluence text

Confluence doesn't have a specific "highlight" feature, but it’s easy with the help of Confluence macros and built-in features. We've covered the basics to help you figure out which approach is right for you.

Option 1: Page comments

Best for: Adding quick memos or collaborating with teammates on internal documents

A screenshot of a highlighted sentence in Confluence with a comment to the right
Comments are the only way to highlight text inline
Currently, the only way to highlight specific text within a sentence or paragraph is to add a comment. To do this, click and drag over your chosen text and then click Comment, type in the comment box, and press Save. This highlights your text with a yellow box.

  • Highlighting is quick and easy, with no macros needed.
  • Anyone can highlight text, even if they don't have permission to edit the page.

  • Highlighting lots of text clutters the page with comments, making it harder to read.
  • It can look unprofessional, especially on external or customer-facing pages.
  • It's temporary - the text only stays highlighted while your comment remains unsolved.

Option 2: Status macro

Best for: Highlighting status updates, tasks, and other short messages on your Confluence page

A table of tasks in Confluence with the task statuses highlighted in the right-hand column
Make statuses and short phrases quickly noticeable with the Status macro
The status macro is a built-in Confluence macro that displays your text in a small, brightly-coloured box. It’s a useful way to report the status of projects and other short snippets of text.

  • It's small, sleek, and fits easily inside table cells and other macros.
  • You can highlight text in a few different colours, which helps to add context (e.g. if the text is highlighted in red, it suggests something negative).

  • It supports a maximum of 29 characters, making it unsuitable for longer messages.
  • The text size is small, and you can't change its size using the Text Styles dropdown, which isn't useful for larger headings.

Option 3: Panel macro

for: Adding callout boxes for important hints, notes, and warnings

A menu showing the Panel macros beside a Confluence page with a purple section highlighting software requirements
Configure the Panel macro to fit the context of your message
The Panel macro is an ideal way to highlight important notes that give extra context. Though the macro comes in six pre-made choices - such as 'Success Panel' and 'Error Panel' - you configure any of these with a range of background colours and icons.

  • A variety of background colours and icons (including emojis) lets you highlight text in a more eye-catching way. It’s also possible to change the text colour.
  • You can add text on multiple lines, making it useful for longer messages.
  • It's possible to change the size of text with the Text Styles dropdown menu, which means you can add a heading.

  • The background is still limited to 21 shades, which isn't ideal for Confluence pages with company branding.
  • The panel automatically scales to the width of your Confluence content, meaning text can look lost if the message is short.
  • You can’t embed media, making it unsuitable for messages with images.

Option 4: Background macro (from Content Formatting Macros for Confluence)

Best for: Making Confluence content infinitely more engaging and creating stand-out sections on branded pages

A Confluence page split into sections with rainforest-themed backgrounds to highlight different content
The Background macro can improve visual appeal and make navigation easier
The Background macro is one of several macros included in Content Formatting Macros for Confluence. It isn't just great for highlighting text but also for adding visual structure to your content, transforming a flat page into a striking knowledge base, team page, intranet, and more. The powerful editor gives you the tools to highlight text and other embedded content in any way you want.

  • An incredibly versatile macro that lets you highlight content any way you want.
  • The only solution that lets you highlight text and other content, such as images, a search bar, buttons, and numbered headings.
  • Highlight with any colour or upload an image instead (you can even use Pexels' built-in library to find one that fits your theme).
  • Choose from custom dimensions - whether you want a tiny callout box or a striking banner, you can achieve both.

  • As it's an external app, you need admin permissions to install it on your Confluence instance.
  • For teams of more than 10, the app is paid (annually or monthly). The good news is you can try it free for 30 days with access before you make a commitment.

Choose the right solution for you

There are several ways to highlight text on your Confluence page, but how you do it really depends on what you want to achieve. So, to summarise:

  • Collaborating on internal-only pages or writing a memo? ➔ Use Comments.

  • Highlighting brief status and task updates? ➔ Use the Status macro.

  • Adding a little context or a warning to the page? ➔ Use the Panel macro.

  • Looking to highlight pages without limitations? ➔ Use the Background macro from Content Formatting Macros for Confluence.

With Content Formatting Macros, you can do so much more than highlighting text. Whatever you want to create, you'll have the tools to make immersive pages that users read and remember.

Explore Content Formatting Macros for free

See what you can build with this powerful macro toolkit. Get a free 30-day trial.
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.

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