Quick tips

To return to the space homepage:

click the space logo at the top of the page.

To return to the UNECE wikis dashboard:

click on 'UNECE Statistics Wikis' at the far top left of your screen.

To make a short URL that you can send to users or put in a document:

click Tools/Link to this page/Tiny link.

Page tree


What is a wiki?  What can I use it for?  Who can use it?

introduction to our wikis

A wiki is a cross between a website and email, with a bit of Dropbox thrown in.

We can use a wiki to make pages containing text, images and attached documents; organize them into a 'space' (all the pages relating to one particular topic, such as the space for a specific task force or project); and edit or comment on things.

Unlike a traditional website, a wiki is collaborative. Everyone with the necessary permissions can view, edit or add things. (The administrator of a space can decide what levels of permissions to allow other users.) This collaborative environment makes wikis the ideal platform to work collectively on drafting a document, planning a seminar, or simply sharing documents within a team.

By using a wiki you can avoid the problems of long email threads, indecipherable tracked changes, and confusion about multiple versions of a document being sent between contributors. You can also access the work from anywhere with an Internet connection, so you are not dependent on having access to the office network drives.

A wiki can be very simple, e.g. a list of attached documents. Or you can make it do some very fancy things depending on your requirements. The sections below contain instructions on the basic functions, and the list at the bottom of the page as well as the links on the right explain some of the more complex possibilities.

For all questions, contact support.stat@un.org

  • UNECE statistical division staff can request creation of a new space, e.g. for a new task force or working group.
  • Staff of national or international statistical organizations can request a user account. Other requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

How can I add or edit a page?

adding a page

Start by clicking Create in the blue banner at the top of your screen:

Then choose blank page to create an empty page as your starting point:

More advanced users could also select one of the other options e.g. blog post or file list. A blank page is the simplest way to create content.

When you click on 'create' you will get a page called 'New Page'. You should give it a new title. You can then start typing text into the empty white space, just as you would with a Word document. Press save at the bottom right of the screen when you are finished.

See this page for more detailed information from the makers of Confluence about adding a new page and creating content.

editing a page

 If you have sufficient permissions to edit a page, you will see the word Edit near the top right of your screen:

You can click this, or press the 'e' key on your keyboard, to enter editing mode.

You can now type in new text, or change the existing text, just as you would in a word processing programme.

A toolbar across the top of the page allows you to change the properties of the text, e.g. to select bold, italics or underline: change the colour of the text; choose superscript, subscript or strikethrough; add bullet points or a numbered list; alter the alignment; increase or decrease the indentation; etc.

You can also select different styles of text in order to structure your page with headings, by selecting an option from the dropdown menu on the far left where it says 'paragraph'. For example

This is paragraph text

This is heading 5

This is heading 4, etc.

Note that many of the same keyboard shortcuts that you are used to from ordinary word processing will also work in Confluence: e.g. Ctrl+c for copy, Ctrl+v for paste, Ctrl+i for italics, etc.

How can I add documents to a page?

adding attachments

One of the best ways to use a wiki is not to add attachments at all, but to work with written material directly in pages: this way everyone can edit the text collectively without having to download and upload versions of a document that you are working on as a group.

Sometimes, however it is definitely useful to attach documents, e.g. sharing already-finished work or attaching documents from other sources.

After saving a page that you have been editing so that you exit edit mode, click Attachments in the tools menu at the top right of your screen:

You can browse through your computer to choose a file or simply drag it and drop it to attach it to the page.  In fact, you don't even have to go to Attachments first: you can just drop a file from your computer onto a page to attach it: but going to Attachments may be useful as you can then see all attached items in a list, e.g.:

How can I link to attached files, to other pages or to external websites?

creating links

Simply attaching a document to a page doesn't make it actually appear anywhere on your page: if you want it to be obvious to readers then you will need to make a link to it (you can also link to other pages, whether within the UNECE wikis or elsewhere on the Internet).

Start by writing the text where you want to link to the attachment or web page.  For example:

Highlight the part that you want to be a clickable link:

Choose Link on the editing toolbar and a popup box will appear.  You can choose attachments to see a list of the attached files, or you can choose Web link to make a link any Internet page.  To link to other wiki pages, it is recommended to select the page via the "recently viewed" tab, since this will link in a way that is less likely to break than if you cut-and-paste the url. 

Once you have chosen what you want to link to, click insert to close the popup box.  Now press save to save your page.  You have now created a hyperlink to your chosen attachment of page, which will appear in blue underlined text:

How can I add pictures, slideshows, tables etc.?

images, tables etc.


Adding a picture is just like adding an attachment.  You can either attach it first and then insert it where you want it to appear, or you can simply drag and drop it from wherever it is saved on your computer.  You can also insert an image that is already attached to another page elsewhere on the wikis.  To do this, go to Insert in the editing toolbar and choose imgae from the dropdown list.  A popup box will appear allowing you to browse or search for the image.

Once inserted or dropped into place, you can click on your image to bring up a menu that will enable you to change its size, add a border, make it into a clickable link, etc.  The properties button allows you to add special effects such as a shadow or picture-frame effect, or to include a caption.


Adding a slideshow is very similar to adding an image.   If you simply drag and drop it then it will appear as a slideshow that can be navigated on the page.  You can also attach it and just make a link to it.  The following illustrates these two alternatives:

1)  A slideshow on the page:

2) a link to an attached .ppt or .pptx file:


To add a table, choose Table from the editing toolbar and select the number of rows and columns that you think you will need:

When you create a table, a new toolbar appears enabling you to add or delete rows and columns, merge cells, change cell colours, etc.  Hover over any of these options to see what it does:

How can I rearrange the layout of elements on my page?

page layouts

When you make a new page you have a totally blank canvas to work with.  If you want to divide the page up into sections instead of one big white space, you can use one of the pre-set page layout options from the dropdown menu in the editing toolbar:

This will create blocks surrounded by dotted lines that show you where different parts of your page will appear.  You can use this, for example, to make a column of images down one side of the page or to have a banner running across the top.

Advanced users can also choose to make their own layouts using combinations of the  'section' and 'column' macros.  The section macro divides the page vertically and columns will only work inside a section.

I made a mistake: what can I do to reverse it?

page history

At the top right of your screen you will see the Tools menu. Click on Page History to see a list of previous versions. You can roll back to a previous version if you did something that you've changed your mind about. You can also use this functionality to see who has changed things and what they have changed.

How can I keep track of changes to my pages or spaces?

watches and notifications

When you edit a page, you will see a small checkbox at the bottom near to the save button labelled 'Notify watchers'.  If you check this box, then anyone who has chosen to 'watch' this page will receive an email notification that you edited the page. 

In turn, you can choose to watch pages or even whole spaces so that you will be notified of changes to them.  To watch a page, click on the 'watch' icon (shaped like an eye) near the top right of any page.

By default, you will be a 'watcher' of any new page that you create.  If you want to alter this setting, or other email notification settings, go to your user icon at the top right of your screen and choose Settings:

You can then change your email notification settings, such as receiving a daily digest of all changes, or being informed of changes by people that you 'follow'.


Other things you might want to know about

Staff members of the UNECE Statistical division should ask a member of the Statistical Management and Modernization unit to create new user accounts for members of task forces, working groups etc that will be using the wiki.  New user accounts will be set up according to a standard system for assigning usernames and passwords, and new users should be encouraged to change their password to one of their choice as soon as they log in.  A full name and email address are required for the creation of a user account. 

Individuals from outside UNECE wishing to have a user account should contact support.stat@un.org to request one.  Staff of national and international statistical organizations will be given accounts, with viewing and editing permissions dependent on their involvement in UNECE work streams.  Other requests will be considered on an individual basis.

If you forget your password you can click on 'Forgot your password?' on the login screen to request a new one: you will need either your username or the email address that is connected to your wiki account.  Alternatively, send an email to support.stat@un.org and a staff member will reset your password for you.  We cannot retrieve a forgotten password, we can only reset it.

Spaces and individual pages can have restrictions set on viewing, editing, or both (as well as more detailed settings such as the right to add or remove attachments, comments, etc.).  Restrictions can be set by the 'space administrator': usually the person who is in charge of the work to which the space relates, e.g. the UNECE staff member that provides secretarial support for a task force or the person co-ordinating the drafting of a document on a wiki.

The members of the UNECE Statistical division's Statistical Management and Modernization unit are all 'Confluence administrators' and can alter permission settings on any space.

If you wish to make a page or selection of pages private to a specified group of people, or if you think you should be able to see or edit a page and can't, please contact support.stat@un.org.

By default, all pages have the facility for liking, adding comment threads, labelling, and showing who was the last person to edit a page and when.  These are all useful features, but sometimes you don't want them on your page: for example if you want a page to look more like a traditional static web page.  You can hide these and other features of individual pages using the 'css stylesheet' macro.  Type 'CSS Stylesheet' inside curly brackets to create the macro.  Within the macro, type the following to disable, for example,  the comments section:

#comments-section {display: none;}

For the code for other things that can be hidden in the same way, see this page.

A template is a convenient way to make a whole series of pages with the same basic format.  It is also useful if you want a set of pages to function like a form, where users have to fill in information in specific places, e.g. responding to questions in a survey or filling out pre-defined sections of a standard-format case study.

The easiest way to design your template page is to base it on one that already exists.  Staff of the UNECE Statistical division could look at the templates used in the statistical glossary, the knowledge base for data editing, the training library, the common metadata framework, or the database of capacity-building activities, for models upon which to base new templates.

Templates are most useful if you use the 'live template' function.  This will mean that all pages created from the template will be dynamically linked to the original template: so if you change the template, the pages change too.  If you don't use the live template function, the pages will remain unchanged.  To make use of the live template button, type 'live-template' between curly brackets, then click on the macro to enter the name of the template you wish to use.  You can also make an 'add page' button on the parent page and set the add-page macro to use a live template (simply check the 'live template' box).  This is a good way to ensure that everyone who will be creating pages with the template will choose the correct one.

The sections above outline some of the most essential features of Confluence.  However, it is possible to do a lot more with the wikis if you wish to, in order to improve both the functionality and the appearance of your pages. 

Most advanced features are achieved by inserting macros.  There are many built-in macros in Confluence, and others come packaged in groups called plugins or add-ons.  The UNECE Statistical division has many plugins already installed, and can request intsallation of new ones.  Contact the Statistical Management and Modernization unit if you would like to discuss installation of a new plugin.

You can insert a macro by typing a curly bracket and then beginning to type the name of the macro.  Confluence will show you a list of potential matches, e.g.:


Choose the one you want and it will be inserted.  For many macros you can edit various parameters by clicking on the inserted macro and choosing your settings in a popup box.

If you are not sure what macro you need to achieve your goals, or how to arrange the macros to do what you need them to do, there are numerous websites available to help you.  Try some of the following:

Once you have mastered the basis of using the wikis, you might be interested in knowing more about more advanced features.

Sources for help:

  • Confluence Users' Guide: a guide to the main features and functions of the wikis
  • Confluence documentation: the main portal for all the user guides, administrator guides, knowldge bases, forums etc. managed by Atlassian, the manufacturers of Confluence.
  • Tutorial videos: these go hand-in-hand with the documentation to help you understand the main functions of wikis by watching them in action
  • Atlassian University: self-paced training on the basics of Confluence: navigating, creating, sharing, discussing, searching etc.
  • Examples and tutorials from the University of Iowa.  These are extremely clear and helpful, but bear in mind that they refer to a different platform to ours: they might not update their software when we do, and they might have some minor differences in the plugins they have installed.  In general, however, these tutorials are highly recommended for beginner and intermediate users.

Full user guide pdf:

  • You can download a very comprehensive (775 page!) user guide for full details of everything you ever wanted to know about using Confluence. Much of this is beyond the needs of everyday users, but some advanced users may find useful information.

  • No labels
Report inappropriate content