Release Notes

7 Essential Macros for Publishing Release Notes in Confluence

When working in teams, collaboration is paramount. And for effective collaboration, clear & concise documentation is a crucial prerequisite. 

Atlassian’s Confluence is a powerful wiki/documentation software focused on seamless collaboration & information sharing among teams. Out of numerous ways teams use Confluence, publishing release notes is the use case we look at in this article. We will explore seven Confluence macros that can make your release notes aesthetic & easily consumable.  

But, What are Release Notes?

We’ve talked about this in detail, here – what are release notes

Briefly, release notes are documents that communicate new features, improvements, bug fixes, and more about your software updates to users & other stakeholders. While teams often treat them a Software development team’s artefact, Product marketing team is equally responsible for them. 

Macros to Fashion Up Release Notes in Confluence 

Confluence, with its versatile macros, can support creation of visually appealing yet structured release notes. Here’s how.

Layout

Want to create proper information architecture in your Confluence hosted release notes? Use the Layout macro. It will let you divide the page into various columns & sections. There are five possibilities with this macro. Primarily, two or three column layouts are available through this tool.

Highlight

This macro is sure to add some color to your release notes page in Confluence. It comes in five different flavors – Info, Note, Success, Warning, Error. With the new editor in Cloud, you can even apply the colors of your own choice & top it up with an emoji.

When added to a page, these macros help attract reader’s attention & drive home the important points. But be cautious about overusing them!

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Expand

Not all info in your release notes carries equal importance. You may want to ‘hide’ some content & let only interested users see it rather than cluttering everyone’s canvas. That’s the magic made possible through the Expand macro.

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Divider

This is the only time when the idiom ‘Divide & rule’ is meant to do a good thing. Want to improve the structure of the release notes page in your Confluence? Look no further. This, otherwise very basic, element can be the difference between the good, the bad & the ugly.

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Emoji

Bring a smile(y) to anyone who is reading the release notes in your Confluence. No, literally ☺ If you ever wanted to add a personality to the release notes, this is your chance. With a wide range of Emojis, you can say so much by saying 🤐

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Image, video or file

Want to bring the release notes to life? Why not add some splashy screenshots or short walkthrough videos right on that Confluence page? Or maybe even a penetration testing report for your customers? No? Have you heard of GIFs by the way?

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Page properties & Page properties report

These macros may not be as fun as the others. But they offer an ingenuous way to structure your release notes in such a way that there is an auto-updated index page in Confluence. Yes, that’s right! Check out the video below.

With the page properties macro, one can add visible or hidden properties to a page in Confluence. These properties can be thought of as some metadata in the form of key value pairs. And then the page properties report macro can surface the aggregated information on some other Confluence page for all the pages that hold related metadata.

If we were to classify the above macros in two categories – 1. Formatting 2. Structure, this is how the result would look like.

MacroCategory
LayoutStructure
HighlightFormatting
ExpandFormatting
DividerFormatting
EmojiFormatting
Image, video or fileStructure
Page properties & Page properties reportStructure

Recommendation

If you are using Jira for your project management, we invite you to try out our Automated release notes app for Jira. It will allow you to automatically create Confluence pages by pulling information from Jira triggered by various events such as marking a version as released or completing a sprint & more. Not only that, it also lets you prepend or append content to an existing Confluence page with the help of templates.

Conclusion

Effective release notes are essential for user satisfaction and reduced support tickets. By leveraging these seven Confluence macros, you can create not only informative but also engaging and visually appealing release notes

Remember, the goal is to communicate changes clearly and efficiently, ensuring that your users understand and make the most of new updates.

Feel free to experiment with these macros to find what best meets your team’s needs and enhances your documentation workflow.

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