This site is a wiki, which allows people to view and add information such as new pages, comments, news posts or file attachments. The software we are using here, Atlassian Confluence, is a very capable and easy to use wiki system. A User Guide (http://confluence.atlassian.com/display/DOC/Confluence+User's+Guide) is available, and you can go to a sandbox site if you want to have a general play with Confluence.

Access permissions

All users of the site have been set up with permission to view and download information. Other users have additional privileges, such as commenting, editing, or adding attachments. Requests for additional privileges should be emailed to Andrew Watkins [email protected] or Sandy Elliott [email protected] . Non-NIWA users need to log in to be able to access the additional privileges.

Navigation around the site

The pages are organised in a tree structure. You can use the tree in the pane on the left of every page to navigate around lower (child) levels of the tree. There is also a 'breadcrumb' in the top bar of the page, which can be used to navigate to higher levels. In some cases, links to other parts of a page or to other pages have been aded. 

The structure and arrangement of pages can be easily adjusted (with suitable permissions) as more pages are added and the entire space or parts of it can easily be output as web pages, pdfs or MS Word documents.

You can add watches to pages, to be notified of changes via email. 

Editing

Confluence comes with a simple-to-use editor. If you have been assigned editing privileges, you can start editing by selecting the edit icon on the page you are viewing. Your edits are only saved once you press the save button. You can add and format text and tables using the toolbar in the Rich Text editor (the default), and add links and attachments. Various other 'macros' can be accessed via the macro button to add more advanced items such as a table of contents or a task list. 

You can also use a Wiki Markup mode, where codes can be entered instead of using the toolbar.

Text can also be edited in MS Word, using one of the items under the tools icon when viewing the page.

Working with Microsoft Word, Powerpoint and Excel files

Confluence supports the embedding of MS Office documents. The documents can be attached to the page (using the Add attachment) and then using the OfficeWord macros in the rich text editor, or using {viewxls}, {viewdoc}, {viewppt} and {viewpdf} macro codes in the wiki markup editor, or by dragging the file from Explorer into the rich text editor (you need Google Gears to do this last option). The documents are then stored in the wiki, and they can be edited and saved by selecting the appropriate buttons in the page where the document is rendered, or by browsing attachments and editing from there.

It seems that using .doc instead of .docx is more succesful in terms of preserving formatting. When downloading Office 2007/2010 files such as pptx files, select the option to edit in Office and then SaveAs, or change the file extension from .zip to .pptx when downloading.