Many people prefer to store their diagrams, documents and other files in a cloud storage platform, with Microsoft’s OneDrive and Google Drive being the most popular.

The folder structure, just like a hard drive on your computer, helps you quickly organise and reorganise your files as you need. Cloud storage platforms ensure your files are more easily and reliably searchable than attachments on Confluence pages and Jira issues.

Therefore, you need an app that lets you easily embed your diagrams as well as vsd/vsdx files, documents, spreadsheets, PDFs, images, videos and more in Confluence or Jira.

Drawing on our experience in developing Atlassian Cloud apps and working with high-availability platforms, we’ve created that bridge – you can easily embed the files you have stored in your cloud platform into your Confluence Cloud pages and Jira Cloud issues with our Diagram Viewer apps.

Diagram Viewer apps for Confluence and Jira

Our free apps, the Diagram Viewer for Jira  and the Diagram Viewer for Confluence let you quickly select and embed a number of diagram types and file types into a Confluence Cloud page using a macro, or into a Jira Cloud issue.

Your data is secure: Authentication is done via your browser (client-side) to ensure that you always have the correct permissions. Users only need to authorise Confluence or Jira once to allow them to access files stored in OneDrive or Google Drive, you don’t need to grant them any special permissions as an administrator.

You can still use via the Diagram Viewer apps to edit the files stored on your cloud platform, even if you don’t have a license for your Confluence or Jira instance.

Important: You should only use this method when you don’t need to track changes to your diagrams or files. The files embedded via the Diagram Viewer apps are only linked and not attached to the Confluence page or Jira issue. Read more about why you should use versioning for your diagrams.

The Diagram Viewer apps for Confluence and Jira support the following file types:

  • diagrams
  • VSD and VSDX file types
  • Google and Microsoft Office files: documents, spreadsheets, presentations
  • Images and PDF files
  • Audio and video files
  • Photos and photo albums
  • Google Forms
  • Folders

Submit Google Forms with the Diagram Viewer apps for Confluence and Jira

You can even fill in and submit Google forms from within Confluence and Jira using the Diagram Viewer apps.

You don’t need to fiddle around with copying and pasting URLs or changing sharing permissions on your files – using the Diagram Viewer’s file selection dialog, you simply select the files you want to display.

Why only Atlassian Cloud?

The popularity of cloud-based document storage and collaboration platforms is rapidly increasing and it’s easy to see why: You don’t have to have your own on-premise installations and infrastructure.

As many companies and their employees are comfortable with shared file management and want to keep working with office documents, cloud platforms like G Suite (Google Drive) and Microsoft’s Office 365 (OneDrive) are an easy choice.

For smooth collaboration and project management, many of those same companies are using Confluence and Jira on Atlassian’s Cloud platform, on which Atlassian is focusing a major portion of their development efforts.

How to use the Confluence Diagram Viewer app for Confluence

First, install the app in your Confluence Cloud or Jira Cloud instance, and then log into your business Google Drive or OneDrive account in your browser. As Confluence and Jira are business tools, makes sense that you will be using your business Google Drive or OneDrive accounts. Note that the Diagram Viewer app may still work with your personal Google Drive.

The Diagram Viewer apps use your current browser login to access your files in your cloud storage platform. This means you can only select files that you have permissions to view if you are using Google’s enterprise version of G Suite or OneDrive for Business.

Step 1: Insert the macro

While editing a Confluence Cloud page, insert either the Google Drive File macro or the OneDrive Connector macro, wherever your files are stored. We’ll use Google Drive for this example. If this is the first time you have done this, click on Authorize Diagram Viewer for Confluence.The fastest way to insert the macro is to use the shortcut: type /goo to see the Google Drive File popup. Type /one for the OneDrive Connector macro.
Insert Diagram Viewer macro in Confluence

Step 2: Select the file in Google Drive or One Drive

In the macro, select Choose to open the Select a file dialog.You’ll see a list of files and directories – navigate to the file you want to embed and select it, then click Select. To filter for files of a certain type, you can enter that in the search field. For example type:form will show you only Google Forms. You can also select a folder – this will display a list of that folder’s content in the macro.

If you selected a, VSD or VSDX diagram, you’ll see the two checkboxes on the left of the Edit macro dialog are now enabled. Your diagram will automatically be shown using (if the app is installed in your instance), and the viewer will match the size of the diagram.

Embed a file from Google Drive into Confluence

If you want to set a different height and width for a diagram, deselect the Automatically set the size of the viewer checkbox, then edit the Width and Height fields.

Step 3: Embed your file from Google Drive or OneDrive into Confluence

Click Save to embed the file on the page, and publish your Confluence page. Embedding a file from OneDrive into Confluence works in the same way.

Depending on what type of file you have embedded, viewers can interact with the file:

  • Enable layers and step through multipage diagrams.
  • Click through the pages in documents, PDF files and presentations.
  • Zoom into images, pause animations and video files.
  • Navigate through the pages in a spreadsheet.
  • Fill out and submit Google Forms.
  • Navigate through folders and files.
An embedded Google spreadsheet using the Diagram Viewer app for Confluence

An embedded Google Sheet using the Diagram Viewer app for Confluence

How to use the Diagram Viewer app for Jira

To see the files you have embedded in your Jira issue, you need to display the Diagram Viewer app section first. Click on the three dots next to Link page, then select Diagram Viewer.

Enable the Diagram Viewer section in Jira issues

Step 1: Select your file in OneDrive or Google Drive

To embed a file from OneDrive or Google Drive into your Jira issue, click on the three dots at the top left, then select Add Diagram File. Alternatively, if you have already displayed the Diagram Viewer section, click Add File in that section.

The file selection dialog has three tabs: Upload diagram from your device, OneDrive Diagram, and Google Drive Diagram. Select the tab for your cloud platform. This example will use OneDrive.
If you have already authorised access, click on the blue button and log in.
File selection dialog - Diagram Viewer app for Jira Cloud

Click Choose and the OneDrive file picker dialog will open. Hover over the file you want to embed and click on the circle to select it. A blue tick will appear. Then click on Open.

Select a file in the One Drive picker to embed it using the Diagram Viewer app for Jira

Step 2: Attach your OneDrive or Google Drive file to your Jira issue

If you have selected a diagram file, the Show with checkbox will automatically be enabled. This allows users to interact with the diagram: enable or disable layers, step through pages, etc. You’ll also see a preview of the file you selected. Click Submit.
Embed a diagram file from OneDrive into Jira using the Diagram Viewer app

Once your diagram or file has been added to the Diagram viewer section, hover over it to see a toolbar.

  • Click on the pen icon to edit the file stored on OneDrive or Google Drive.
  • Refresh the attached file thumbnail to show any changes made to the file on your cloud platform.
  • Display the file in the viewer with the Show button (four arrows).
  • Remove the file by clicking on the trash can. This does not delete the file from OneDrive or Google Drive!

Click Add File to embed more diagrams or files from OneDrive or Google Drive to this Jira Cloud issue using the Diagram Viewer app.

A file in the Diagram Viewer section in Jira

Uninstalling and reinstalling the Diagram Viewer apps

If you no longer want to use the app, don’t worry – uninstalling the apps will not delete or change any files stored in your cloud storage platform. The macros you used to embed files will be shown as ‘Unknown macro’.

If you later decide to reinstall the Diagram Viewer app in your instance, the connection to the embedded files in those macros will be restored.

Start using the free Diagram Viewer apps today

The Diagram Viewer for Jira  and the Diagram Viewer for Confluence are available on the Atlassian Marketplace.