We run Confluence with the (default) en_GB locale and language. For our purposes, some of the boilerplate text needs changing. This post describes how to solve this problem with a partial British English language pack that overrides only part of the Confluence interface text.
The Atlassian website has a page on how to Modify Confluence Interface Text

The suggested steps are:

  • Get a file from the confluence-3.x.jar file
  • Place it here: /confluence/WEB-INF/classes/com/atlassian/confluence/core/
  • Edit the text you wish to change
  • Restart Confluence

Some reasons I don't think this method should not be used

  • I tried this, but couldn't get it to work. OK, not really a proper reason.
  • This file will probably get wiped on upgrade. I'm guessing.
  • You need to duplicate the whole file (7000+ lines), not just the changes. Not pretty.

So what next?

Create a partial language pack plugin

Confluence uses en_GB by default. I want to use British English, but only have the overrides in my language pack. I don't want to do anything destructive to my Confluence installation.

It's possible to create a (partial) language pack plugin for Confluence that only overrides part of the existing en_GB language. My partial language pack will use the default terms from the confluence-3.x.jar file unless they are overridden. My new language will be "Nottingham English" with a *two letter, uppercase* locale code "GB".


Creating a language pack is really easy as there are only 3 files required.

Create the following directory structure:
Language Pack Directory Structure

File descriptions

describes the language pack:

[sourcexml"]<atlassian-plugin name='Nottingham English language pack' key='confluence.languages.en_GB'>
<description><![CDATA[For changes to boilerplate text that should persist after a Confluence upgrade.]]></description>
<vendor name="David Simpson" url="/"/>

<language name="Nottingham English" key="en_GB" language="en" country="GB">
<!-- Define a flag that will be shown for this language -->
<resource name="en_GB.png" type="download" location="templates/languages/en_GB/en_GB.png">
<property key="content-type" value="image/png"/>

is the override text for the language

[source]## Replace the Dashboard name/title
dashboard.name = Workspace Home
title.dashboard = Workspace Home

## Replace login instructions
login.instructions = Put yorn login details inta this eer form.

## Add some Nottingham dialect (meaning hello)
default.welcome.message = Ayup Mi Duck

# Fix any accidental misinformation where Atlassian have changed features
no.favourite.pages=There are currently no pages on your favourites list.<br/><br/>
To add pages to this list
<li>Click on <b>Tools</b> (on the top right of the page you''re viewing)</li>
<li>Select <b><img src="{0}"> Watch</b> from the menu</li>

is the thumbnail. Change this from the Union Jack flag so it can be distinguished from the flag for the default British English en_GB

Build the plugin and install

I'm developing this in ~/projects/confluence/language-en_GB_partial/ on my Mac, so to build the plugin:

cd ~/projects/confluence/language-en_GB_partial/
jar cvf ../language-en_GB_partial.jar *

Install the plugin in the usual way in Confluence at
Confluence Admin | Plugins

Select the new language from Confluence Admin | Language


Overall, I think it works well. This is a pretty easy way to bundle up changes to the default Confluence text.

Confluence Login Page

Confluence Dashboard

The Site Welcome Message can also easily be changed elsewhere too.
Matt Hodges talks about this in his post "Hidden Feature: Bring 'Must Read' Content to the Dashboard".

Upgrade path

Atlassian will likely change the boilerplate text as new versions of the product are released, so it's good to review your changes on upgrade.


  • Revert language to British English
  • Check each item you've changed
  • Make any appropriate edits (if required)
  • Upload your new version of the language pack (if required)
  • Change language back to your own e.g. "Nottingham English"