Shared Drafts: Allow staff to collaborate on posts before publishing

I’ve recently merged a new feature into Discourse called Shared Drafts. The feature is meant for forums where staff members want to work on drafts together before publishing them.

How to Enable

Go into your site’s settings and designate a category as shared drafts category:

You can use the staff category that comes with Discourse to do this, or you can use a new category if you prefer. Make sure that the category is restricted to those who want to view and publish drafts!

Creating a Shared Draft

When creating a topic, click the composer action button at the top left of the composer, and choose Shared Draft:

Once selected, you can choose the destination category where you’d like the topic published when it’s ready.

When it’s ready, click Create Shared Draft and your shared draft will be created!

Finding + Reviewing Shared Drafts

You can see a list of your shared drafts by visiting the category you chose when enabling the feature. When in the category you’ll see the destination category for the topic in the topic list:

As a bonus, you’ll also see your shared draft listed when browsing the destination category, above the regular topic list. This is an easy way to see what drafts are in progress for a particular category:

Note that topics within the designated shared drafts category will not be displayed in any ‘latest’ topic lists.

Publishing your Shared Draft

When you view your shared draft, you get a big control area at the top that allows you to publish it:

Once you click Publish Shared Draft, the following will happen:

  • The topic will be published into the destination category
  • The timestamps of the topic will be changed to be the time of publishing
  • Any edit history on the first post will be removed

Shared Drafts work nicely with topic timers, so you can still publish at a specific time in the future if you like.

Please try out the new feature and let us know how it works!


It looks like all topics in the Staff category are shared drafts by default. This includes Terms of Service, Privacy Policy, Assets for the Site Design etc.
Does it mean that all of these will be deleted after 180 days (per the default setting)?
How I need to convert all of them to published topics? How do I publish a topic for the Staff category?

I wanted to know if it is possible to include the names of all the co-authors when a draft is published?


How complicated would it be to expand this to all posts, instead of just the first?

I do not support any scope creep on this, sorry.


Would working out these concerns in a feature topic that can develop into a plugin like Workspace Views be acceptable? At least extending this feature to arbitrary groups would bring a lot of collective agency.

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Is the intent that these shared drafts are posted to the chat integration (like slack)? They currently are, but it seems like they should not until they are actually published.

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3 posts were split to a new topic: Can I use shared drafts with the API?

3 posts were split to a new topic: Can’t see the shared draft option when creating a new topic

In the context of a team using Discourse internally as both the communication hub and knowledge base, it would be useful if Shared Drafts could be added to multiple defined categories.

This is because the nature of the drafts in a knowledge base may be different than those being used in a more traditional topic sense.


Another possible implementation could be to assign it to groups since groups can optionally manage categories.


Not sure I understand what this means. Which topics in which category are being suppressed from which topic lists? Note that the headline above says “once you click publish…”. Thanks for clarifying this for me and sorry for not understanding


I’m not super clear what you meant by that edit either @david?


Honestly I’m not exactly sure… 2 years is a long time :sweat_smile:

I seem to remember a lot of support queries around that time which went something like:

  • Admin configured the shared_drafts_category to a public category
  • Admin created shared draft
  • Regular users could see the topic in topic lists
  • BUT admins could not see the topic in topic lists

I believe the confusion was mostly resolved by this commit

But still, I have no idea why I put that comment under the ‘once you click publish’ heading. I’ll get that fixed - thanks @sebastianh


they call me the bouncer… jk :slight_smile:


I find this feature confusing because for our forum it makes staff unusable for anything other than shared drafts. New topics will not display as they did under categories, even though I am an admin.

I wish these drafts would still show up as part of the staff restricted category.

– Or –

Is it possible to create staff posts that are not treated as shared drafts, but simply as basic topics?

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In response to

Unread (1) displayed since 2.6.0beta5

Please add the ability to disable Shared Drafts functionality directly from the dropdown-menu by adding an option such as Disable or none.

Thank you for considering!


I tend to configure shared drafts in a limited category, either to @staff or @some_specific_group.
It always seemed confusing to me what category to choose for shared drafts.

Usually we use it to prepare topic introductions or articles – and since Page Publishing for public pages.

So I create a Drafts category either under Staff or a group-specific category.
I’m always worried that a topic may disappear after some time due to disappearing topics…

Also, having the drafts notice above the category description is quite scary: will this one be removed after 180 days?


You should consider making a dedicated category just for drafts, and not re-use an existing one.


It is a dedicated category… The “Destination Category” notice also appears for the category description itself, so I wonder whether it’s also part of the topics to be removed after 180 days. :thinking:

In general I think it would be good to simply ignore all pinned topics in the Drafts category for this cleanup job.