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Documents Form

Documents can be associated with several types of database items, such as projects, layers, customers, contacts, users and sites. Correspondingly, this form can be reached from a number of tools or forms, including the Project Documents tool, the View Documents tool, and the Customer Information form. The title of the form reflects what documents you are currently viewing (for example All Documents or Documents For Project or Document Search Results or My Checked Out Documents, and so on). 

There are many ways that you can adjust the appearance of this form, to make it easier to achieve what you need to do. The figures below demonstrate some examples.

Project Documents - displayed as small cards

Document Search Results - grouped by Creation Date

Locating documents using Tags

The use of tags is described on the Document Configuration page.

The Tag Cloud, which is only available when viewing all documents and not when viewing project documents, displays all of the defined tags. The size of each piece of text indicates how frequently that tag has been assigned to a document. You can select a tag from the cloud to filter the list so that only documents assigned that tag (or a synonym) are displayed. Alternatively, you can type a tag, or part of a tag, into the tag cloud entry field to filter the cloud for matching tags. Click on Clear Tag Search to return to the complete document display.

NOTE: Your Document Management Settings (part of your Database Operation settings) and your user privileges can greatly affect how this form appears, and what activities you can perform from here. 


Modes of operation

This form has a number of modes, affecting which documents are displayed. For example, if you have used the Project Documents tool, it displays only those documents which are assigned to (that is, have a relationship with) the current project; if you have used the View Documents tool, it displays all documents in the database; if you are searching, it displays all documents which match your criteria. You can change between these modes using the Documents pull-down list.

If you are viewing documents for a particular item (project, customer, layer, or whatever), the Documents pull-down list will be shown only if you have the Allow document view to be changed option enabled in your Document Management Settings

The Documents pull-down list will only show My Checked Out Documents and All Checked Out Documents if you have the Both simple updates and check-out/check-in of documents option enabled in your Document Management Settings


You can display the documents in a detailed table view, in which you can choose which columns to show. Alternatively you can display the documents as "cards", showing a thumbnail of the document along with summary information. You can change the view using the Details, Small and Large buttons on the tool bar. 

In the detailed view, you can double-click an item to view the Document Information form. In the cards views, you can click on the thumbnail image to view the document itself (for example a PNG document might be opened in Windows Photo Viewer, depending on your computer settings). 

The documents are listed in pages of 10, 25, 50 or 100 items. You can use the controls at the bottom of the form to view other pages, or to adjust the page size to suit the performance of your document management system.


You can add new documents by dragging and dropping files from your Windows File Explorer or from Outlook onto this form, which causes the Add Documents form to display. You can drag and drop additional files onto that form too. If you drag and drop a compressed file (such as a ZIP), you will be asked whether you wish to extract the files from it.


The following options may be available from the form's tool bar, or the right-click context menu, or both.

Close - Close this form.

Documents - From the pull-down list, choose which documents to display (for example all documents or project documents). Choosing Search Documents allows you to enter search criteria in the Search All Documents form. 

Refresh - Redisplay the document list, to show any changes made by other users.

Organise documents by:  Type / Groups / Item Type / Relationship - These buttons control what is shown within the categories panel on the left. (Note that the buttons and panel only appear when you have View > Categories enabled.) 

Details / Small / Large - Choose how the document items are to be displayed: in a grid or as small or large "cards" with thumbnails.

Collapse all / Expand all - When displaying either small or large cards, use this button to collapse (shrink) or expand all of them. (Note that the cards may also be collapsed/expanded individually.)

Add Documents - Use this option to add one of more new documents, using the Add Documents form. (Alternatively you can "drag and drop" files onto this form.)

Check Out - Allows you to make a local copy of the selected document, so that you may modify it.

Check In - Update the document after a Check Out, replacing it with your modified version. 

Cancel Checkout - Discard changes and cancel the Check Out for the selected document.

Update / Update File / Update Data - Update or check in the changes you have made to the selected document.

Document Information - Display Document Information for the selected document. (You can also double-click an item to see this information, if you are using the Details view.)

History - Display the document history in the Document Information form.

Open to View - Depending on the document type, use your default viewer to display the document. (For example, a PDF might be opened in Adobe Acrobat, or a JEPG in Windows Photo Viewer.)

Copy To - Allows you to make a copy of the selected document on your computer.

Print - Print the selected document.

Email - Send the selected document as an email attachment.

Delete - Delete the selected documents.

Undelete - Retrieve selected documents that have previously been deleted.

Purge - Remove the file data, but leave the database information. (You cannot undo this operation. Once you have purged a deleted document you cannot subsequently undelete it, but you can still see the versions and history.)

Obliterate - Completely remove all references to the deleted document. (You cannot undo this operation.)

View - Select Deleted Documents or Purged Documents if you wish to see these items. The Status column shows whether a document is Deleted or Purged. From this menu you can also view/hide the Categories panel (on the left side of the form) and the Tag Cloud panel (on the right). 

Options - This option allows you to modify the Browser Options, allowing you to choose which fields are displayed in the grid view. 

Document Configuration - Displays the Document Configuration form, allowing you to modify the Item Types (also called MIME Types), Tags and Groups.

Updating Documents

You can modify documents after they have been added to the database by updating the document file itself or any of the associated database values, or both. When you do so, the document version number is incremented and an entry is added to the document history to show what you have done. There are two methods of updating documents, as described below. 

Simple updates

Use Update or Update File to revise the selected document from a new file. After choosing the replacement file, you are prompted to amend the name, description and database information, via the Document Update form. You can also choose whether this is a major version update (for example from 2.5 to 3.0) or a minor update (2.5 to 2.6). 

If you wish to modify the database information without replacing the document file, you can use Update Data instead. 


This multi-step method is only available if you have the Both simple updates and check-out/check-in of documents option enabled in your Document Management Settings.

First, select the document you want to modify, choose Check Out, then choose the name and location for your local copy of the file. It is not important what file name or folder you choose. Next, modify or replace that file using the appropriate application (for example, you could modify a DOCX file using Microsoft Word). Finally, use the Documents pull-down list to view My Checked Out Documents, select the document, and choose Check In. As with a simple update, the Document Update form allows you to modify the document information before finishing the check-in process.

During the period that you have the document checked out, other users will not be able to modify it.

Related topics: Project Documents, View Documents, Document Management settings (Database Installation), Document Management settings (Database Operation).

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