Handling Documents

A command menu pops up when you right click on a file, enabling you to manage the document.

Open Document

Files can be opened directly within Alfred Desktop by clicking the “Open” command or by double clicking the file. The file will be downloaded to a local copy and opened with the corresponding application.

Document Metadata

See Handling metadata.

Move Document

By using the drag and drop feature, you can move files to any location in the tree, if you have the appropriate rights to execute a move. You will need, at a minimum, file creation rights in the receiving folder and file deletion rights in the originating parent folder.

Copy Document

Copying files in Alfred Desktop will make a copy on the desktop clipboard. You can paste the document to any application on your desktop.

Another method of copying files is to drag and drop from the Alfred Desktop window onto another application window (e.g., Explorer, Word document, or an e-mail).

Provided that the recipients have access to the Alfresco repository, it is more appropriate to refrain from copying the file into an e-mail communication, but instead, inserting a link to the document using “Copy Link address”, by right clicking on the file. This avoids the duplication of identical information within the organization.

This action copies a link which will open a new tab in the Alfred Desktop application, with the folder highlighted in the Details pane.


Mail as Attachment

“Mail as Attachment” allows you to send a document as an attachment to an email, directly from Alfred Desktop.

The document will automatically appear as an attachment in a new email.

“Mail as Link” allows you to mail a link to a certain file or folder in Alfred Desktop. Provided the receiving party has access rights, clicking the link will open the Alfresco Browser and show the file/folder and its contents. By using this feature, you will avoid duplication of documents across the organization.

Rename file

  • To rename a file, click “Rename”.

  • Or push the F2 key.

  • Or click once on the highlighted file.

  • Enter the new name of the file and press Enter.

Delete Files

To delete a file, click “Delete”. If you do not have the appropriate rights, this command will be disabled.

You can delete multiple files by selecting the relevant ones before clicking the “Delete” button.

You are able to restore a file by clicking on “Window/Recycle Bin”. See Recycle bin.

Refresh Metadata

The metadata in the columns in the Details pane or in the Metadata pane, are metadata of the specific time you visited the content. If another user has updated the metadata, this will be updated in your view the next time you refresh the folder content (see Refresh) or in the Metadata pane when you reselect the document. You can enforce a refresh of the metadata by clicking “Refresh” or F5 on the folder or the file.

Locking, Check-out and Check-in Documents

Locking a document will prevent others uploading new versions of the document, although users will still be able to preview and download the document.

Check-out and check-in are two important functions within any Document Management System (DMS):

  • Check-out: you are locking the document from other users and making a “Working Copy” of the document to be edited. Other users will still be able to open the locked document, but they will not be able to modify the document on the Alfresco server. You will be able to modify the “Working Copy” of the document

  • Check-in: when you have finished the modifications on the document, you can check-in the document as the “original document”. This will update the original document, remove the “Working Copy”, and unlock the original document. The document becomes available for modification by other users.

Edit Offline

The “Edit Offline” command combines a check-out and download / opening of the working copy.

The “Edit Offline” command in Alfred Desktop will:

  • Lock the document

  • Create a working copy of the original document

  • Download that working copy to your local drive

  • Open the working copy for editing

The working copy is copied to a Alfred Desktop folder on your local hard drive. This folder is defined in the settings (repository tab) of Alfred Desktop.

After editing the document, you can save the local working copy of the document without selecting the location you are saving the document to.

If you want to continue working on the working copy after you have closed the local copy, you can reopen the local copy by double clicking the working copy in Alfred Desktop or by clicking the “Open” command.

You do not need to drag and drop or upload the working copy to Alfred Desktop.

With the “Update Main Document” command you will:

  • Upload the local working copy to Alfresco

  • Update the master (locked) document with the new edited document

  • Unlock the master document

With the “Discard Changes” command, you will be able to unlock the main document and remove the working copy, including deleting any changes you have applied to the document.

Edit Online

The “Edit Online” feature lets you edit your document without first saving it offline (checking it out). This functionality is only available for MS Word, MS Excel and MS PowerPoint.

The behavior of the edit online feature varies slightly across the multiple versions of Office and whether you have Single-Sign-One. Below is a description on the behavior when using Office 2013.

Clicking the “Edit Online” option will open the document.

Note: a warning box might appear prompting you to be sure the content can be trusted. Click OK to open the document.

Note: if prompted for login credentials, type your user name and password, then click OK. With Single-Sign-On, you can avoid having to enter your user name and password. Contact your system administrator to arrange enabling of the Single-Sign-On feature.

The document opens in a separate window. In the library, refresh the page to see the lock icon associated with the file, confirming other users are unable to edit the document.

Important: If the file opens in Read-Only format, contact your system administrator.

As soon as you have clicked the Enable Editing button in Word, or you start editing the document, an invisible check-out action ensures your document remains protected, or locked, in the library during the editing session.

Modify the file as necessary.

Save and close the document.

When you finish editing, the document is invisibly checked in, with the updated version available to other users.

Pushing Metadata from the Alfresco Server into

Office Documents

Alfred Desktop enables you to write Alfresco metadata values to metadata fields in Office documents (such as MS Office, Open Office). Changing metadata values in Alfresco will change the value in the related metadata field in the document. A prerequisite of this function is that the naming of the metadata field in the document template is the same as in the Alfresco document model.

You can create a document template that uses metadata fields to create the content. Using the above-described mechanism, you can further automate/assist the creation of documents. Some examples of applying this feature are: creation of a corporate document reference number, meeting date, meeting subject.

Contact your system administrator to configure this functionality.

Word Add-in

It is possible to download and install a Alfred Desktop Word Add-in. This Add-in shows you all the business metadata that has been pushed from Alfresco into the document. Please note that you will need to reach out to our support & engineering team to obtain more information about how to implement this add-on.

Convert to PDF

The Convert to PDF command is available for MS Office documents and converts the document into a PDF version using the MS Office application on your desktop.

A PDF version of the document is made available on Alfresco in the same folder.

Preview Document

There are multiple methods of previewing a document:

  • Enhanced preview as provided by Alfresco Share

  • Image preview of the first page

  • Text preview without formatting. The text is selectable

  • Html preview for Outlook email files

The system administrator can choose the default preview, per document type. When browsing through a list of documents, you will have a default preview of that document displayed.

The enhanced preview feature provided by Alfresco enables you to: search text within the preview of MS Office and pdf documents, select and copy text, and enjoy other useful features.

Within the navigation tab and the search tab, you can configure the preview to display at the right or at the bottom of the Details pane.

Clicking “Preview” in the file menu will open the preview of the document in a separate tab.

This command will not be enabled when a preview of a document is unavailable. Contact your system administrator to enable previews for specific document types in Alfresco.

Enable Versioning

Versioning of a document can be activated through the Alfred Desktop interface. By default, a document is not versioned in the Alfresco repository.

When uploading the same document (same name) you will be asked to upload a new version or to cancel uploading. You can specify if the new version is a minor or major version, and provide comments about the new version.

Show Version History

Once a document is made “versioned”, the command “Show Version History” is enabled.

Upon selecting this command, a list of all versions of the document will be displayed. Every version can be opened individually. You cannot upload documents to this list.

You can revert an older version of the document to the most recent version. This will create a new version.

Compare Word Documents

You can compare two versions of a Word document. When selecting two versions of a specific Word document, the “Compare Versions” command will be enabled.

The “Compare Versions” command will download both versions, and use the Word application on your desktop to compare the two versions.

Show File in Alfresco Browser

The “Show in Browser” command enables you to jump from the Alfred Desktop window to the Alfresco Web Interface. This allows you to view more file details, and use all functionalities available in Alfresco.

File Permissions

Similar to Folder permissions, you can read and set permissions on files.

See ‘Folder permissions’ for more information.

Multi Document Functionality

Some commands in the File menu are available when you select multiple folders.

Using Shortcuts

A full list of the shortcuts available:

  • Ctrl+C= Copy file/folder

  • Ctrl+X= Cut file/folder

  • Ctrl+V= Paste file/folder

  • Ctrl+A= Select All

  • Ctrl+Q= Quit application

  • Ctrl+F= Quick search in Alfred Desktop

  • Ctrl+T= Add new tab

  • Ctrl+A= Select all objects in the Detail navigation pane or in the Details search pane

  • Del= Delete file/folder

  • F2= Rename file/folder

  • Backspace= Previous menu

  • Alt+arrow left= Go to previous menu or submenu

  • Alt+arrow right= Go to next menu or submenu