File Libraries

Why Use File Libraries?

File libraries are a specialized GroveSite page type. If you are a Moderator or Site Administrator, you can already upload files to most GroveSite pages - as part of items on a normal web page, or attached to a task on a Task List, or attached to a Discussion posting/reply.

However, File Libraries offer some unique features:

  • Organize and share large numbers of files
  • Organize files by category or by most recent first
  • Display thumbnails next to a file name for pdfs and most graphic formats
  • Enable filtering and sorting of a file list to identify a subset of files of interest
  • Allow upload of a single file, or of multiple files that have been zipped together
  • Track document status (draft, final, etc.) and ownership
  • Track viewing and access history
  • Coordinate collaborative review/writing via the Check-Out/Check-In feature

Note: you can also set up a File Library page that allows Participants to upload files.


How to add a File Library page

  • Click 'Turn on edit.'
  • Click [new page]
  • Select page type = file library
  • Click the Next button at the bottom of the form.
  • Enter navigation text
  • Enter Page Heading (often the same as the navigation text), sub heading (optional), page text (optional) and select the default page view.
  • Click the Next button at the bottom of the form.
  • Select page security = 'participants can see this page' OR 'participants can see and update this page.' Note: you may also want to set up a file library for Moderators. If so, select page security = 'only moderators/administrators can see this page'
  • Click the Next button at the bottom of the form.
  • Position the page within the list of current pages in your site.
  • Click the Finish button to save the new page.

Picture File Library Look

Column Headers Notice the silver column headers for the Category, View, Filename, Status, Owner, Updated and Size Columns.

Paging Paging information is just above the header. Sometimes a page is set up to display all uploaded files. In other cases, an Administrator has selected to display fewer files. Let's say your Administrator has set the page to display 25 files at a time. If the page has 70 files uploaded, it will say "Page 1 of 3 (70 items - 0 hidden)". You can click on page 2 or page 3 to view other files.

Views Users can still select a Summary View or an Expanded View. The Summary View is shown above. The Expanded View shows a larger thumbnail and displays the Notes field. If all of the Notes are not visible, hover your cursor over the '...more' to see the rest. The Photo Gallery View shows the file thumbnails along with the file name in a grid-style image gallery.


Really Fast Display and Update

Speed! The File Library page displays VERY quickly.

Refresh in Place Adding to quickness, when you upload a new file, or edit its row, the page updates instantly, "in place," with the new information. You do not have to wait for the entire page to display again.

Color Highlighting You'll also notice that the file you just added or changed is highlighted in color, to help you find and review your change quickly.


How to Filter and Sort

Picture File Library Filtering Filters You can filter the page to view a subset of files. Just click on any 'arrow' in the header columns to see filtering options. For example, if you filtered on Status, and selected 'Final', the display would change to show only the documents with Final status. You can then filter on other columns to reduce the number of documents you are viewing.

When you set a filter, you'll see a 'breadcrumb' (just below the paging information) to help you keep track of the filters you have selected. To clear all filters, click the first item in the breadcrumb.

Multiple Sorts You can also choose multiple sorts. To sort by Status, then Category, hold down the SHIFT key and click Status, then Category.


How to View a File

Click the icon or thumbnail in the 'View' column to open the file.


How to Add a New File

When the File Library page has been created, click on its name in the Site Navigation area to see it displayed. Files you add will be displayed along with a thumbnail or icon for each, as well as Category, Status, Notes and Owner information.

Click [Add a New File]

  • Upload file: Use the Browse button to locate the file on your computer, just as you would to attach a file to an email message.
  • Category: Enter a category or leave the field blank. Files are listed alphabetically by category.
  • Owner: Every file posted to a File Library has an owner. The owner has the ability to add/edit information about the file entry. Owners can 'lock' a file so that it cannot be viewed. Owners must be enrolled members of the site.
  • Status: Select a status, or blank, for your file. NOTE: If you select "Locked - no access" no members of the site will be able to view your file. Image files cannot be locked.
  • Hide: A file can be hidden from display by checking the 'Hide' box. The file entry in the File Library will only be viewable by Moderators or Site Administrators, and only when 'Turn on edit' is on.
  • Notes: This is a free form text field. It is displayed when the File Library is in 'Expanded View' mode.

How to Edit File Details

To edit the Category, Status, Notes, etc: Click the [edit] link to the left of the row. You'll see an 'Edit File Details' form. (if you are not the Owner of the file, you'll click a Take Ownership button to get to the Edit File Details form). Update fields as you wish and Save.


How to Re-Upload or Replace the File

On the Edit File Details form, you can attach a newer file using the Browse button (this replaces the existing file with your new one).


How to Delete a File

On the Edit File Details form, you can delete the file using the Delete button.


How to View File Access History

To view a file's access history, click on [edit] link. GroveSite tracks recent (last 30 days) access for each entry in the File Library.


How to Check Out, Revise and Check In a File

You can Check Out a file if you are the file's Owner, or if you have Moderator or Site Administrator privileges


Check Out a File

Picture File Library Check-Out

First, get a current copy of the file and simultaneously mark it 'Checked Out.' This leaves the file locked so that others cannot access it.

  • Click [check out]. The form at right will appear.
  • Right click on the filename to Save it to your PC
  • Click the Check Out button on the form.
  • When your page refreshes, the file will show as locked.

Now the document is on your PC, where you can open it and revise it. Save your changes to the file on your PC, then follow the instructions below to upload/replace the previous version.


Check In a File

Picture File Library Check-In

To replace the file with your newer version:

  • Click the [check in] link. The form at right will appear.
  • Use the Browse button to find/attach your newly revised file on your PC.
  • Enter comments if you wish.
  • Click the Check In button at the bottom of the form.

This replaces the previous file with your newer version, and unlocks it so that members can access it.


A 'Participant' only sees the [check out] link if he/she is the Owner of the file. As an Administrator or Moderator, you can allow another Participant to check out and replace a file if you make that person the Owner.

  • An Administrator or Moderator must click the [edit] to the left of the row.
  • In the Owner field, select the Participant individual from the drop down list.
  • Click SAVE. Now that Participant will see themselves as the Owner, and will see the [check out] link.

How To Keep Previous Versions of a File

To keep previous versions of a file on the page, don't use [edit] or the Check-Out/Check-In functions. Instead, just click [Add a New File] and upload the revised file. GroveSite will append a number to the end of the filename.


Placement of Hidden Files

Picture File Library Hidden Files

Hidden Files You may have files or documents that you want to retain on GroveSite, but not make them available for view by your general site membership. If you [edit] a file row, you'll see a "Hide" checkbox for this purpose.

When a file is hidden it does not appear in Expanded View, Summary View or Photo Gallery View. However, Moderators or Site Administrators can access Hidden files by clicking [Turn on Edit]. Hidden files will be 'grayed out' and located at the bottom of the page.