Personal documents

  1. Add a document [top]
    Go to the folder where you want to add a Document. Click on the New menu, or select Upload in this menu.
  2. Add a document using drag and drop [top]
    You can drag and drop one or more files from your computer desktop to the Documents list.

    This feature requires a recent browser version.

  3. Create a blank document [top]
    Go to the folder where you want to add a blank Document (text only, word processing, spreadsheet or presentation). The text only format is useful for small notes. In the New menu, select Create, enter a name and choose the format.
  4. Add a comment [top]
    You can add a comment on a Document, to give an idea of its contents. In a group, the comment will be displayed to all group members.

    Select Comment in the Document Actions. Documents with comments appear with a special icon.

  5. Edit a document [top]
    To edit a document, you must first download it on your computer, make the necessary changes and eventually upload it.

    You can simplify all this by using the virtual drive or the online edition feature (if available).

  6. Download a document [top]
    Click on the document name or select Download in the Actions menu of the document.

    Each time the document is downloaded (using the Web interface or the virtual drive), the download counter is updated.

  7. Rename a document [top]
    Select Rename in the Actions menu.
  8. Duplicate a document [top]
    If you need to create a Document similar to an existing one, select Duplicate in the existing Document Actions. You can also use this feature as manual version management: before you edit a Document, duplicate it and rename it by adding a version indication such as v1, v2, etc. This method can be used in your private and group Documents.
  9. Move a document [top]
    Select Move in the Actions menu of the document. Then select the destination folder. The document will be moved and disappear from the current folder.
  10. Copy a document [top]
    Select Copy in the Actions menu of the document. Then select the destination folder. The document will be copied to this other folder and the original file will remain in the current folder.

Group documents

  1. Access to group documents [top]
    Select the group name in the context selector, which default value is "Private".
  2. Default access rights [top]
    • All group members may always view group folders and documents. In other words, they always have the Read right.
    • A document creator may always edit it. He can give the Edit right to some or all members.
    • Group administrator and co-administrators may always add and delete content (i.e. folders and documents). They can give the Add content and Add and delete content to some or all members. Note: The Add content right also allows to rename folders.
  3. Creators: allow edition [top]
    The document Edit right allows to change its contents but also its meta-information (name, etc.).
  4. Administrators: allow members to add and/or delete content [top]
    Grant the Add content (i.e. folders and documents) or the Add and delete content rights. Delete content means deleting any document.

    Note: it is advised that the group administrator (who can be helped by group co-administrators) first creates the folder structure to ensure for its consistency. Then, he gives the right to Add content in the relevant folders or subfolders. Besides, this prevents members from creating special folders in the first level.

    Note: Each folder has its own access rights. You can easily apply the same rights to the subfolders by clicking on Apply to subfolders. Please note that if you change the folder rights, they won't be applied to subfolders automatically. You'll have to click on Apply to subfolders if applicable.

  5. Grant access rights to a member [top]
    1. Click on Add.
    2. Select a group this member belongs to.
    3. You can also search for this member by entering his/her name (or part of it) in the search field.
    4. Select the right you wish to grant in the Access rights pull-down menu.
    5. Click on Add.
    6. The member now appears in the rights summary.
    You may select several members.

    You can remove the access rights you have granted at any time.

  6. Grant access rights to all group members [top]
    1. Click on Add.
    2. Select a group.
    3. Select the access right you wish to grant in the Access rights pull-down menu.
    4. Click on Add.
    5. The group now appears in the rights summary.
    Note: If someone joins the group later on, he will automatically be granted the same access rights. If you wish to avoid that, grant rights to the individual members that are now in the group.

    Likewise, if a current member leaves the group later on, he will loose the granted access rights.

    You can remove the access rights you have granted at any time.

  7. Add a group document [top]
    Note: You can add content in the current folder only if the group administrator has allowed you to.

    Upload a new document as you usually do it in your private environment. You can also create a subfolder and upload documents within.

  8. Share private data with a group [top]
    You can share private data (i.e. a document, a contact, etc.) with a group. The item will be visible in the group while remaining also in your private environment:
    • There is only one item: all edits made in your private environment will be visible in the group and conversely.This avoids creating duplicates (which can end up with different contents).
    • To share an item with a group, you must have been granted the right to Add content in it.
    • A single item may be shared with several groups.
    Select a private item and choose Share with groups in its Actions. Click on the Share button. Then, choose a group and a destination folder within this group. If the item is a Document, create the destination folder if necessary.

    If you don't want to share this item anymore, go to the same screen and click on the - icon (Remove) next to the group name.

  9. Share group data with another group [top]
    Just like you can share a private item with a group, you can share a group item with another one. Open Share with groups and select a group where you have been granted the Add content right.

    Because sharing has to be done document by document, you should not use it too often. It's probably better to create an additional group containing common data than sharing many items between 2 groups.

  10. Notify group members [top]
    When creating or editing a group document, you can send an email notification to all group members (except yourself) to let them know that a new document (or a new version of a document) is available. This standard notification can be personalized with your own comments. Note : Only the document creator may send a notification.

    To send a notification, select Notify by e-mail in the Actions menu of the document.

Online edition

  1. Features [top]
    You don't need Office software (Microsoft Office, OpenOffice) installed on your computer anymore to be able to edit word processing, spreadsheets and presentations documents. ContactOffice integrates an online editor which offers the main features.

    This editor is available if the ContactOffice administrator has activated it (it is disabled by default) and if you have the right to edit a specific Document.

    Select Edit online from the contextual menu of an "Office" Document. To save your changes, click on the "Save" button in the online editor.

    Note: The online editor is provided by a third-party application, which will access your edited Documents contents. The third-party company offers no guarantee that the service will be available in the future.

  2. Collaborative editing [top]
    Documents in a group can be edited by several people at the same time, each user editing a paragraph at a time. Edits made by others are displayed in real time. A chat is also available.

Anonymous online edition

  1. What is anonymous edition ? [top]
    Thanks to this feature, people without an ContactOffice account are able to read and edit documents in the Office format (.doc and.docx, .xls and .xlsx, .ppt and .pptx) in an online edition interface. They can access it without creating an account or downloading anything.

    This feature allows several people to work on a draft. It won't be possible to edit the final version. Therefore, when you set a document in anonymous online edition mode, you have to define an expiration date as well.

    This mode can be enabled for private and group documents.

  2. What is anonymous online edition for ? [top]
    This feature is useful for submitting a document to a group of persons in order to gather their comments while avoiding duplicates, several people writing the preliminary version of a document, submitting a document for spell and style check, etc.
  3. Enable anonymous online edition [top]
    This feature is enabled document by document.
    1. In the document Actions, select Online anonymous edition. Tick the box to activate it and set the expiration date. People will be able to view and edit the document until the last minute of that date.
    2. The public address for this document is displayed. You can now send it to people of your choosing by e-mail or any other way. Be careful however because, as it is anonymous access, it will not be possible to trace down abuse. There could also be confidentiality issues.
    3. People receiving the address will access an online interface to view and edit the document.
    Once you have activated this feature, the document is displayed with a specific icon. Its expiration date is displayed in the right part of the screen.
  4. Edit the expiration date [top]
    You can change the expiration date by choosing a sooner or later date. In the document Actions, select Online anonymous edition and change the date.
  5. Disable anonymous online edition [top]
    In the document Actions, select Anonymous online edition. Untick the box to disable it.
  6. Online anonymous edition and groups [top]
    Only members who may Edit a document may enable online anonymous edition for it.

Virtual drive

  1. Definition [top]
    The virtual drive allows you to access your documents directly (without a Web browser): documents are in a special folder on your computer, protected with a login and a password.

    This folder acts as a standard folder: you can add, delete and/or rename files and subfolders. You can also open a file from the folder or from an application on your computer. The virtual drive is also an easy way to back-up the files stored on your personal computer.

  2. Create a virtual drive [top]
    The procedure depends your operating system.

    You will notice that the virtual drive consists of different folders:

    • A 'private' folder: it contains your private folders and documents
    • A folder for each group: each folder contains group folders and documents

    Note: All documents must be stored in one of these folders: you may not place documents or create new folders on the top level.

  3. Create a Web folder in Windows 10 & Vista [top]
    1. Go to "Computer".
    2. Click on "Map network drive" in the horizontal menu.
    3. Click on "Connect to a Web site that you can use to store your documents and pictures".
    4. Click on "Choose a custom network location".
    5. Enter the following URL: https://www.contactoffice.com/docs/LOGIN
    6. Enter your ContactOffice login (LOGIN) and password.
    It seems that you can't double click on folders and documents to open them: you have to right click on them and then choose "Open".

    Note: If you get an error message stating that the Web folder location is invalid, download this Windows Vista patch and apply it.

  4. Create a Webfolder in Windows 7 & 8 [top]
    1. Go to "Computer".
    2. Click on "Map network drive" in the horizontal menu.
    3. Paste this link in the Folder field: https://www.contactoffice.com/docs/LOGIN
    4. Enter your ContactOffice login (LOGIN) and password.
  5. Create a virtual drive in OS X (Mac) [top]
    1. Go to the Finder, open the 'Go' menu and choose 'Connect to Server...' (or K).
    2. In the 'Connect to Server' dialog box, add this address: https://www.contactoffice.com/docs/LOGIN.
    3. In the next window, under 'Connect As', select 'Registered User'. Under 'Name', enter your ContactOffice login (LOGIN) and then your ContactOffice password. You may choose to remember these credentials in your keychain. In this case, be careful for your computer security.
    4. Click on 'Connect'.
    5. The WebDAV folder appears under 'Shared' in the Finder windows sidebar. It also appears when you go to the menu 'Go > Computer'.
    It is possible to automatically create this folder each time your Mac starts. First, you have to allow the keychain to remember your password. Then, go to 'System Preferences', then 'Users & Groups'. Select your user and then click on 'Login Items'. Drag and drop the virtual drive to the Login Items list.
    Version : 10.11.6 (El Capitan)
  6. Strange files with macOS [top]
    With macOS, uploading a file to the Webfolder creates a duplicate file starting with '_'. This is caused by the way macOS handle files.
  7. Create a virtual drive on iPhone or iPad [top]
    iOS has no built-in WebDAV (the protocol used for virtual drive) capability. However, apps such as My WebDAV adds it.
  8. Create a virtual drive on Android [top]
    Android has no built-in WebDAV (the protocol used for virtual drive) capability. However, apps such as WebDAV File Manager adds it.
  9. Potential problems [top]
    For optimal use, note the following:
    • Avoid accents in folder names
    • Configure your personal or network firewall to allow the connection to your virtual drive (WebDAV protocol on port 80 (http)/443 (https): your computer must be allowed to send data).
    • According to the subscription type, levels in your folders and subfolders vary. If you try to place more levels in your virtual folders, you will get an error
  10. Disconnecting [top]
    The connection to you Webfolder is active only as long as your computer is on. To close the connection manually, right click on 'My computer' and choose 'Disconnect a network drive'. Select the network drive that corresponds to your Webfolder and click 'OK'.
  11. Special files and folders [top]
    You will notice special files and folders that may not be renamed nor deleted:
    • The "private" folder is for your private Documents.
    • The "__TrAsH__" folder is a Trash.
    • "Mail images": this folder contains the images that you send in an e-mail body (in your signature, for instance).
    • "web" folder is for Documents with public access.
    • In a group, the "wiki" folder and the "groupinfo" subfolder are used for displayed Group Info in the homepage.
    • The calendar.ics file contains a calendar.

Folders and subfolders

  1. Special folders [top]
    There are special folders in Private documents, that may not be renamed nor deleted:
    • Trash: it contains deleted Documents and folders; they will be actually deleted when the Trash will be emptied.
    • Drop folder: it contains Documents dropped by group members. It is automatically created after the first drop. See the drop folder section for more details.
    • "Mail images": this folder contains the images that you send in an e-mail body (in your signature, for instance).
    • web: documents stored in this folder will be public if this feature is available to your profile. See the "public access" section for more details.
    Group documents also have a Trash. They can also have a web folder.
  2. Create a folder or a subfolder [top]
    Go to the folder where you want to add a subfolder. Display its Actions and select New folder. Enter a name and hit the Enter key.
  3. Rename a folder [top]
    Display the folder Actions and select Rename.
  4. Move a folder [top]
    You have two ways to do this:
    • Select the folder with the mouse and drop it on the destination folder.
    • Display the folder Actions and select Move.
  5. Delete a folder [top]
    Beware:
    • Deleting a folder means deleting all Documents it contains, as well as its subfolders and contents.
    • Once the Trash has been emptied, you can't get the Documents back. So, be careful when you empty the Trash.
    • Instead of deleting folders, you can archive them (see the corresponding help section).
    Select the folder, display its Actions and select Delete.

    Note: the folder will be actually deleted when the Trash will be emptied. If you have sent a folder to the Trash by mistake, you will find it there and will be able to move it back.

Search

  1. Search in tools and environments [top]
    The search field is located in the upper right part of the screen. Enter a word or its first letters to launch a search.

    Search and tools:

    • If you are using a tool (Messages, for instance) and launch a search from there, it will search in this tool.
    • If no tool is selected when you launch a search (in the homepage, just after you have logged in, for instance), it will search in all tools. The results list will display the data type for each result. To get back to the homepage, click on the logo in the upper left corner.
    Search and environments :
    • If your private environment is selected when you launch a search (your private documents, for instance), it will search in this environment.
    • If a group is selected when you launch a search, it will search only in this group.
    • You can broaden or narrow the search by clicking on the triangle to display the advanced search options. In the Search in section, select Private or Private + Groups. If you select the latter, search will be done in all groups at the same time.
  2. Advanced search [top]
    Most tools have an advanced search, the search criteria being specific to each tool.
  3. Results [top]
    Results are limited to 200 items and are sorted by relevance.
  4. Last search [top]
    You can display the results of the last search by clicking on Search results in the left part of the screen. They are again sorted by relevancy score.
  5. Search field syntax [top]
    • If you enter several words, you will get data that contain all these words. If you enter "OR" between words, you will get data that contain one of the words.
    • The search does make a difference between uppercase and lowercase.
    • You can add a star (*) after at least 4 characters to search on all words starting with these characters.
    Examples:
    • holiday Hawaii (equal to holiday AND Hawaii) will return data containing holiday and Hawaii .
    • Maui OR Hawaii will return data containing Maui or Hawaii.
    • "great holiday" (with the quotation marks) will return data containing the "great holiday" expression.
    • "info*" will return data containing words starting with info (information, informative, informed, etc.)
    • virus -computer will return data containing the word "virus" but not the word "computer".
  6. Limitations [top]
    OpenOffice (.odt, etc.) and password-protected documents contents cannot be searched.

Send Documents by e-mail

  1. Send as attachment [top]
    From the Documents, select one or more Documents, display the Actions and select Send and then Send by e-mail.
  2. Send as hyperlink [top]
    Instead of sending the Document in the e-mail, you can send it as an hyperlink. The recipient will have a few days to download it by clicking on the hyperlink and you can be notified when he does.

    This feature is handy for large documents but you can use it with small ones as well.

    Please note that this feature will automatically send an individual mail per recipient: the recipients will not see any other recipient.

    From a message, select Add download link from the Attachment menu. Then, select one or more private or group Documents.

    From Documents, select one or more documents, open the Actions and select Send and the Send as hyperlink.

Drop folder

  1. Definition [top]
    The drop folder is a special folder in your private Documents, where the members of the groups you belong to may drop Documents. The drop folder is like a post box: when someone drops a document, it becomes invisible to him. More precisely, the document is duplicated: the group member still has a copy of the document and an independent copy is created in your drop folder. If the group member edits its copy later on, yours won't be affected and conversely.

    Each time a document is dropped, you get an-email notification and a message in the homepage.

    Note: All the members of the groups you belong to may always drop documents in your drop folder.

  2. What is the drop folder for ? [top]
    This feature enables you to receive files directly in the Documents tool rather than by e-mail: reports, homeworks, etc.
  3. Tips [top]
    If you expect a large number of Documents in your drop folder, give group members explicit naming instructions, so that the Documents list is easier to use for you. Besides, if someone tries to drop a Document with a name that already exists, the operation will be refused.
  4. Drop folder creation [top]
    Your drop folder is automatically created in your documents when a first document is dropped there. Therefore, it does not exist when your account is created.
  5. Drop a document [top]
    To drop a document in someone else's drop folder, first create it in your private Documents. Then, choose Send to a drop folder in the Actions menu of this document. In the group list, click on the recipient's name.
  6. Identify the Document sender [top]
    In case the sender has not used an explicit name, it is not always obvious to relate a Document to a group. The sender name appears automatically. You can also display the list of the groups you both belong to by selecting Common groups in the Document Actions.
  7. Manage the dropped documents [top]
    Usual features (sharing with groups included) apply to Documents dropped in your drop folder. You can also move them to other folders or delete them.

Tags

  1. What are tags for? [top]
    Tags allow for organizing your data with labels such as Urgent, Important, etc. and/or by project, client, etc. The first step is to create your own tags.
  2. Access to the tags [top]
    Select any data, display its Actions and select Tags.
  3. Create a tag [top]
    Display the tags of any data and click on Add. Enter the new tag name and choose a color (optional).
  4. Edit a tag [top]
    Tag names cannot be edited. However, you can change their colours.
  5. Delete a tag [top]
    In the left part of the screen, display the tag Actions and select Delete.
  6. Tag an item [top]
    Select Tags in the item Actions. In the tag window, tick one or more checkboxes, depending on the tags you wish to set. Later on, you will be able to select other tags or unselect the current ones.

    Another method: select a Tag on the left without releasing the mouse button and move it to the item (drag & drop). You can also start from the item and drop it on the Tag.

  7. Display data with a given tag [top]
    There are two ways to do this:
    • Click on a tag in the left part of the screen. If the tag list is not displayed, open it by clicking on the triangle. To get back to the normal display, click on the current folder (My calendar, My contacts, etc.)
    • Open the advanced search and select a tag.
  8. Tags and groups [top]
    Tags belong to a person and not to a group: there are no group tags. It is not advised to use tags in a group data.

Delete documents

  1. Delete a document [top]
    Tick or select the Document, display its Actions and select Delete. You can also drag and drop it to the Trash.

    Note: the Document will be actually deleted when the Trash will be emptied. If you have sent a Document to the Trash by mistake, you will find it there and will be able to move it back.

  2. Delete a selection of documents [top]
    Beware: once the Trash has been emptied, you can't get the Documents back. So, be careful when you empty the Trash.

    The deletion is done folder by folder. You need to a select a folder first. Tick the Documents (or select them using the keyboard or mouse), display the Actions and select Delete. You can also drag and drop Documents to the Trash.

    Note: Documents will be actually deleted when the Trash will be emptied. If you have sent Documents to the Trash by mistake, you will find them there and will be able to move them back.

  3. Empty the Trash [top]
    Display the Trash Actions and select Empty trash.

PDF conversion

  1. Features [top]
    To view a file for which you don't have the necessary software installed on your computer, or simply to convert a Document to PDF format, select Convert to PDF in the contextual menu of this Document.

    The conversion is made in real time and requires a time which depends on the size and complexity of the file. Please wait while the conversion is processed. When it is finished, you can save the PDF file on your computer.

    The following formats are accepted: .pdf, .swf (Flash), .html, .odt, .sxw, .doc, .docx, .rtf, .wpd, .txt, .wikitext (MediaWiki), .ods, .sxc, .xls, .xlsx, .csv, .tsv, .odp, .sxi, .ppt, .pptx, .odg, .svg

Public access

  1. Definition [top]
    The standard access rights allow data sharing in groups of authenticated users.

    Public access allows you to publish data on the Web: anybody will be able to view them without a ContactOffice account and without any authentication.

    You just have to activate the public access and communicate the URL of a specific data by e-mail, on your Web site, etc.

  2. What is public access for ? [top]
    This feature allows you to publish forms, reports, studies, etc.

    Note: publishing content you don't fully own is against the law. You will be held sole responsible in case of legal action. ContactOffice will take no responsibility whatsoever. If you're not sure whether you have all necessary rights to share or publish some files, don't share them.

  3. Availability [top]
    By default, public access is not available. If it is available, Create the public folder will appear in the root folder (My documents) Actions.
  4. Create the public folder [top]
    1. Display the first level folder Actions: My documents in the private environment or the folder named after the group in a group environment. Select Create the public folder. This folder name is "web".
    2. Put documents that you wish to publish in this folder.
    Public Documents appear with a specific icon.
  5. Access to a public Document [top]
    To get the Document public URL, display its Actions and select Direct access. The URL is displayed next to Public access.
  6. Your public page [top]
    The https://www.contactoffice.com/pub/docs/LOGIN/web/ page displays the list of all public documents in your private environment, ie all documents in the web folder.

    This means that someone who knows your login can access this page. Search engines could also browse it.

    For a group, use the following address: https://www.contactoffice.com/pub/docs/group-GROUP_NAME/web/

  7. Disable public access [top]
    Anytime, you can move a public document to another folder or delete it: it won't be publicly available anymore.

    You can also move the public folder (its name is web) to the Trash and delete it if you no longer need it.

  8. Public access and group documents [top]
    The group administrator subscription sets whether public access is available for the group. If it is available, Create the public folder is available in the root folder Actions. The group administrator, the co-administrators (if any) and the group members who have been granted the right to Add content in th root folder may create the public folder. They may also add documents in the public folder.

    Set the root and public folders access rights accordingly.

Remote servers

  1. Definition [top]
    A remote server is a document server that allows WebDAV (usually on port 80 (http)/443(https)) or SMB/CIFS connections. By configuring a remote server in your virtual office, you can gather all your documents in a single interface.

    Note: the remote server sets the access rights (read, write) for its folders and documents. It also sets the available disk space.

  2. Operations on remote servers folders and files [top]
    A remote server folder is similar to a virtual office folder for basic operations: add, delete, rename a document, etc. You can copy or move documents from the remote server to the virtual office and conversely.
  3. Add a remote server [top]
    Go to Documents Settings and select External storage. Click on New and choose a server type. Fill in the connection settings:
    • Name: this name will identify the server. This name is limited to the virtual office and has no link with the remote server actual name.
    • URL: remote server address
    • Login: your login on the remote server
    • Password: your password on the remote server.

    Then click on Save. This will automatically validate the settings and create the remote server if the settings are valid. If the settings are invalid, edit them. If they are correct but not validated, contact the remote server technical support.

  4. Dropbox.com set-up [top]
    Select this service when creating a new remote server. Settings are automatically set. You just have to enter your Dropbox.com login and password.
  5. Google Drive set-up [top]
    Select this service when creating a new remote server. Settings are automatically set. You just have to enter your Google Drive login and password.
  6. Edit a remote server [top]
    Click on Edit next to the remote server, edit the settings and click on Save.

    Note: if you edit the remote server name, the change will be taken into account the next time you log in.

  7. Remote servers and Messages [top]
    In Messages, you can:
    • Select an attachment in a remote server
    • Save an attachment in a remote store
  8. Deactivate a remote server [top]
    You can deactivate a remote server without deleting it.
  9. Delete a remote server [top]
    Display the remote server Actions and select Delete. Of course, this has no effect on data stored on this server.
 

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