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Direct File Edit

Direct File Editing allows users to open Microsoft Office attached field files, edit them locally, and save them back to the Agiloft field. The following file types work with direct file editing:

  • Word
  • Excel
  • PowerPoint

When a user has edit privileges for a field and Microsoft Office installed locally, they can access the direct file editing feature. When direct file edit is enabled and the user selects a file with a valid extension, the following pop-up appears:

  • Download/Save: Allows the user to download and open the file like any web download. This option only allows the user to save locally and does not require direct file edit.
  • View File: Opens the file in Read Only mode and does not allow the user to save the file back to the Agiloft file field.
  • Edit and Checkout: Opens the file as an editable document in the desktop version of Office. When the file is saved, Office uploads the new version of the file into the attached file field in Agiloft. The file is checked out by the user while they are editing, and will only be checked in when:
    • The user closes the file or the Office program
    • A different user with the appropriate permissions selects Release Checkout Lock
    • The amount of time defined in the Timeout for File Checkout Lock global variable passes

If concurrent editing isn't enabled, and someone else is already editing the file, Edit and Checkout doesn't appear, and the pop-up includes the name of the current editor working on the file.

Direct File Edit Setup

Direct File Edit works with the File with Versioning field.

  1. To begin, navigate to desired table setup menu and select the Fields tab.
  2. Create a new File with Versioning Field.
  3. On the Options tab, configure the following settings to enable direct file editing:
    1. Enable Versioning? - Set to Yes. If you try to enable direct file editing with Enable versioning? set to No, the system will make the file non-editable when you try to save it. Each time the file is saved back to the URL a new version is created, so if a user overwrites another user’s work, both versions are retained.
    2. Direct File Editing - Select "Allow direct editing of MS Office document and directly save back to the file field". If desired, also select the Allow concurrent editing check box.
    3. Optionally add system generated suffixes. See File Name Suffixes.
  4. Click Save.

Edit the File

Direct File Edit does not allow simultaneous editing between users. Once the file is checked out, other users may view the file, but cannot save back to the file field until the original user releases the file lock. Only the most current version of a file can be opened for direct editing, but file changes do appear in History.

To Use Direct File Edit

  1. Drag and drop or upload a file into your File with Versioning field and save the record.
    Note: When you first upload a file, you must save the record. Any subsequent edits can be made and saved without editing or saving the record where the file exists.
  2. To edit, select the file and choose Edit and Checkout.
  3. Make your changes to the file. If the field is configured to allow concurrent editing, make sure to click Save periodically as you work to allow others to see your changes.
  4. After you finish editing, save and close the file. The latest version of the file is automatically saved back to file field and can be accessed by other users.

Permission Settings

The direct file edit feature allows the administrator to separately determine permissions for viewing, editing, and deleting files, as well as access to the Release Checkout Lock option.

  • A user without edit privileges will not be able to open the file for editing. Instead they can view or download the file.
  • If a user tries to edit the file while a different user is already editing, the second user is told that the file is checked out and that they may download or view the file.
  • The Release Checkout Lock option allows users with the appropriate permission to unlock the file while it is locked by another user and open the file for editing.

Version Control

Because direct file edit requires versioning be turned on during the setup process, all previous versions are available for download.

  • Once a file is edited, a blue plus sign appears next to the file name.
  • To access previous versions, click the plus sign. The following pop-up shows previous versions, when they were updated, and the user who created them. Click on any link to open and download the version.
  • A new version is saved when the file is checked in. For example, if a user checks out a file, saves three times while the file is open, and then closes the file to check it back in, the system will only show one new version instead of three. 
  • Previous versions cannot be restored directly within Agiloft. To restore a previous version, save the file to your local drive and then drag and drop the file into the field. This replaces the existing field and updates the file in the version log.

File Name Suffixes

Users can also specify the suffix information that is added to the file name. Suffix information provides metadata and prevents files from being overwritten without interim changes being saved. 

In the File With Versioning field wizard, when the option to "Allow direct editing of MS Office document and directly save back to the file field" is selected, the following options appear:

  • Do not add a suffix
  • Add suffix defined below
    • Version Number
      • Add version prefix [null]
    • Date Stamp (format: yyy-mm-dd)
      • Include time stamp (hhmmss)
    • Add editor's initials

Note: This option is disabled by default.

Any number of suffix options can be selected, and will appear in the file name once the file has been saved. The options appear in the following format:
Filename–{version prefix}-{version number}{timestamp}–{initials}.docx

While the document is still open for editing and is saved, the system increments the file name with a temporary suffix that is dropped once the file is checked in. With versioning tags, the file is incremented with a decimal point, for example: Health IT Checklist--v2.1-ao.docx. Once the file is checked in it becomes Health IT Checklist--v2--ao.docx.

Concurrent File Editing

Fields that are configured to allow concurrent file editing work the same way, but multiple users are able to edit the file simultaneously, and each user can see the changes made by every other user when those changes are synced. Users must click Save to sync their changes so others can see them.