Viewpoint For Projects - Basic User

Welcome to the Viewpoint For Projects General User Training Course.

This course will walk you through using Viewpoint For Projects as a General User.  This means you will be learning how to interact with the system.  It will not cover controlling access rights and system settings as these will be covered separately in the Viewpoint For Projects Administrator Training Course for those Users that require this training.

This course covers all functionality that is available when using Viewpoint For Projects - so remember, you may not be using some of the following functionality on your project.

Viewpoint For Projects - User Exam

Once you have finished the reading material you can take an exam to validate your learning.  The exam covers all the topics in the reading material and will produce a random set of 40 questions - 30 of which must be answered correctly to pass (75%).

The exam is an open book exam - your reading material will be available to you in a separate tab and we would encourage you to refer to it during the exam.  

The exam is timed - you have 1 hour to complete it and you can only take it once.  So please make sure that when you take the exam you have set aside some dedicated time.

A) How to use this Manual

How to use this Manual

Guide Objectives

The idea is that by the time you have finished this manual you will understand the basics of becoming a General User on Viewpoint For Projects (VFP) and you will be ready to take a simple test to confirm this.  By no means will you be an expert after reading this!  Only using the system will help you to become fully accustomed to system functionality.

General User vs Project Administrator

This manual makes frequent reference to General Users and Project Administrators.  The Project Administrator is a specific role on VFP that should control access to the VFP system and should control User rights and permissions.  You should find out who the Project Administrator is for your project as you may need to contact them when you need changes to be made on the system.  

This guide is aimed at General Users, not Project Administrators, and the term General User refers to anyone who generally needs to access and create information on VFP, but does not need to control permissions, access or metadata requirements on the system.

Step By Step Instructions

In this guide there will be a brief introduction to functionality followed by screenshots from VFP.  Screenshots will be annotated as above with numbers, arrows and highlighted areas.  Below each screenshot there will be notes with numbers that correspond to the numbers in the screenshot and these notes will describe the action taking place in more detail.  Each "Step" will be a new screen or pop up that appears after following the actions in the screenshot.

All Ready?

Whenever you see this icon you have reached the end of the page and should be happy to continue to the next part of the manual.  If you aren't yet ready then please re-read the page until you are confident.

All good? OK let's get started! Click the "BACK TO SECTIONS" button in the top left of this screen and select the next section to move on.

B) Introduction to VFP

About VFP - Who we are and what we do

Introduction To Viewpoint For Projects

Viewpoint for Projects (VFP) is a document control solution for documents such as drawings, submittals, contracts, photos and models. VFP allows you to share, manage, and collaborate on documents in one secure and easy to access location. The system has view and markup and revision capabilities and can keep projects moving using communication tools like tasks and notifications. 

VFP is sometimes referred to as the Common Data Environment (CDE) for a project.  This means that various organisations working on a project can use the VFP servers as a single working area for their data and files.

What Can Be Stored On Viewpoint For Projects?

Whilst VFP is usually used for documents, drawings and models, in fact virtually any file can be uploaded onto the system and shared.  The maximum file size accepted by the VFP servers is 2GB.

Which Browser Should I Be Using?

It is recommended that you use either Internet Explorer or Google Chrome when using VFP.  This guide's screenshots have been taken whilst using Google Chrome, with the exception of the Batch Print tool (which is currently only available on Internet Explorer).  There are a list of other requirements for using VFP and they can be found here: https://vfpdocs.viewpoint.com/administrators-guide/introduction-to-viewpoint-for-projects-help/system-requirements/ 

Basics Covered!

OK so hopefully you now know a few details about what VFP does and the browsers needed to use it.  Let's now start having a look at what you can do on the system itself.  But before we can run through uploading, downloading and all that fun stuff, we need to run through how to become a "User".  Becoming a User will allow you to access an organisation's VFP system and you can only become a User if you are issued an invitation by a Project Administrator (the person who runs the VFP system for a particular project).  The next page of this manual will run through how to become a User if you have never logged in to VFP before and you have been issued an invitation for the first time.

Accepting Invitations (New User)

The First Step!

The first part of the VFP journey is to receive an email invitation. Your Project Administrator should send this to you, so please contact them if you have not yet received this email.  The Project Administrator will apply permissions to your email address that will act as the basis for what you can do on the system.  If you have never used VFP before then you are a "New User" and you will therefore need to follow the below steps to gain a Username and Password to access the system going forward.

How To Accept An Invitation - Step 1

The email you will receive will look like the above.

1. This will show the details of who sent you the invitation.  This will probably be your Project Administrator.

2. Click this link to go to the next step of the invitation process.

3. If you want to go to our Support Site for extra guidance on accepting your invitation the click this link.

4. A link to our System Requirements and Frequently Asked Questions on our Support Site.

How To Accept An Invitation - Step 2

This is the next page if you click the link on 2. above.

1. Select your language here.

2. Choose whether you are a New User or Existing User.  For help accepting your invitation as an Existing User please see the next page in this manual.

3. Select Yes to accept the Terms and Conditions of VFP.

4. Click Next to head to the next step in the invitation.

How To Accept An Invitation - Step 3

After you click Next this page will appear.

1. Set your personal details here.

2. Set your Profile Name and Job Title here.  Your Profile Name will be the name associated with your User profile and is separate to your Username.  This Profile Name will show in Activity Logs of your User actions and in other areas of the system (such as Workflow). Job Title will show in the project Directory.

3. Your Organisation which will show in the project Directory.  If this is incorrect then please contact the VFP Support department (via Support Site).

4. You can choose to Opt In to VFP marketing information emails here if you wish.

5. Please select what type of organisation you belong to and your responsibility area here.  This won't impact your use of the system.

6. Please set your Username and Password here.  Make sure you pay attention to what goes in here!  You will need these whenever you want to login to the system in the future!

7. Click Next to go forward or Back if you have made a mistake.

How To Accept An Invitation - Step 4

After you have clicked Next you will get to this summary page.

1. A summary of your details will be shown here.

2. Click Finish when done.

How To Accept An Invitation - Complete!

Congratulations you now know how to accept an invitation as a New User.  You might, however, receive invitations in the future that give you additional permissions on VFP.  The next page of this manual will run through how to accept these invitations as an Existing User.

Accepting Invitations (Existing User)

Adding To Your Permissions Set

If you have already got a Username and Password to VFP then you can simply add extra invitation rights to this account - you don't need to remember multiple login details to access different projects.  But this only applies if your invite is sent to the email address that is attached to your current user account.  When your invitation is sent to a new email address that you may have (if you have changed organisation, for instance) then you are considered a "New User", so please bear this in mind. 

How To Accept An Invitation As An Existing VFP User - Step 1

If you are an existing User you may still receive an email invitation from you Project Administrator when they are trying to give you extra permissions to their Enterprise, or if you have been invited into a brand new Enterprise altogether.  The email invitation will look like the above.

1. Invitations will come from [email protected]

2. The Project Administrator who has issued your invitation will be listed here.

3. A link that will take you to the login page on the website where you can input your login details.

4. A link to the VFP Support Site for help on how to accept the invitation.

How To Accept An Invitation As An Existing VFP User - Step 2

1. Once you have logged in to the system (enter your existing Username and Password) you will see this screen appear.  Choose to "Show (and Accept) your Invitation(s)" or to "Continue without Accepting".

How To Accept An Invitation As An Existing VFP User - Step 3

If you choose "Show (and Accept) your Invitation(s)" then you will the screen above.

1. There will be an "Unselected Profile" and you will be able to Accept or Decline you invitation from here.

How To Accept An Invitation As An Existing VFP User - Step 4

If you click Accept then you will be taken to the above screen.

1. Choose your language here.  

2. You can choose to create a new profile here by clicking "Apply the Permissions to a New Profile".  This would allow you to have a separate profile which you can switch into when using VFP.  This profile would have just the permissions provided by this new invite and you can access this profile on the login screen at any time by clicking "Manage your Profiles and Pending Invitations".  This functionality is useful when you want to test new permission settings as an Administrator.

Alternatively leave "Add permissions to the following profile" ticked and this will simply apply the new invitation's permissions to your existing profile account.  

3. Click Next once you are happy to continue.

How To Accept An Invitation As An Existing VFP User - Step 5

If you click Next you will be taken to the above screen.

1. Summary of your invitation.

2. Click Back to go back to the last page or Finish to end the invitation process

How To Accept An Invitation As An Existing VFP User - Step 6

Clicking Finish will take you to the simple screen above.

1. Click Close!

How To Accept An Invitation As An Existing User - Complete!

You should now know how to add additional permissions to your User account, great work!  Now we need to have a look at the login process in a bit more detail.  Please proceed to the next page of this manual.

Logging in to Viewpoint For Projects

Using The System Going Forward

Logging in is incredibly easy as VFP is accessible through the website (n3g.4projects.com).  You can log in via this website whenever you need to access the system.  It is probably worth adding this website to your favourites on your browser when you get a chance.  We'll run through a few of the logging in steps below.

How To Login To VFP - Step 1

Once you have a Username and Password to VFP then head to n3g.4projects.com and you will get the above login page.

1. Enter your Username here.  Capitalisation does not matter here.

2. Enter your Password here.  Capitalisation does matter here.

3. If you have forgotten you login details then click this link and you can get an email sent through to your email address where you can reset your details.

4. When you're ready you can click Login to access the system.  Once logged in you will remain logged in whilst you use the system but if you are inactive for 55 minutes the system will log you out, unless you click a button to continue your session when prompted (a pop up box appears).

5. Look out here for information about new updates to the system and scheduled maintenance.

How To Login To VFP - Step 2

Once you have clicked Login you get the above screen.

1. The name of the "Enterprise" you have access to will be listed here.  An Enterprise is an area on VFP and will either have the name of an organisation or project.  This Enterprise area will contain the project you are working on.

2. You can click this link to see and access your Personal Details if you wish.  Personal details cover things like name, job title and other areas.  We will cover Personal Details in more detail in this manual within L) Customising - Personal Settings.

3. You can change into a new profile here if you have created a new profile in an invitation process as an Existing User.  You can also accept any new invitations here if you are an Existing User (both creating new profiles and accepting invitations as an Existing User are covered on the previous page of this manual).  

4. Click Log Out to exit back to the Login page.

How To Login - Complete!

Hopefully you are now happy with the login process as you'll need to do this whenever you want to access VFP going forward!  

Now we've logged in it's time to start having a look at the general layout of the system.  Please proceed to the next page of this manual.

System Layout

How Is The System Set up?

Before we can go into lots of detail on functionality we need to introduce the system's structure.

VFP has been designed to have a familiar look and feel through it's use of a Navigation Tree and Containers.  Containers will hold all "Items" on the system and use a Table of Contents to show all Items in that Container (we use the word Item to refer to anything that exists as a User created entity on the VFP system).  You can also search for Items across multiple containers and the results will also show in a Table of Contents. 

Hopefully, there is nothing too scary for new Users.  Below we will very briefly run through the layout of the system and introduce some of the most important areas on VFP.

System Layout - Basics

1. The organisation that owns the VFP Enterprise may have their logo shown here.  If no logo has been added then you will see the Viewpoint For Projects logo instead.

2. A quick search bar where you can search for information that has been uploaded on VFP.

3. A link to the VFP Support Site and Suggestion Box.

  • The Support Site is a very important area and it's crucial that you familiarise yourself with this area going forward!  It contains lots of videos and support materials that will help you to use the system more effectively.
  • The Suggestion Box is a really handy area that allows you to post ideas for improving the general VFP experience.  Once you use the system a bit more you may notice certain parts of the system that you would like to be improved; if this is the case, click into the Suggestion Box to see if somebody has had the same idea as you and has posted this as an idea.  If they have posted something you agree with, vote for this idea and if the suggestion is popular enough it will be reviewed for development by Viewpoint!  If nobody has had your idea yet, please post your idea for the Viewpoint community to vote on.

4. Your Navigation Tree is here.  This is the area that will allow you to access Containers and search throughout the Enterprise.

5. You will see the Enterprise Summary page or a website here, dependent on Enterprise settings (Summary Page is dealt with in detail within this manual in C) Searching, Reporting & Inbox - The Summary Screen).

System Layout - Container Screen

If you click into a Container on VFP you will see a screen that looks roughly like the above (screenshot is taken from a Document Container).

1. Your Container tabs will be shown here.

  • The Items tab simply shows the information that exists in the Container you have clicked on.
  • The Search tab will allow you to search for information (covered in detail in C) Searching, Reporting & Inbox - Standard Search).
  • Advanced search functionality is available here (covered in detail in C) Searching, Reporting & Inbox - Advanced Search).
  • You can Export the results in your Container to a spreadsheet by clicking this tab (covered in detail in C) Searching, Reporting & Inbox - Exporting as a Report).

2. Your "Full Path" is shown here and will show the clicks and levels you have gone through to access the Container you are currently in (this should tie up with the levels and Containers in your Navigation Tree).

3. Your Toolbar options are here and will allow you to interact with the Container and the information that exists within the Container (covered in detail in E) Working with Items- The Toolbar).

4. Your available "Views" will be shown here.  Your Views will impact the way the Table of Contents is shown (the Table of Contents is the grid containing the Drawings and "Example File" in the Document Container in the screenshot above).

5. An arrow that allows you to scroll to the right to see all icons (in case you are working on a small screen and not all icons are immediately visible).

6. This print icon will allow you to print a copy of your current screen.

7. Pages of Container or search results will be shown here.  Make sure you check whether there are multiple pages of results before assuming you have loaded all results in your Table of Contents.

8. The amount of records you will see immediately in your Table of Contents will be shown here.  You can change this by choosing a different number from the drop down list.  

System Layout - Complete!

So that is a basic introduction to the layout of the screens you will see on VFP.  Now we need to have a look at your Navigation Tree in more detail as it will probably be your most used area of VFP.  Please proceed to the next page of this manual.

Navigation Tree and Containers (Non-Container Icons)

Navigating Around Part 1

We're going to focus on finding information on VFP very soon, but before we get into the detail, it is a good idea to introduce you properly to your Navigation Tree. 

Your Navigation Tree is how you find information on VFP.  It allows you to load Containers and perform searches.  Below we will run through all the icons that you will see as a General User in the Navigation Tree, except for Containers.  We will run through Containers separately on the next page of this manual.

How To Use Your Navigation Tree

1. Your Navigation Tree exists on the left hand side of your screen.  It can be pinned or un-pinned in the top right hand corner (green pin is picture above).  It can also be dragged in or out by left clicking and dragging the furthest right edge of the Navigation Tree panel.

Navigation Tree Icons

Below we're going to cover some of the Navigation Tree icons (Container icons are covered on the following page of this manual).

My Inbox

My Inbox is an area that is specifically geared towards your User account.  It will show you lots of useful information and make sure you get Items you need to action quickly and easily.  We'll cover this area in more detail within this manual in C) Searching, Reporting & Inbox - My Inbox.

My Reports

A really useful, but sometimes under-used area of VFP, My Reports allows you to access previously saved searches.  Saved searches are incredibly useful as they allow you to decide the information you need to find quickly, without restricting you to just using the Containers which have been defined by your Project Administrator. 

Personal Container

Your Personal Container (as the name suggests) is an area that is personal to only you.  You can upload files into this area and whilst they exist in here they will only be available for your User account. You can share Personal Container information at any time by "Registering" these Items into a VFP Document Container.

Directory

The VFP Directory is a handy area for finding details about other Users and organisations that exist within the system.  You may see a Directory at multiple levels in your Navigation Tree to show who has access to which projects.  The Directory shows the existing VFP Users, Organisations and Distribution Groups at the level you have clicked. Distribution Groups are simple groups of Users which Project Administrators can set up to aid the distribution of information.

Calendar

The Calendar can be used to schedule important project events.  Ask your Project Administrator whether your project is using the Calendar on VFP.

Distribution Transmittals

Distribution Transmittals can notify Users of information that has been created on VFP.  Matrix Transmittals can be created by Project Administrators and are not covered in this manual.  Notification Transmittals are a simple notification tool and they are covered in F) Communications - Notification Transmittals. Both types of Transmittal will be stored in their respective folders once they have been sent.

Administration

Administration is an area where Administrators can control the goings on within a project on VFP.  You may well not see one of these in your Navigation Tree.  We will not be covering this area within this manual.

Personal Settings

Personal Settings is an area where you can control settings for your User account.  We'll be covering this area in detail within L) Customising - Personal Settings in this manual.

Change Enterprise

If you have access to more than one Enterprise then you can switch between these Enterprises by clicking this button, you don't need to logout and login again.

Refresh Tree

Sometimes your Navigation Tree can become long and unwieldy if you have opened up lots of Containers.  Refresh Tree allows you to quickly restore your Navigation Tree back to a completely unopened state.

Logout

Nothing complicated here hopefully! This will log you out and return you back to the login screen.  The first time after you click Logout you might want to consider adding the VFP login page to your list of favourite sites on your browser (as it will definitely become one of your favourite sites going forward!)

Navigation Tree (Non-Container Icons) - Complete!

The above icons will help you to use the system effectively, but won't allow you to create shared information on your project.  To create such information you need to use a Container and we will cover all VFP Containers in the next page of this manual.

Navigation Tree and Containers (Container Icons)

Navigating Around Part 2

Containers appear in your Navigation Tree and are where information is stored on your project.  Below we will run through all the available Containers in standard VFP.  You may only use some and not all of these Containers on your project.

How To Use Your Navigation Tree

1. Remember your Navigation Tree is on the left of your screen when you use VFP.  Don't forget it!  You'll be needing it a lot going forward.

Navigation Tree Container Icons

Now let's run through the various Containers you may come across on VFP and their respective icons!

Enterprise (Red Box)

The Enterprise usually belongs to an organisation or a particularly large programme or project.  It is the highest level of container on VFP and will contain Sites, Projects and all other Containers (each are explained below).  ETW Construction is a demonstration organisation that has its own Enterprise and we will use their Enterprise throughout this manual

Site (Blue Box)

Sites are a level lower than Enterprises and are sometimes geographically based (so the 01 Northern site would contain all of ETW Construction's Northern Projects).  Sites contain Projects and Containers.  

Project (White Filing Cabinet)

Projects exist under Sites and house all Container types (except for Enterprises and Sites) on VFP.  You can also have sub-Projects under Projects on VFP.

Document Container (Yellow Folder Icon)

Document Containers contain files on VFP and can house drawings, documents and models as well as a whole host of other file types.  You can upload new information into these Containers by following the guidance in E) Working with Items - Uploading Items.

Email Dropbox (Yellow Folder With Envelope Icon)

Email Dropboxes are simply Document Containers that a Project Administrator has created an email address on.  If you email this email address then your email will be uploaded automatically onto VFP.  If you hover over the name of the Email Dropbox you will be able to see the email address that has been assigned to the Container.

Task Container (Ticks On Yellow Folder Icon)

Task Containers are used to house all Tasks on VFP.  Tasks are actions and are covered in detail in F) Communications - Tasks.

Discussion Container (Speech Bubbles On Yellow Folder Icon)

Discussion Containers contain Discussions on VFP.  Discussions can be seen as forums and are covered in detail in F) Communications - Discussions.

Dynamic Virtual Container (Blue Or Green Folder With Arrows Icon)

Dynamic Virtual Containers (DVCs) contain information that has been uploaded into Document Containers.  They are referred to as "Dynamic" Containers because as the information is revised in its original Document Container, so it will be revised in the Dynamic Virtual Container.  We discuss these briefly again in G) Introduction to Virtual Containers - Dynamic Virtual Containers and I) Attaching to - Virtual Container.  These Containers can be either blue or green.  There are small differences between a blue Container and a green Container, but these differences are a concern for Project Administrators and not General Users, so we won't worry about those differences in this manual.

Static Virtual Container (Blue Or Green Folder)

Static Virtual Containers (SVCs) contain information that has been uploaded into Document Containers.  They are referred to as "Static" or "record" Containers because when the attached information is revised in its original Document Container, it will not be revised in the Static Virtual Container.  We discuss these briefly again in G) Introduction to Virtual Containers - Static Virtual Containers and I) Attaching to - Virtual Container.  Like DVCs, SVCs can be either blue or green and we are not worrying about the difference in colours in this manual.  Just make sure you're happy with the SVC functionality.

BIM Container (Yellow Folder Icon With IFC Symbol)

The BIM Container is not discussed in this manual but will be used by some BIM projects on VFP.  BIM stands for Building Information Modelling and represents a big drive within the construction industry towards improving the digital representation of facilities.  

Navigation Tree (Container Icons) - Complete!

You should now have an idea of some of the Containers that exist on VFP.  This is the last topic within our B) Introduction to VFP section.  Now it's time to have a look at how to find information on the system!  As always, if you are not ready to move on yet, make sure you read back over this section until you are happy with the introductory topics.  Click BACK TO SECTIONS when you are ready to move to the next section.

C) Searching, Reporting & Inbox

Container Level Sorting

How Do We Find Information Quickly On VFP?

Now we've introduced you to the basics we need to move on to finding information that is stored on VFP.

One of the easiest way to find an Item on the system is to head straight to the Container where the information lives. A Container is the equivalent of a folder on VFP and stores information on a project.  In theory all information could be uploaded into one single Container and searches could do the rest of the work, but often organisations prefer to create a coherent folder structure from their Containers instead.  The reason a structured Container approach is preferred is that often this acts as the easiest search a user can perform on VFP and most people are already used to using folder structures on systems like Windows.

Container Structure Example

In the example below the VFP Container structure allows the users to quickly find an architect's drawings by simply clicking on the highlighted Document Container.  Any further filtering within the list of drawings would be best conducted through a search on VFP (this is covered in the next section).

How To Display Contents Of A Container

1. Navigate to the appropriate Container by clicking the arrows until the Container you wish to open is available

2. Click on the name of the Container you wish to open.  The Container will then open.  Make sure you don't click on the folder icon, click on the name of the Container.  If you click on the folder icon you will open some actions available on the Container in question and you won't open the folder.  If you click this by accident simply click some empty space in your Navigation Tree and then click on the Container name instead.

Loading A Container - Complete!

And that's it!  Not everything has to be complicated you know...

Now let's have a look at how to search using VFP's search tabs in the next page.


Standard Search

Using Searches Rather Than Folder Structures

People are often happy enough to click on a Container because it looks and acts like a folder. But sometimes it's very tricky to find information by just clicking on one Container at a time.  It could be that there is simply too much information to sort through in a Container, or it could even be that we don't know which Container to look for in the first place.  In both these scenarios we'd be better off conducting a search on VFP.  Searches use "metadata" to find information.  Metadata labels are basically tags on Items on VFP, like uploader, name, description etc.

An Example Search

Below we have an example where a User wants to find architectural and M&E drawings related to the ground floor of his building.  The User is able to conduct one quick and easy search to find the necessary information.  This is preferable to opening one Container at a time and hoping to spot the correct drawings in the Table of Contents.  

How To Search - Step 1

1. The search bar showed here is a very simple search within the Enterprise.  If you know the full name of the file you are looking for then you can use this search box to find it quickly and easily. Performing a search in this box will load the search results instantly and so has no further steps.

2. To conduct a more thorough search, use the Navigation Tree to find the most appropriate level for starting your search and Right click > Search.  In the example above the User has chosen to start their search within "Design Information", as this part of the Container structure contains both architectural and M&E drawings.

How To Search - Step 2 (If You Have Chosen Right Click > Search Above)

1. Right click > Search in the Navigation Tree will open up the search tab pictured above

2. The level which you right clicked on will be shown in the "Search In" field.  You can choose to search within one or more children Containers (Containers created beneath "Design Information" in the example above) by clicking on the plus icon highlighted in the picture above.

3. Here you can filter according to metadata on the files.  You can wildcard search by using "%" if you wish.  Wildcard searches will ignore any characters between two search characters, so if a file was called "Architectural Drawing 123", you could find this file by searching for "%Architectural%123%", even though there is the word "Drawing" between these two sets of characters.  If you simply typed "Architectural 123" without using a "%" you would not find this drawing.

4. Linked locations can allow you to search for information that has been linked to a particular Document Container.

5. Here you can choose to include, or exclude, certain information from your search.  

  • Linked Items are Items that have been linked to Document Containers.  They appear in a Document Container with a small linked symbol and have been uploaded elsewhere.  You can choose to include or exclude these by ticking or unticking "Show Linked Items".  
  • The "Sub-containers" tickbox allows you to search in all children Containers automatically if you leave this box ticked. If you untick this box then you will only have Items uploaded into the Container you have right clicked on and the search will exclude children Containers.  
  • Lastly, "Latest Revision" ensures you only see the most up to date revision of a file (previous revisions are always available in the Document Properties of an Item).  If you want to see all revisions showing in the Table of Contents then untick this box.

6. "Contains Text" will search for words within the documents on VFP themselves.  So if you type the word "roof" in this field, the system will return all files that have the word "roof" written somewhere within them.

7.  These fields help you filter your search based on dates.

8. The "Search" button will conduct your search and find you all the Items that match the search criteria you have entered.

How To Search - Complete!

Phew!  There was a bit more to that topic.  You'll find that you will become more accustomed to the available metadata (labels on Items) on VFP as you use the system going forwards.  For now try to remember that searching is quick and easy and can help you find information much more quickly than if you solely rely on clicking on Containers.  We have an Advanced Search too which can provide more help and we'll look at Advanced Searching on the next page of this manual.

Advanced Search

Advanced Searching - The Details Make The Difference

If a User can’t find the information they need through the Search tab then they may have more success through the powerful Advanced Search tab. Advanced search allows searching across all standard metadata, but also Custom Fields and Keywords (these might be set up by your Project Administrator to aid searching, so ask them to see if they are used on your project). 

How To Advanced Search - Step 1

1. Find the level you want to start your search at.  Right click > Search at this level.

2. This will open the Search tab, click the "Advanced Search" tab (highlighted above) to conduct an advanced search.

How To Advanced Search- Step 2

1. These options are non-user defined metadata that will help you to find information on the system: 

  • Author is the owner of the Item
  • Assigned to is used for Tasks (see Tasks in Communications Section) and will show all Tasks assigned to the selected User
  • For My Attention will show all Items that you have been added as a recipient on
  • States allows you to filter Items on "State".  The most common use of this field is to find all Items that are "Overdue" as you can then action these Items quickly.
  • Original Filename will allow a search based on what the file was originally called before upload (what it was saved as on the uploader's machine).
  • State Set By would allow you to search by a user that changed the state on a file.  You may want to find all Tasks that a particular User has closed, for example.
  • Read/Unread allows you to find Items that you have viewed or downloaded (read) or Items that you are yet to view or download (unread).
  • Types allows you to select the type of Item you want to search for.  This could be anywhere from a project container to a document.

2. These are user-defined metadata that MAY be assigned to your project.  Speak to your Project Administrator to find out whether these fields have been applied to your project.  If they have been applied you will be able to use these Custom Fields or Keywords as extra search criteria. 

Why would these be used?  Well you may have five different blocks of buildings on your project and you may want to quickly find all drawings in Block 3.  A good way to do this would be for a Project Administrator to make the system ask Users to select a block that an Item belongs to on upload.  That way when you conduct an advanced search using the Block Custom Field or Keyword for "Block 3" you will find all the files that have had that label applied on upload.

3. These are workflow filters that can help you find items at various points within a workflow process.  Please see the section "Introduction to Workflows" for more information on Workflows.

4. When you are ready click "Search" and the system will find the results that match your search criteria.

How To Use Advanced Search - Complete!

You probably won't need to use Advanced Search all that often when you first start to use the system, but it's very important to know that it's there.  It can sometimes help you to quickly find information that would otherwise be very difficult to compile together.  If you have spent a while creating a search then you may want to document the search results in a spreadsheet so you can quickly show other people offline.  We'll look at how to do this in the next page of this manual.

Exporting as a Report

Exporting For Improved Decisions

Sometimes we don’t just want to find information to download.  It can often be just as important to report on information on the system so we can make informed decisions.  We might, for instance, want to report on all outstanding Tasks on VFP so that we can tell which Users are most unreliable at responding to actions.  Or we might even simply want a list of all information uploaded onto VFP in the last 24 hours so that we can see how much information is being uploaded on a daily basis.  In both of these scenarios we would first search and then use "Export As Report" to give us an Excel spreadsheet listing all information that meet our search criteria.  

Important Note

Clicking the “Export As Report” tab will allow Users to export all of the metadata currently showing in the Container’s Table of Contents.  It is possible to amend the metadata that is showing and this is covered in L) Customising - Personalising Views section of this manual.

How To Export A Report - Step 1

1. After you have conducted the search you wish to Export click the "Export As Report" tab (highlighted above).

How To Export A Report - Step 2

1. Once you have clicked the "Export As Report" tab you will be able to choose how you wish to view the exported results: in xls or csv format.  

2. After selecting either xls or csv click "Export" to export the results into a spreadsheet.

How To Export A Report - Step 3

As pictured above, all items in your results will export.  You can hold up to 500 results on a page and you can therefore export up to 500 results in this way.  It is possible to export more than 500 results if you click "Email" on your Records Per Page drop down (pictured below).

How To Export All Results From A Search

1. Head to the bottom right corner of the screen.  From the Records Per Page drop down choose "Email".  You will receive a zip file in an email which will contain a spreadsheet detailing all results from your search.

Exporting As A Report - Complete!

This topic is very simple but very useful, so remember it is there!

Next we're going to look at saving a report, a topic that often goes hand in hand with exporting, as you will often want to export the same sort of data on a regular basis.  To save time doing this you should us the Save As Report button and we'll look at how to do this on the next page of this manual.

Saving a Report

Saving A Report Saves Time!

Searching is very powerful, but it’s usefulness and efficiency would be diminished if you had to spend time filling in search fields every time you wanted to find the same information.  Luckily, once we have filled in the search for the first time we have the option of clicking “Save As Report”. The saved report will show all results that relate to the search criteria and this will include new results that will not have shown when you originally performed the search.  The only exceptions to this will be searches that are restricted to certain dates (documents uploaded only on the 1st July, for instance). 

How To Save A Report - Step 1

1. After you have filled in your search criteria click "Save As Report"

How To Save A Report - Step 2

1. After clicking Save As Report a screen will pop up (pictured above).  The first step on the pop up is to choose to name this report.  Make sure you give the report a name that will allow you to quickly identify what the report does.  The above report is called "Overdue Tasks" as an example and would obviously quickly find Tasks that have gone past their due date.

2. This tickbox will allow you to share your reports with other Users so that they can quickly use these search criteria themselves.  If you choose to share a report you will need to choose who you wish to share the report with (pictured below).

3. There is a section called "My Reports" in your navigation tree.  If you wish the report to appear as a specific "branch" in your tree then tick this box.  

4. Once you're happy then click OK to finish.

How To Save A Report - Step 3 (If You Have Chosen To "Share" Your Report)

1. If you have chosen to share your report then you can choose who to share it with by clicking the "Group / User quick selector".

2. Clicking the Quick Selector will bring a list of Security Groups (for Project Administrators) and Users.  Search for the Users you wish to share the report with and tick the box next to their names

3. Click "Apply" once you have selected your Users.

4. Click "OK" to apply changes and allow the Users you have selected to use your report.

How To Save A Report - Step 4

1. Once the report is saved it can then be used whenever necessary.  As the User chose in this example report to "Save to My Reports in Tree" then the report "Overdue Tasks" appears as a branch under My Reports in the Navigation Tree.

2. If you click on My Reports you will see all saved Reports listed in the Table of Contents.

3. You can search within these reports in your Table of Contents by searching by the name of the report or the date the report was last run.

How To Save A Report - Complete!

Remember to use Save As Report wherever you have a search that you need to use on a regular basis, it will save you lots of time!

Next we're going to have a look at some other time savers which have pre-configured searches: The Summary Screen and My Inbox.  First up is The Summary Screen on the next page of this manual.

The Summary Screen

Introducing The Summary Screen

If you click on an Enterprise, Site or Project name in your Navigation Tree you will automatically be taken to the summary screen for that level (unless an Administrator has changed the default settings, in which case you can load the summary screen through Right Click>Summary instead). This screen will allow you to quickly find information through a helpful dropdown search. You can also find file statistics, container statistics and a “Geoview” tab that shows geographical tags for information on a world map.

How To Use The Summary Screen

1. The Summary screen is simply an easy screen for quick filters.  From the drop down list you can choose:

  • Latest Items: to see all information existing under the chosen Enterprise, Site or Project listed with most recently modified information sitting at the top of the Table of Contents.
  • Items Copied to Me: to see all information I have been added as a recipient on.
  • Items Modified Between: to see all information updated or changed in anyway between dates of your choice.
  • Items Distributed to: to see all information sent to a particular chosen User.
  • Unread Items: everything you are yet to view or download.
  • Overdue Items: all Tasks, Discussions or workflowed items that have gone past their due date.
  • Items Awaiting My Approval: any workflowed items I specifically have to action will appear here.

The Summary Screen - Complete!

So The Summary Screen shows some quick  and useful searches for both the project generally and specific User accounts.  It is very useful because it allows User specific searches at a level of your choosing; you can find Items for my action on a specific project, whereas My Inbox would show action items on the whole Enterprise which could contain multiple projects.  Let's have a more detailed look at My Inbox on the next page of this manual.

My Inbox

My Inbox - Here To Serve You

My Inbox is an area in the Navigation Tree that will help Users quickly identify useful information relevant to their own User accounts.. It does by this highlighting all Items which a User must action (workflowed Items and Tasks in “My Action Items”), Items that the User is a recipient on (in “Items For My Attention”) and Items that the User is yet to read (in “Unread Items”). The User can action and read Items directly from “My Inbox” so they do not need to find the Container where the information was originally created

How to Use My Inbox - Step 1

1. Open My Inbox by clicking the arrow next to My Inbox in the Navigation Tree and then clicking on the name of the appropriate Container out of: My Action Items, Items For My Attention and Unread Items.

2. In this case My Action Items has been selected. We can choose to "Include" All items or select just Read or Unread Items and we can sort information due to be actioned within a certain time period.

3. The tabs highlighted above will allow the User to choose between:

  • Items for My Action: Tasks and Forms that need responses by a due date.
  • Items awaiting my approval: Items in Workflow that I have the casting vote on (if I vote to "approve" an item, for example, then the Item will be given an approved status).
  • Items awaiting my comment: Items in a Workflow that I need to comment on.
  • Items awaiting my vote: Items in a Workflow that I need to vote on.  N.B. you may have an Item appearing in both "Items awaiting my approval" and "Items awaiting my vote".  This makes sense as in both areas the User will be voting, as approving an Item requires a vote.

Speak to your Project Administrator for details on whether you are using Workflows.  If you are using Workflows then ask for guidance as to whether you are a approver, voter or adding comments.

How to Use My Inbox - Step 2

1. Above I have now selected Items For My Attention to show another area of My Inbox.  This area will highlight all information which lists me as a recipient (the equivalent of a cc in an email).

2. Once I have clicked on Items For my Attention I can choose to "Include" All Items, Unread Items or Read Items.

3. I can choose to see Items copied to me or Distributions Copied to Me.

How to Use My Inbox - Step 3

1. I have loaded "Unread Items" by clicking on this area in my Navigation Tree.

2. On selecting Unread Items I can choose to show any Items or Distributions I am yet to view or download.

My Inbox - Complete!

Hopefully you now have some idea of the uses of My Inbox.  We've reached the end of the C) Searching, Reporting & Inbox section now so make sure you recap any topics you are unsure of.  Next we're going to have a look at how you can download the files that you have managed to find on VFP, so when you're ready click BACK TO SECTIONS and proceed to the next section of this manual.

D) Downloading

Downloading Files (Single)

Getting Information From VFP Onto Your Computer

So far we've focussed on logging in and finding information on VFP, but in this section we're going to change our attention to downloading the information once you have found it.  We're going to focus on downloading Items in Document Containers in this section.

Downloading Primary and Secondary Files

When a piece of information is uploaded into a Document Container on VFP it is possible to associate multiple files with a single Item record. This is possible through using Primary and Secondary Files on upload.  These files are usually used by organisations to show the same information but use different file formats - in the case of drawings, PDF files are usually the Primary File and authoring softwares such as .dwg files are usually the Secondary Files (because everyone can download a PDF file, but not everyone can download a .dwg).  Downloading the most current revision of a Primary File is probably the easiest thing we can do on VFP, as we simply need to click the field “Name” listed in the Table of Contents. Downloading a historical revision or Secondary File is also very straightforward as the User can access this by opening the file’s “Properties” and selecting the applicable revision or Secondary File from there.  We'll run through Primary and Secondary files more thoroughly in E) Working with Items - Uploading Items.

Primary Files

First let's look at how to download a Primary File on VFP.

How To Download A Primary File - Step 1

In the screenshot above we have clicked on the Architect's drawings Container in the project and found three drawings.  We want to download the Street Plan with the name 5000-M-0-(95)L001.

1. Click on the file Name field to begin the download.

How To Download A Primary File - Step 2

1. Your browser will then download your file.  We have used Google Chrome in the above screen shot and the downloaded file is shown as pictured.  Click on the file name on this pop up screen that appears to open the file.

How To Download A Primary File - Step 3

And voila! The file will open.

Secondary Files

Now let's check out how to download Secondary Files.

How To Download A Secondary File - Step 1

1. Click on the mouse icon next to the file you wish to download the Secondary File for.

2. Click on Properties.

How To Download A Secondary File - Step 2

Your Properties screen should then pop up.  Check your pop up blocker for your browser if it doesn't.

1. Scroll to the appropriate revision of the file you want to download and click on the name of the Secondary File you wish to download.

How To Download Files (Single) - Complete!

And that's downloading single files!  Simple, isn't it?

Sometimes, though, you want to download more than one file at a time and in these situations you need to know how to download multiple files from VFP in one go.  We're going to have a look at that on the next page of this manual.

Downloading Files (Multiple)

Multiple Downloads From VFP

Sometimes we need to pull lots of information from VFP onto our computers and we can do this very easily by using the multiple download functionality on the system.  On this page we'll cover downloading both Primary and Secondary files for selected Items in one go. 

How To Download Multiple Files

In this case we want to download all three drawings that exist in the Architect's drawing Container.

1. Tick next to all required files.  You can use Ctrl + left click to select individually or Shift + left click to select all files to your next left click (just like Microsoft Excel rows, for example).  You also have Select All available in your Toolbar (we'll point this out to you in E) Working with Items - The Toolbar).

2. Click the three green arrows pointing downward icon to start the download.

3. Your browser will then start the download. Google Chrome is shown in the screenshot above and this will bring a pop up where you can view your downloaded files.

Please note that your files will be downloaded as a zip file in your temporary internet files. If you want to save these files individually on your computer then you'll have to head to the area on your computer where your temporary internet files are saved and extract these files from the zip file.

How To Download File (Multiple) - Complete!

So now we should know how to retrieve lots of information from VFP so that we can store it on our computers.  The problem with the batch download, however, is that it only lets us select the items, not the specific files we want to download.  In other words, sometimes we might want to download just the Primary Files or Secondary Files but not both at the same time.  To do this we need to learn about the Clipboard and we'll look at this functionality on the next page of this manual.

Clipboard for Downloading

Your Clipboard, Great For Helping You To Download

We're going to cover the Clipboard in more detail later on in the Item Actions section, but for now it is useful to highlight that the Clipboard is very useful for people who want to download certain files.  Helpfully, it allows Users to make their own custom download selection by clicking "Add to Clipboard" on as many files in as many folders as you like.  It also allows Users to choose to download All, Primary or Secondary files from their Clipboard.

How To Download Using The Clipboard - Step 1

1. Select the files that you want to download

2. Click Actions to open the list of available actions on these Items.

3. Choose Add to Clipboard to add these Items to your Clipboard.  Your Clipboard should then open, if it doesn't click Open Clipboard.

How To Download Using The Clipboard - Step 2

1. You will get a pop up that looks like the above.  Click OK to close this pop up screen.

2. On your Clipboard on the right hand side of the screen you will see your files (click Actions > Open Clipboard if your Clipboard doesn't open). As highlighted, you can choose to download just Primary, just Secondary or all files on your Clipboard.

How To Download With Your Clipboard - Complete!

That's how to download using your Clipboard on VFP and that's it for the section on downloading.  Recap if necessary, but next we are going to start looking at working with items on VFP.  Make sure you're prepared because this is where we start to delve into more detail on the system!  Click BACK TO SECTIONS in the top left of this screen to select the next section.

E) Working with Items

Uploading Items

Adding New Information Into VFP Document Containers

So we've covered downloading existing files that have been already added onto the system, but how do we add new files ourselves and what can we do with files once we have found them?  We're going to cover adding new Items onto the system and working with these Items in this section.  Like downloading, we focus on Document Container Items during this section.

First up is adding new information by uploading.  You can upload any type of file format to VFP, making it collaborative with other users in the process.

Within VFP lies a natural revision control system. Providing that users upload and revise using the correct tools, older versions or 'revisions' of uploaded Items are pushed behind the scenes and out of the view of users.

This allows us to show only the latest and most relevant information. At Viewpoint we refer to this as 'one version of the truth'.

What Is An 'Item'?

In VFP terminology an 'Item' can be anything uploaded to, or created on the system. For now we will focus on uploaded Items.

These are files that users have stored locally and added to a Document Container on the system through the process of uploading. An Item can consist of a number of files that we term as 'Primary Files' and 'Secondary Files'. Users will always see Primary Files at face-value, whilst Secondary Files are hidden behind the scenes.

Though an Item may have a Primary File and a number of Secondary Files, it is still classed as one 'Item' within VFP

Primary & Secondary Files Explained

We briefly introduced these earlier in the D) Downloading section, but it's worth revisiting this topic here.  The construction industry, much like others, uses a number of different softwares to produce information. These softwares create files in their own 'formats'. Some formats you are likely to be familiar with are Microsoft word (.docx), Excel (.xls), Adobe Portable Document Format (.pdf) and particularly in the construction industry AutoCAD Drawings (.dwg).

Whilst all these formats can be uploaded to VFP it is common practise to upload one format as the Primary File and the other formats as Secondary Files.

The reason for this is simple. If we have a drawing of for example, a street plan and this has been produced in AutoCAD as a .dwg file, we may want this original file to be available to other users however not everyone has the software to open .dwg files. Therefore we create a .pdf version of it as this is a format most other users can open. If we upload these files separately into VFP we may end up revising (updating) one but forgetting about the other, which could lead to a user downloading an out of date revision and building something to the wrong information - an unnecessary risk.

NOTE: A Primary File & Secondary File(s) should be the exact same thing simply in different formats.

How To Upload - Step 1

NOTE: This process should only be followed for the first iteration of any given Item(s). Revisions (updates) to Items are covered in the 'Revising Items' Topic.

1. Navigate to the Container you wish to upload your Item(s) to.

2. Select the 'Upload File(s)' icon from the toolbar. You will see the Upload File(s) dialogue window appear. From here you have 2 or 3 options depending on the internet browser you are currently using:

  • Select File(s) - will allow you to select multiple local files by holding CTRL or SHIFT on your keyboard. The Items you have selected will be uploaded.
  • Select Folder - will allow you to select a local folder. All Items within the folder will be uploaded.
  • Drag and drop - will allow you to select Items locally and drag and drop them into the browser, onto the dialogue window. All Items dragged will be uploaded.

How To Upload - Step 2

1. Click 'Select File(s) to open the windows file explorer.

2. Navigate to your Items and select the ones you wish to upload. If you intend on uploading multiple formats as Primary Files and Secondary Files as shown in the screenshot above please select them all here.

NOTE: hold CTRL or SHIFT on your keyboard to cherry-pick or block-select respectively.

3. Click Open and your files will begin to upload to the VFP servers.

How To Upload - Step 3

You will see the progress of each Item being uploaded in the Upload Progress tab at the bottom of the screen. During this part of the uploading process you are free to navigate around VFP and perform other actions.

NOTE: Items larger in size and /or a larger total number of Items will result in a longer upload time.

In the first instance, Items are uploaded in 'unregistered' form. This simply means that only you as the uploader can see the Items within VFP. It is the act of 'Registering' that subsequently makes these Items visible to any other users with permissions to access the Container you have uploaded the Items to.  See below for examples of unregistered and registered Items.

Unregistered Items

- Appear as see-through 'ghost' Items with an !

- Are visible only to the uploading User

- Do not have metadata assigned

- Primary and Secondary Files appear as individual Items

Registered Items

- Appear as normal

- Are visible to all users with access to that Container

- Have metadata assigned for ease of searching

- Primary Files are displayed but Secondary Files are hidden out of sight.

How To Upload - Step 4

To register Items in VFP users are required to fill in a number of metadata fields for each Item. Metadata is simply text that lives against an Item that makes it easy to search for and locate the Item at a later date. We will discuss metadata further a little later.

1. Once all Items have completed uploading, Select 'Register All from' at the top of the Upload Progress tab. This will display the metadata matrix in the top section of the screen.

2. There's not much space to fill out this information at the moment so drop the Upload Progress tab down using the button indicated in the screenshot (2a) and unpin your Navigation Tree (2b) to give yourself a little more screen real estate.

How To Upload - Step 5

1. Each Item requires the following metadata fields to be completed:

  • 1a. Name - This should be your Item reference number/code as outlined in you project protocols
  • 1b. Description - This should be the title of your Item highlighting in plain English its contents
  • 1c. Revision (Reference) - This should be an alphabetical, numerical or alphanumeric reference  as to the 'version' of the Item - for drawings this is usually indicted on the title block.
  • 1d. (Revision) Status - This shows a pre-defined options list created by Project Administrators. You should select the status that best describes the purpose for the Item/reason you are uploading it to VFP.

2. Fill out the metadata for your first Item as applicable

NOTE: do not leave a revision reference in either the Name or Description fields.

3. You will notice that any of the files you selected for upload during the previous steps that share an identical name (Primary Files & Secondary Files) will automatically have been merged into a single 'Item' in the matrix. VFP will prioritise making any .pdf formats the Primary Files, with other native file formats made Secondary Files.

4. TIP - if your Items share the same details for a single field such as their 'Status' you can select this for the first Item, check the tickbox on the far left for the first Item and any others you wish to have the same details, and click the blue arrows next to your desired field to fill down this value for all other checked Items.

5. Once all fields have been input for all Items click 'Register'

Where's My Navigation Tree?

Get your Navigation Tree back by following the instructions below.

1. Show your Navigation Tree again by clicking on the bar at the far left of the screen.

2. Re-pin the Navigation Tree by clicking the pin button to the top right

How To Upload - Complete!

After selecting Register you will see a loading wheel after which the screen will refresh and you will find you Items appear in the Container.

And that is how to upload new information.  Remember though, these steps should only be followed for new information that does not yet exist on VFP.  For new revisions of information that already exists we need to "revise" and we will look at how to do this on the next page of this manual.

Revising Items

Adding New Revisions Onto VFP

So we've looked at adding new information onto the system, but now we need to look at how to update this information when new versions have been created.

Within VFP we manage revisions to Items in a way that ensures users are always working to the latest information.

Revising ensures that we can take older revisions and hide them from sight to avoid any mistakes by using superseded information.

Don't worry, previous revisions are not lost, and Users can access them at any time

How To Revise - Step 1

1. Locate the Items in VFP you wish to revise - navigate through the folder structure, click on the appropriate Container and use the Search functionality if required.

2. Select the Items you wish to revise by left clicking in the select column - NOTE: hold CTRL or SHIFT on your keyboard to cherry-pick or block-select respectively.

3. Select the 'Revise Item(s)' tool from the toolbar and choose the first option - 'Revise Item(s)'

NOTE: Depending on wether you have selected one Item to revise or multiple you will be presented with one of two screens - single Item revision form or multiple Item revision matrix. The information in each is the same but in differing layouts. See below for how each looks.

Single Item Metadata Form

This form appears in the right side of the screen when you select one Item to revise. It allows you to select the new revision of your Item, input the required metadata and click Revise.

Multiple Item Metadata Matrix

This pop-up appears when you select multiple Items to revise. Similarly to the upload metadata matrix it allows you to enter metadata in a tabular format after selecting the new revisions of your Items.

How To Revise - Step 2

1. Click the small circular + button next to the first Item to add the new revision.

2. Click the Select button to open the windows file explorer and navigate to the local folder where your files are stored.

3. Select the file with which you wish to supersede the existing revision ensuring that the file you select is the correct file for this Item.

NOTE: here you are only able to select one file. Unlike the previous uploading topic we must add Secondary Files separately when revising. Pick your Primary File now and we'll look at including the Secondaries shortly.

4. Click open to select the file.

How To Revise - Step 3

Once you have selected the new files with which you want to revise the current versions you can input your metadata. You will notice inputting metadata for revisions is quicker then for the initial upload as some of the information is remembered for you and some is suggested.

1. Name and Description - these fields will be locked-out. You cannot change these when revising.

2. Revision (Reference) - will suggest the next reference in the sequence. As the current revisions in this example were 'A' the system has suggested that the new revision reference is 'B'. This works the same way for numeric and alphanumeric references also. E.g. '1' will prompt a suggestion of '2' and 'P1' will prompt a suggestion of 'P2'. You can change this during any revision process.

3. (Revision) Status - You will be required to select this - do so for each Item.

4. TIP: if the Status for each Item is the same you can use the fill down option - this will take the value from the first ticked Item and apply the same value to the other ticked Items:

  • 4a. Select the first Item with the status field completed by clicking the white space around any of the text for that Item - the line will turn grey.
  • 4b. Ensure this Item is ticked along with the other Items you wish to copy the value to.
  • 4c. Click the Fill-Down button in the 'Status' column header - the value for the first Item will be copied to the other Items.

You can now click OK and this will make the revisions to your Items but first let's head to the the next step to add Secondary Files.

How To Revise - Step 4

1. Scroll to the right side of the Metadata Matrix using the scroll bar at the bottom. For each item, one at a time perform the following:

2. Click the + button in the Secondary Files column for the first Item.

3. Click 'the 'Select' button in the window that appears.

4. Navigate to the Secondary File, select it and click 'Open'.

5. Click the 'Submit Selection' button - a confirmation that the file has been attached will appear, click OK.

6. Once complete for all Items click OK.

How Can I Get to Previous Revisions?

We'll revisit the Properties section in E) Working with Items - Item Options, but it is worth mentioning now that it is very easy to find previous revisions through this page.

1. Click the small mouse icon next to the Item in question to display the option menu for that Item.

2. Select the 'Properties' option.

3. In the pop-up scroll down and you will notice revisions are stacked on top of each other in the window. You can use the + buttons next to each to expand or collapse revisions details.

TIP: This is really useful screen as it will tell you everything about an Item and its previous revisions including links to things like packages, tasks, discussions, workflows and date and time stamps associated with revision creation and modification.

How To Revise - Complete!

Well done, your Items have now been revised. You will notice that the revision reference for you Items has been updated and the previous revisions have been hidden from view.

As mentioned above, you cannot update the Name and Description fields by revising, as these should remain constant.  But what if you do need to change these fields?  Well you would need to Edit these Items, and we're going to cover how to do this in the next page.

Editing Items

What Exactly Does Editing do?

So we know how to add new information and update revisions, but what about correcting mistakes on metadata and files?

Well editing Items within VFP allows us to change two things:

1. Metadata that was applied when uploading/revising that Item.

2. The files that were selected when uploading/revising that Item

Editing Items in VFP does not allow users to change the contents of a file, for example alter the text in a word document.


Editing If You Have Permission

The ability to edit Items on VFP is reliant upon you having the 'Edit Item' permission in the Container where you are trying to edit something.  Remember, your Project Administrator controls these permissions so you will have to contact them if you believe you need to edit a file and you are unable to do so.

Single Editing

In this page we are going to run through how to edit files both singularly and in batch format.  Let's start with single editing because it's very straight forward.

How To Edit (Single) - Step 1

1. Click on the mouse icon next to the Item you wish to edit.

2. Click Edit to start editing the Item.

How To Edit (Single) - Step 2

This screen will then appear.

1. Here you can add and remove files.  You can turn Secondary Files into Primary Files by clicking "Make Primary" and you can remove any Secondary Files by clicking "Remove" (in red).

2. You can edit all metadata entries on the Item here.

3. Click Save Changes to apply your changes or Cancel to undo any changes.

Batch Editing

For batch editing multiple files we need to use a new area that we haven't looked at before - Views in a Container.  This isn't especially easy to remember, but if you try to remember the editable grid as a change in the way you view your Table of Contents then hopefully this might help.  It is a very useful tool if you can remember it's there.  Imagine you've accidentally uploaded a hundred drawings with the wrong status - it would be a nightmare to change these Items one by one!  It's much quicker to use the Editable Grid and use drop down arrows to copy metadata changes, as shown below.

How To Edit (Multiple) - Step 1

1. Click on the Views drop down icon.

2. Select Editable Grid.

How To Edit (Multiple) - Step 2

Editable Grid will change the appearance of your Table of Contents so that it looks like the above screenshot.

1. Select the Items you wish to edit by clicking in the green tick column.

2. Make metadata changes as appropriate.  You can use the straight arrows here to apply metadata down to all selected Items (those with a green tick next to them).

3. Click the round arrows to undo any changes to that particular Item.

When you are done hit the Enter key on your keyboard to apply the changes you have made.

How To Edit Items - Complete!

That's everything we need to know about editing.  Try to remember that Editable Grid in particular, as that can be a massive time saver on a project.

So that's how we can change information, let's have a look at how you can remove information from VFP altogether in the Delete topic on the next page.

Deleting

Removing Information From VFP

So we've added our information and made sure it's up to date, with correct metadata.  But what about when we need to remove information from VFP?  Perhaps we uploaded the wrong information and we want to remove it?  In such cases we would delete.

Deleting files on VFP is very straightforward but we should think very carefully before removing any information from the Enterprise.  Often organisations stop General Users from deleting, so you may not have this privilege even on your own files. If this is true for you, then you should contact your Project Administrator any time that you want information deleted.  Usually General Users will be able to "Block" information (see next page for more details) and it might be worth using Block whilst you are waiting for a Project Administrator to delete information for you.

How To Delete Files - Step 1

In the above example we want to delete a Street Plan.

1. Click the mouse icon next to the Item you wish to delete.

2. Click Delete from the drop down list that appears.

How To Delete Files - Step 2

The pop up screen pictured above will appear once you click Delete.

1. Add your reason for deleting the file here.

2. Only for Items with more than one revision- see next step below for Items that haven't been revised.  From the drop-down list choose which revision you want to use as current on the system once you have deleted this revision.

3. Click OK once done

How To Delete Files - Step 3 (For Files With Only One Revision)

For files that only have one revision you will need to give a reason for deletion, but you will not have to choose a revision to use as current (for obvious reasons).  Instead you will see the above screen.  Click Yes to delete the document.

Nothing Is Ever Really Deleted!

If you do somehow delete something by mistake, fear not, it is possible to retrieve this deleted information.  Contact your Project Administrator and they will be able to retrieve things from the Recycle Bin and return them to life on VFP.

How To Delete - Complete!

And that's how to delete Items on VFP, pretty straightforward.

There are a lot more things you can do with Items on the system and we're going to take a look at these next in Item Options.  Please turn over to the next page when you're ready.

Item Options

Item Options - Doing Things One Item At A Time

So we've gone through all the steps necessary to add, update and even remove our Items in Document Containers.  Now we're going to talk about what you can do with Items listed in a Table of Contents.

Sometimes you want to do something with just one Item on VFP.  The mouse icon next to each file acts as the action centre for that Item and can allow you to do a number of things (discussed further below).  Your list of options may be limited by type of Items and permission settings for your User account.  Please note that the mouse icon will only work for one file at a time.  If you wish to perform an action on multiple files then you will need to use the Toolbar (discussed on the next page).

How To Use Mouse Icon Options

We've seen the mouse icon options numerous times already, but just to recap, to load the mouse icons you:

1. Click on the mouse icon next to an Item.

2. The list of Item Options will appear.

All Mouse Icons Explained

Right, take a deep breath, we're going to run through the mouse options one by one!  First up is Properties which we saw briefly in the D) Downloading section and earlier in this section when we were revising Items.

Properties

Properties shows us all meta data on an Item on VFP and all files associated with that Item.  It will also show us all linked files, markups and linked Containers.  It's a really useful area!  Make sure you're comfortable with the Properties screen.  The Properties screen for an Item in a Document Container is annotated below in a screenshot.

Document Properties In Detail

1. Revision B's tab is automatically expanded because this is the most recent revision.  If you want a Short Code for this particular revision of this Item you can access this code here.  Short Codes are a super easy search facilitator that you can pop into the search bar that appears when you first login (trek back to B) Introduction to VFP - System Layout for a reminder where this is).

2. Both Primary and Secondary Files are accessible here.  You can also View and Markup these files from here by clicking on the square icon with a magnifying glass and cross.  We'll cover this functionality in the J) View & Markup section.

3. Revision meta data and all links and associations are shown here.

4. All the same information explained in 1-3 above is also available within here for revision A of this Item.

5. This shows all meta data for the Item and not a specific revision of that Item.

6. Click OK to close Properties and return to the Container.

Activity Log

The next mouse icon option is the Activity Log.  Quite simply the Activity Log shows everything that has happened to the Item.  If someone has revised a drawing, it will be in the Activity Log.  If someone has read a document, it will also be in the Activity Log.  Big Brother is watching...

Permissions

Permissions is up next.  Generally as General Users we don't need to worry about this one too much.  It's enough for now to understand that Project Administrators can control access to VFP and this power to control even applies to individual Items, as well as to projects and Containers.

Edit

We looked at Edit earlier as a specific topic.  Remember this Edit option will allow you to edit meta data and files individually.  Don't forget the editable grid when you are trying to make lots of edits quickly!

Check Out

Check Out isn't used all that often by organisations, but can be useful when we have multiple Users actively making many changes to information on VFP on a regular basis.  If I'm the one working on a file then I should click Check Out, put a reason for checking out and a period of days I need to hold the file for (both prompted by VFP after clicking the button).  Check Out removes the Revise function from other Users whilst I have the file "Checked Out".  This is useful as it means that they can't upload any revisions to the file until I have uploaded my new revision onto the system and checked the file back in (Check In is a mouse option that appears after you have clicked Check Out).  We can cancel this Check Out at any time by clicking "Cancel Check Out" which appears as a mouse option after you have checked an item out.

Block

Block is another option that isn't used all that regularly, but can be very handy.  Block stops anyone from downloading the file altogether.  Why would you use this?  Well, as mentioned earlier, often General Users don't have the ability to delete Items on VFP.  This being the situation, in case of mistaken upload, for instance, it would be best to Block the Item and contact a Project Administrator to request the deletion of the Item.  Blocking the Item in the interim would make sure that nobody is accessing the information that was uploaded mistakenly.  Blocked Items can always be unblocked by clicking "Unblock" which appears as a mouse icon option after you have clicked Block.  Whenever you click Block you will be asked for a reason why you have blocked the Item.

Revise 

We covered Revise in detail earlier in this section in E) Working with Items - Revising Items, but as a reminder, this mouse option is the way in which you can lay new versions of Items over out of date revisions.

View and Markup

View and Markup is a great tool that has an entire section devoted to it in J) View and Markup.  It has view, compare and annotate options and will be available wherever you see the square icon with a magnifying glass and a cross (we saw this in Properties above too!).

Delete

Delete speaks for itself really!  We looked at this earlier in E) Working with Items - Deleting.  Recap this topic now if you're still unclear on deleting information on VFP.

Troubleshoot Permissions

As a General User we don't need to worry about this muse icon option, it's mostly for Project Administrators.  For now we can summarise this option by saying it allows Project Administrators a quick view of who has what permissions over a specific Item.

Live Revise (For Microsoft Files)

This option will appear for Microsoft files and allows Users to download these files as a temporary internet file on their computer.  Once this is done the file will then open on the User's machine and they can make changes and click "Save" once done.  Live Revise will then automatically up-revise the Item you have selected and it will upload the new revision with your changes.

Item Options - Complete!

So there we go, all the Item (mouse) Options.  A fair few of them, but hopefully nothing too scary. 

Remember that the mouse icons only work for one file at a time.  The Toolbar options, however, will generally work for multiple files.  We're going to have a look at how to use the Toolbar on the next page of this manual.

The Toolbar

On VFP There Are Lots Of Tools At Your Disposal

Continuing on the theme of working with Items in Document Containers, we're now going to talk about the Toolbar.

The Toolbar is another area where you can perform actions on Items.  There are some crossovers with the mouse icon options, but there are additional options on the Toolbar that are unavailable with the mouse icon.  It is also important to realise that Toolbar actions can be performed on multiple items (with the exception of View and Markup and Live Revise).

How To Use The Toolbar

1. Select all the Items you wish to perform an action with by ticking them in the green tick column.

2. Your Toolbar options exist here.  Select the appropriate one to perform your action.

The Toolbar Options

Below we'll run through all the icons and options you'll see within The Toolbar and we'll explain them one by one.  If you forget what any of these do you can hover over the icons in VFP and you will see some explanatory text that should help to trigger your memory.

Download

We ran through this icon earlier in D) Downloading - Downloading Files (Multiple). Remember, this icon allows you to download files associated with your Item and will download both Primary and Secondary Files.  Think "down" pointing arrows for downloading.

Mark As Read

Files that you are yet to read on VFP will be shown with bold text in the Table of Contents.  As soon as you view or download these files they will no longer be shown with bold text.  You can see all unread Items in your My Inbox areas and you can conduct multiple searches for such information.  Should you wish, you can mark unread Items as "Read" using the Mark As Read icon and this will un-bold the Item and remove it from any of your unread lists.  You might want to do this so you can focus on some of the unread Items you deem to be more important (a bit like we do with emails).

View And Markup

Remember this icon!  You will see it all the time and it will enable you to view the file you have selected within the View and Markup tool (covered in detail in the J) View and Markup section).  It will only work in The Toolbar if you have selected one file only in your green tick column.

Delete

Also available in the mouse icon options, Delete will obviously delete the item you have selected.  Revert back to E) Working with Items - Deleting if you want to recap this topic. 

Revise

A further cross-over with the mouse icons, you can Revise, Live Revise, Check Out and Block Items directly from here.  Check back on the Revising and Item Options topics within this section for a reminder on what these options do.

Attach To

Attach To is a very handy drop down that allows us to attach an Item to another relevant Item.  We cover this Toolbar Option specifically in the I) Attaching To section.

Actions

We've had a brief look at the Actions drop down already in D) Downloading - Clipboard for Downloading and we'll revisit it again in H) Item Actions.  It basically does what it you would expect and offers a list of useful actions that you might want to perform on your file.

Views

Views allows you to change your Table of Contents' appearance altogether.  There's not much to say about Generic View, as it is the standard view we use automatically when in a Container.  We looked at the way the Editable Grid changes this Table in the Editing Items topic within this section.  The Thumbnail views are particularly useful for photographs as they show a small "thumbnail" image of these files so that you can preview them before loading.  Matrix view is actually VFP's attempt at a drawing register and shows all items listed with their revisions, dates of revisions and statuses of those various revisions in one easy to view grid.

Matrix View

We've shown the Matrix View in a bit more detail above because it can be particularly useful.  In the grid the letter represents the revision of the drawing and the small text next to the letter is the Revision Status of the drawing.

Select All / Deselect All

Select All will help you to select all information appearing in a Container or Table of Contents after a search.  Deselect All will obviously undo this selection.

Auto-Resize

Auto-resize will help resize the columns in the Table of Contents so that you can see all text.  You'll often find that Name and Description fields in particular are cut off partially when you first load a Container and this button will help to rectify this.

How To Use The Toolbar - Complete!

Those are all The Toolbar options and that's the end of the topic and the end of the section.  You should now have a relatively good idea of some of the things you can do with files inside a Document Container, as most of the sections we have dealt with so far have covered with this Container's Item functionality.  But VFP doesn't just deal with Document Containers, it also deals with communications on a project, and we're going to look at these next section.

As per usual, click BACK TO SECTIONS in the top left of this page when you're ready to read the next section.

F) Communications

Notification Transmittals

Notifying Users About VFP Information

The last section looked at placing things in Document Containers and working with them.  Document Containers deal almost entirely with files, but now we're going to change our focus to look at how we can communicate with other Users through VFP, not just share files.

The first communication tool we will look at is Notification Transmittals.  Notification Transmittals are an easy way of notifying other Users of Items that have been uploaded onto VFP.  It acts as a simple manual notification and will automatically send an email to the email accounts of any Users added to the Notification Transmittal.  We usually use Notification Transmittals when we want to notify people that there has just been a batch upload.  Make sure you speak to your Project Administrator and ask whether and when they wish Notification Transmittals to be sent.

How To Create Notification Transmittals - Step 1

1. Open the area called Distribution Transmittals on your project by clicking on the arrow icon.

2. Click on Notification Transmittals to open the Container that holds Notification Transmittals.

You'll see any Notification Transmittals that have previously been sent on the project in this Container.

3. Click New to create new Notification Transmittal.

How To Create Notification Transmittals - Step 2

The Notification Transmittal that loads will look like the above.

1. Enter the Subject matter of your Notification Transmittal here.  This might be something like "New Drawings added today" or something of that nature.

2. Add a Status of the Transmittal - this isn't the status of the information within the Transmittal, but the Status of the Transmittal itself.  This would usually be "For Information" or something of that nature.

3. Enter a message for recipients here.

4. Use the magnifying glass icon to select and add Users to your Notification Transmittal.  Click the tickbox next to the names of Users to add them.  It is possible for Project Administrators to set up Distribution Groups that hold multiple Users in one group so you can just click once to select multiple Users.  Speak to your Project Administrator to check whether this has been set up for your project.

5. Click Add/Remove attachments to get taken to an attachments screen where you can search and add attachments by clicking the plus icon next to desired Items.

6. Click OK to finish.

Notification Transmittals - Complete!

Hopefully that was relatively straightforward.  If you struggled with the attaching Items element, don't worry, as we'll be covering a very similar screen in more detail in I) Attaching To - Existing Item.  For now, try to remember that a Notification Transmittal is a simple manual notification tool within VFP and that you should ask your Project Administrator about whether and when you are using this functionality on your project.  Next we are looking at a more sophisticated communication tool on VFP - the Task.

Tasks

Sending Actions To Users

Notification Transmittals are a very simple alert, but the next communication we look at is much more sophisticated.  Sometimes we need to send actions to Users, rather than just notify them about Items, and one way to communicate an action is to use a Task.

Tasks are communications that can be tracked with due dates and assignees in Task Containers.  They are a very popular communication can be used for a variety of reasons.  A particularly common usage is to use Tasks for Requests for Information (RFIs) or Technical Queries (TQs)  in the construction industry.  This is because Tasks will automatically create a register through their inherent functionality and there is no need for any additional administrative action to create a separate RFI/TQ register. Ask your Project Administrator whether Tasks are being used on your project as they require a Task Container to be created first for storage.

How To Create a Task - Step 1

1. If you see a head Container called "Tasks/Actions" expand it by clicking on the arrow icon to see children Containers.

2. Click on the name of the Task Container to open it.  Task Containers look like folders with two green ticks on them.

3. Click New Task to create a Task. 

How To Create a Task - Step 2

You will see the above screen appear where you can input the details about your Task.

1. Enter the Name of your Task (not your name).  You can also type a Description for your Task if that's helpful (although this is not usually mandatory).

2. Enter a Priority for your Task, choosing from High, Medium and Low.  This is just a piece of metadata on the Task so that people can view the urgency, it does not have any impact on functionality.

3. Choose to assign your Task to a User here.  You can only assign a Task to people who have been invited to VFP and a Task can only be assigned to one User at a time.

4. Enter any text in here to communicate your Task more clearly.  In the case of an RFI or TQ you may well ask a question here.  Any text in this box is referred to as a post.

5. Set a due date that the Task needs to be answered by.

6. This is a field where you can put how far the Task has already been completed.  You'll notice this is mandatory but there is already a "0" in this field so you do not have to put anything in here.

 7. You can copy additional recipients into the Task here.  These individuals will see the Task as an Item for their "attention" in their VFP My Inbox area, whereas Users who have been assigned a Task will see it as an Item for their "action".

8. Here you can select a few additional options:

  • Private will make the Task only visible to you, the assignee and recipients.
  • Email will send an email when the Task is complete.  Unticking this box will mean no email is sent.
  • You can say whether a response is needed for this Task here.
  • You can allow your assignee to forward this Task to other Users if this box is ticked.  If the box is not ticked then they will not be able to forward the Task.

9. You can attach files from VFP to the Task here.  You also can add "local" files that are saved on your computer and are not yet saved on VFP.

10. Click Finish once done.

How To Respond To A Task

So we've now created a Task!  How does the person who has been assigned the Task respond?  Well they will receive an email provided the "Email" option was ticked when the Task was created, so the easiest option for responding is to hit reply on that received email, type a response and hit send.  The email response will be logged as a new post in the Task and the person who created the Task will be notified by email. The email also contains a link so anyone receiving the Task notification can click on this link and login by inputting their Username and Password.  Logging in will open the Task.

Another option is to head to My Inbox or to the Container where the Task was created.  In the screenshot below we've headed to the Task Container to open the Task and respond.

How To Respond To A Task - Step 1

1. Click on the name of the Task to open it.

How To Respond To A Task - Step 2

This Task screen will now open.

1. You can see a lot of details about the Task in here (like when it was created and when it needs to be answered by).

2. The last post (response) is shown here 2a. shows where we can maximise all posts in a Task so we can see the entire conversation between parties from start to finish.

3. You can see any attachments and other details about the post in here.

4. You can add your text response in here.

5. Here is where you can forward to other Users for input (if this was permitted by the originator) or you can assign the Task back to the originator.

6. You can update the Percentage Complete column if necessary to say how far complete the Task is.  You should not mark an RFI as 100 percent complete if you are responding, it should be down to the originator to close out RFIs.  If you do close a Task in error then the originator should re-open the RFI (Task) by using the mouse icon next to the Task in question.

7. Recipients can be added here.

8. Files from VFP and files from your computer can be added here.

9. Click OK once done.

How To Respond To A Task - Step 3

Step 2 above can happen as many times as necessary until the Task is fully answered.  Once the originator is happy with the answer they should follow these steps.

1. Click the mouse icon.

2. Choose Resolve to say the Task is fully complete.  If you choose Close the system will ask you "Is resolved?" and you should tick to say yes if you are happy that the Task has been fully answered.  If you just Close the Task and do not Resolve the system will actually show the Task as "Closed" and not "Completed".  This will enable reports to differentiate between Tasks that have been closed out due to being so far overdue as to be no longer relevant (Closed), versus Tasks that have been correctly and comprehensively answered (Resolved/Completed).

How To Respond To A Task - Step 4

Choosing Resolve will open the above screen.

1. Enter any last comments on the Task here (mandatory).

2. Click OK once done.

How To Use Tasks - Complete!

So that's how to create, respond and resolve Tasks.

Remember, Tasks are actions that are assigned to one assignee.  Sometimes, though, we want a less formal communication that can be sent to multiple individuals.  In such situations we'd be better off using Discussions which we'll look at on the next page.

Discussions

Introduction

A Discussion, like a Task, is a communication that can be tracked on the system.  They differ in that automatically Discussions do not have timescales (although this can be added) and Discussions do not have assignees.  Discussions only have recipients and they therefore appear in My Inbox under Items for My Attention rather than Items for My Action (where tasks appear if you are an Assignee).  Ask your Project Administrator whether Discussions are being used on your project as they require a special Discussion Container.

How To Create A Discussion - Step 1

1. Expand a parent "Discussions" Container if appropriate to find the right Container for creating your Discussion.

2. Click on the name of your Discussion Container.

3. Click New Discussion to create a Discussion.

How To Create A Discussion - Step 2

Once you have click New Discussion the above screen will appear.

1. Enter the Name of your Discussion (not your name).  

2. Type a Description for your Discussion if that's helpful (although this is not mandatory).

3. Enter a Priority for your Discussion, choosing from High, Medium and Low.  This is just a piece of metadata on the Discussion so that people can view the urgency, it does not have any impact on functionality.

4. Enter your first Discussion post in here.

5. You can set a Due Date for your Discussion here if necessary, but unlike for a Task, this is not mandatory.

6. You can add whoever you want to have your Discussion with here.  These individuals will see the file as an Item for their "attention" in their VFP My Inbox area.

7. Here you can select the options:

  • Private will make the Discussion only visible to you and the recipients of the Discussion.
  • Email will send an email when the Discussion is complete.  Unticking this box will mean no email is sent.

8. You can attach files from VFP to the Discussion here.  You also can add "local" files that are saved on your computer and are not yet saved on VFP.

9. Click Finish once done.

How To Respond To A Discussion

How do the recipients of a Discussion respond then?  Well they will receive an email provided the "Email" option was ticked when the Discussion was created (default), so the easiest option for responding is to hit reply on that received email, type a response and hit send.  The email response will be logged as a new post in the Discussion and the person who created the Discussion and all other recipients will be notified by email. The email also contains a link so anyone receiving the Discussion notification can click on this link and login by inputting their Username and Password.  Logging in will open the Discussion.

Another option is to head to My Inbox or to the Container where the Discussion was created.  In the screenshot below we've headed to the Discussion Container to open the Discussion and respond.

How To Respond To A Discussion - Step 1

1. Click on the name of the Discussion in the Discussion Container to open it.

How To Respond To A Discussion - Step 2

1. View details about the Discussion in general here.

2. You can view the original post detail here.

3. Details will hold any attachments that have been added to the post (like drawings or documents).

4. Enter your new post to the Discussion here.

5. You can add new recipients onto the Discussion here.

6. You can attach files from VFP to the Discussion here.  You also can add "local" files that are saved on your computer and are not yet saved on VFP.

7. Click OK once finished.

Closing A Discussion?

Because it isn't mandatory to have a due date for a Discussion, we don't tend to need to worry about closing these Items out (unlike Tasks).  However, if a due date is set then we should close out any such Discussions by using our mouse icon and clicking "Close".  Follow the steps for resolving Tasks shown on the last page of this manual, but where we clicked "Resolve" for Tasks, we must click "Close" for Discussions instead.

How To Use Discussions - Complete!

If you've had a sense of deja vu throughout that page, that's hardly surprising.  There are many similarities between Tasks and Discussions, but remember the two main differences:

  • Tasks are assigned to one person and Discussions have no assignees, only recipients.
  • Tasks must have a due date, but on Discussions this is optional.

OK next we're going to have a look at Email Dropboxes which should be an easy topic to finish off the section.

Email Dropbox

Quickly Storing Emails On VFP

We've so far given three examples of communications that are created and sent through VFP - Notification Transmittals, Tasks and Discussions.  The last topic we're going to talk about is not capturing information created on VFP, but rather how we can store communications sent through emails outside of VFP.

Users often still send emails and sometimes it is useful to capture important project emails on VFP.  This can be done through a VFP email dropbox address and Users simply need to email (or cc) this email address and VFP will automatically upload these emails on the system.  The disadvantage of an email dropbox is that the email subject title will be the name of the file on VFP, so unless people label their emails clearly it can be tricky to search through emails effectively in a Container.  Please ask your Project Administrator if a VFP email dropbox is being used and they will be able to tell you the appropriate email address if it is enabled on your project.

Using The Email Dropbox

The Email Dropbox appears as a Document Container icon with an envelope on it.  Hover over the name of the Container to find the email address associated with that Container.

How To Use The Email Dropbox - Complete!

A nice easy section to finish.  That's also the end of the section, so recap if anything is still unclear.

We've had a brief break from files and documents in the last few pages, but we need to get back to thinking about these again for the next section where we look at Virtual Containers in a bit more detail.  We've had a look at Virtual Containers very quickly before, but we just need to add a few more details so you're clear on exactly what they do and what they're used for.  Click BACK TO SECTIONS to return to the sections page and move on.

G) Introduction to Virtual Containers

Static Virtual Containers

Virtual Reality On VFP

So far we've really only really looked at files in Document Containers, but files can also be found in Virtual Containers, so it's important that you know what these Containers are.

A Virtual Container is a Container that you can only link into.  You cannot create new information in a Virtual Container.  

Static Virtual Containers (SVCs) will show linked items at the revision they were at the point of linking.  The version of the items in the SVC will therefore remain "static" until we manually ask the container to update.  A Static Container has many uses as a "Record Package" on VFP, but one of the most common usages for the Container is to use the SVC as a representation of a tender package.  The reason this works well is that information stays constant and unchanging whilst individuals are putting a quotation together.  It is also useful to have a record of what was tendered upon further down the line.  Project Administrators can distribute an SVC to bidders quickly and easily through a Public Link (Public Links are mentioned in the H) Item Actions section - Make Public). 

A Closer Look Inside An SVC

1. Click on the name of the SVC to load the Container.  Notice the unlocked padlock on the Brickwork Tender pictured above?  That shows that this package has a Public Link on it and this tender package can be distributed by a Project Administrator through this link.  

Please remember that an SVC can be either blue or green.

2. In the SVC you will see no options to create new information or upload, you will only see an option to Edit.  Edit will allow new files to be attached into the SVC.

3. The revision column for these files will remain constant.  A Project Administrator can Edit the SVC so that it searches for the most up to date versions of these files, but this will always be a manual process, and automatically the SVC will keep files at the version they were at when you first attached them.

Static Virtual Containers - Complete!

That's about as much as much as we need to know about SVCs for the purposes of this manual.  Try to remember what the "virtual" and "static" elements of their name mean and you should be doing well.

Let's have a quick chat about Dynamic Virtual Containers and their uses on the next page.

Dynamic Virtual Containers

Virtual Reality Part 2 - Updating Files

A Dynamic Virtual Container (DVC) is still a virtual Container so information cannot be uploaded into it.  However, linked items in a DVC will automatically update when they are revised in their Document Containers.  For this reason they are rather similar to a saved search for a specific group of information.  Often we Right click > Create As > Dynamic Virtual Container on SVCs after the tender process is completed.  This allows us to quickly and easily turn tender packages into live packages that reflect the current revisions of all drawings in a package.

Information Can Be Stored In Many Ways

It's important to add another point to the above paragraph regarding using DVCs for live packages.  As we mentioned earlier in this manual, organisations can choose to set up their Container structure in any way they see fit, but sometimes it can be very tricky to know exactly where to place information.  For instance, one architectural drawing could be at the same time relevant to multiple packages of work, so should this drawing be uploaded into a Container called Architectural / Drawings?  Or should it be uploaded separately into each package of works?  Well DVCs help you get round any dilemmas like this.  We recommend uploads go into a Container labelled as belonging to the organisation uploading the drawing (the Architect) and that drawing is then linked via DVC into any relevant packages.

A Closer Look Inside An DVC

1. Click on the name of the DVC to open the Container.

Please remember that a DVC can be either blue or green.

2. Like the SVC, notice that the DVC only has an Edit button, and gives no option for adding new information directly into the Container.

3. The revision column will update as the information is revised in its original Document Container.

Dynamic Virtual Containers - Complete!

So hopefully you now know more about DVCs and Virtual Containers in general.  That's the end of the topic and the end of the section.

The next three sections in a row will look at a whole bunch of other things we can do with files on VFP, including printing, email, attaching and marking up.  Let's get going!  First up is Item Actions. Click BACK TO SECTIONS to return to the sections summary page and move on to the next section.

H) Item Actions

Email

Letting Non-Users Know What is Going On

So far in this manual you'll have possibly noticed your Actions button appearing in virtually every screenshot.  Item Actions are incredibly useful and we'll give you some more details in this section.   As with the majority of this manual the Actions tab examples will be taken from Document Containers, but there will be a lot of crossover with the Actions tabs that appear in other Containers (virtual or otherwise).  Firstly we'll show you how to email quickly from VFP, which is a good example of a simple but effective use of the Actions tab.

Sometimes it is useful to notify people of information that exists on VFP.  Viewpoint recommends using Notification Transmittals to notify existing Users of uploaded Items.  For notifying "external" individuals (who are not Users on VFP) we may wish to email the uploaded files to these people.  We can send zip files of selected items through Actions > Email if the file sizes are not too large to send.  If the files are too large for email then the files should be sent through Public Links instead (covered on the next page of this manual).

How To Email Items - Step 1

1. Select the files you wish to email by selecting them in the green tick column.

2. Select Actions and then choose Email.

How To Email Items - Step 2

The above screen will then pop up.

1. Enter the names and email addresses of people you wish to email here.  Separate email address with a semi colon (;) to add multiple addresses.  You'll notice that your name and email address will appear automatically; sometimes it is quicker to simply email yourself the file and forward the email you receive to your recipients via your email system.

2. Enter any messages you would like to send your recipients here.

3. Automatically the files you have selected will be sent as a zip file to your recipients.  However, if you are sending information to Users then you might want to choose to send the files via URLs which will require a login.  This will not work for people who do not have a VFP login.  We don't really recommend doing this as it is better to issue a Notification Transmittal if you want to send files via a URL.  We cover Public URLs that don't require a login on the next page, so if you have a lot of information to send to non-Users then you might want to use this functionality instead.

4. Click OK once you are happy to email the file(s).

How To Email Files - Complete!

You really shouldn't need to email files too often, but that's how to do it if you ever have the need.

Emailing files has inherit problems with file size limits so you can only send a certain amount of information this way.  To get round this we can use a Public Link and we're going to have a closer look at this functionality on the next page.

Make Public

Making Information Available For Non-Users

VFP is very useful for sending information to Users on your project.  However, sometimes we need to send information to people who we don't wish to give a username and password yet (tendering subcontractors, for instance).  In this situation we can send a "Public Link" which will allow anyone who has access to this link to download any files attached to that link.  We can make Public Links on files and Project Administrators can make Public Links on entire Document, Static Virtual and Dynamic Virtual Containers if needed.  An unlocked padlock is the sign that a Public Link has been created on a file or Container.

How To Make Information Public - Step 1

1. Select desired Items by clicking in the green tick column.

2. Click Actions and then select Make Public.

How To Make Information Public - Step 2

The above pop up will appear.

1. You can make the Public Link expire on a date of your choosing.  After this date the link will no longer work when people click on it.

2. You can choose to email the public link by ticking this box.  Ticking this will take you to a very similar screen to the one we saw on the last page where we were emailing information, except this time we will be emailing a Public Link and not a zip file or link requiring a Username and Password.

3. If you wish you can make all revisions and future revisions of this Item available to people who click on the Public Link for this file.  If you don't tick this box then only the most up to date revision of this item will be available for people who click on the Public Link.

4. This button will allow you to remove the Public Link from a file that has currently been made publicly available.

5. Click OK once done.

How To Make Information Public - Step 3

Clicking OK will close that pop up screen and take you back into the Document Container.

1. You will see that the files you have selected to make Public will appear with an unlocked padlock symbol next to them.

2. Click on the mouse icon to give you Item Options we mentioned earlier in E) Working with Items - Item Options.

3. You will see a new option appears in Item Options once files are made public.  Select "Copy public link" to copy the link for that Item's current revision and choose "Copy public link (all revisions)" to copy the link for all revisions of that Item.

How To Make Information Public - Step 4

Once you have clicked on the appropriate option the pop up above will appear on Google Chrome.

1. Right click > Copy Link Address on the appropriate link to add this link to your computer's clipboard (not VFP Clipboard!). 

How To Make Information Public - Step 5

You can then paste this link into any email and send it through to the necessary individuals.  Clicking on that link will cause the above screen to appear.

1. Name of the file(s) will be shown here and anyone can click on each individual filename to download that file.

2. You can download all the files listed by clicking on this link

Public Links - Complete!

And that's how we can make information "publicly available" through a Public Link.  Remember, Project Administrators can do this with whole Containers of information, so speak to them if you believe this would be useful.

Next we're going to have a look at your Clipboard in a bit more detail than we have done previously.

Add to Clipboard

Your Clipboard, Always At Your Side (The Right Hand Side)

Your Clipboard is your friend!  It will always be available on the right of your VFP screen.  Most containers on VFP will already have been configured for you by an Administrator, but your Clipboard allows you to select any items you wish and store them in one convenient place.  You can add information from as many different Document Containers as necessary and store them on your clipboard for action; you may want to create a new Static Virtual Container as a tender package, for instance, and you can start by creating the package on your Clipboard first.  Be careful though, your clipboard will clear as soon as you logout, so make sure you complete any Clipboard actions before logging out of your VFP session.

How To Use Your Clipboard - Step 1

1. Select the files you want to add to your Clipboard using the green tick column.  You can do this in as many different Document Containers as necessary to compile your own selection on your Clipboard.

2. To add to your Clipboard click Actions and then choose Add to Clipboard.  Clicking Open Clipboard will open your Clipboard.

How To Use Your Clipboard - Step 2

Clicking Add to Clipboard will give the above pop up screen.

1. Click OK to close this pop up and add the files to your Clipboard.

2. If for whatever reason your Clipboard does not open you can drag the Clipboard open at any time by clicking and dragging the line highlighted above.

How To Use Your Clipboard - Step 3

Your Clipboard will look like the above when it opens.

1. You can filter your Clipboard selection to show only certain file types by using this drop down option.

2. Your files will be listed here.  Note that both Primary and Secondary Files will be added onto your Clipboard.

3. Here are your Clipboard Options where you can download, clear the Clipboard selections and use Attach All Items.  Attach All Items will give you exactly the same options as when you use Attach To > New Item which we'll cover in I) Attaching to -  New Item in this manual.

4. You can find any Batch Prints that you have set to run here.  We'll run through Batch Prints on the next page of this manual.

How To Use Your Clipboard - Complete!

That's about all you need to know about the Clipboard for now.

Next we'll have a look at printing information on VFP.  This is the only topic that will need you to use the Internet Explorer browser.

Print

Printing Quickly And Easily On VFP

VFP likes to make things as easy as possible for Users.  When it comes to printing we have made this possible with one click under Actions > Print.  Users must simply download the free batch print plugin and then can print as many files as they wish.  This functionality is currently only available in Internet Explorer.

How To Print On VFP - Step 1

1. Select the files you want to print by ticking in the green tick column.

2. Click Actions and then select Print from the drop down list.

If this is the first time you have done this then you will be prompted to download the Batch Print Application.  You may need your I.T. Department to download this on your computer for you.

How To Print On VFP - Step 2

If you have downloaded the Batch Print Application the the above screen will appear.

1. Here you can set your Default Print Settings that will automatically apply to all Items you print from VFP.

2. You can change print settings for individual files here.  

3. Click Print to send the files to the printers you have chosen.

Printing Files On VFP - Complete!

And that's how to print files on VFP.  You don't need to download them one at a time to print!

The last Item Action we are going to look at in this section is Register Multiple.  Remember earlier in this manual when we looked at uploading?  There we actually uploaded and registered in one step, but if you left the files unregistered after upload (for whatever reason) then you can register and share these files at any time using Register Multiple.

Register Multiple

Registering After Upload

Earlier in this course we covered uploading and registering files in one process.  It is, however, possible to do this process in two separate steps.  This is possible by uploading the files as Unregistered files and then registering the files through Actions > Register Items.  Remember that whilst the files are Unregistered they are only visible to you and no other Users will see these files!

How To Register Items After Upload - Step 1

1. Select the files you want to register by ticking in the green tick column.

2. The Unregistered files will be shown with an exclamation mark and greyed out text. 

3. Click Actions and select Register Multiple Items from the drop down list.

How To Register Items After Upload - Step 2

This screen will then appear.

1. Fill in the metadata.  See section Working with Items - Uploading Items for more details.

2. Click Register when done.

Registering Multiple File - Complete!

That's how to register files after upload.  You'll see some other options in the Actions drop down list, but we'll look at the applicable Workflow options later and we don't need to worry about Move Items as a General User.  So that's the end of the section!  As always, recap as necessary and get ready for the next section where we will look at how you can attach Items to other Items and Virtual Containers on VFP.  Click BACK TO SECTIONS to move on.

I) Attaching To

New Item

Working From The Attachments First

Another constant you may have noticed across all screenshots will be Attach To.  Attaching things to each other is very important in VFP and we're going to talk about attachments in detail in this section.  We're going to focus on attaching files to other Items, but there will be Attach To options on all types of Item on VFP.

There are always two ways to create an Item with attachments.  The first option is to create the Item first and then go to the section Add/Remove Attachment and add the attachments after creation (we did this when we covered Notification Transmittals in F) Communications - Notification Transmittals, for instance).  This is useful when it would be quicker to conduct a search for Items to attach.  The second option is to go to the Items you wish to attach first and choose Attach To > New Item.  This is quicker when you have Items that you want to do something with and you wish to do this action after finding the attachments.

How to Attach Information to a New Item - Step 1

1. Select the Items you wish to attach by selecting them in the green tick column.

2. Click Attach To and then choose New Item from the drop down list.

How to Attach Information to a New Item - Step 2

1. Click the drop down list to see all options.

2. Choose what type of Item you want to attach to.  You'll hopefully recognise Tasks, Discussions, Notification Transmittals, SVCs and DVCs by now!  Don't worry about the others as they are for Project Administrators

How to Attach Information to a New Item - Step 3

This pop up screen will appear once you have selected what you want to create.

1. In this case we have chosen a Notification Transmittal, but the steps for whatever you choose will be very similar.

2. You will choose where you want to store the new Item you have created.  In the case of the Notification Transmittal it obviously needs to be stored in the Notification Transmittals Container for the project.

3. Click OK once done.

Your new Item will be created with the Items you originally selected already attached!

Attaching to New Items - Complete!

And that's attaching to New Items.  It's a really useful bit of functionality that Users tend to forget about.

But what if you have forgotten to add your attachments and you have two relevant Items existing separately on the system?  Well luckily you can attach to an existing Item, and this is what we are going to have a look at next.

Existing Item

Adding Attachments To Each Other

As we now know, it's possible to attach Items to other Items when we create new information (on upload or creation through Attach to > New Item).  However, sometimes we forget or are not able to attach Items that are relevant to each other on creation.  In these situations you can upload or create both Items and attach them afterwards through Attach to > Existing Item.

How to Attach Items to Existing Items - Step 1

1. Select the relevant Item(s) by ticking in the green tick column.  These will be the attachments.

2. Click Attach To and select Existing Item from the drop down menu.

How to Attach Items to Existing Items - Step 2

1. Search for the information you want to attach to using the VFP search engine.  

2. Remember to click Search to make the Items appear!  People forget this bit.

3. Click the plus icon next to the file you want to attach to.  This will be the file that has attachments.

4. You can see your selected file by expanding this section. You can de-select here if you have made a mistake.

5. Click OK once done.

How to Attach Items to Existing Items - Step 3

The above screen will appear again.

1. Your file that you are attaching to will be shown here.

How to Attach Items to Existing Items - Step 4

This pop up will show once you have clicked OK on the last screen.

1. Click OK to close this pop up.

Attachment Icons

Your attachments and file with attachments will have different symbols which we'll quickly run through below.

Has Attachments

Any Item with attachments will have the paperclip symbol next to it.  If these attachments are files you can click on the paperclip symbol and any attachments will be added to your VFP Clipboard straight away.

Is Attached to Another Item

This chain symbol shows that the Item is attached to something else on the system.  You can find out what it is attached to by clicking on your mouse icon and clicking Properties (covered in E) Working with Items - Item Options).

Attaching Existing Items - Complete!

So there we go, how to attach existing Items to each other.

One final topic on attaching and that's Virtual Containers (yes, they're back again!). Let's have a look at how you can attach an Item into a Virtual Container on the next page.

Virtual Container

Attaching Information Into Virtual Containers

Remember, there are two types of Virtual Container, Static Virtual Containers and Dynamic Virtual Containers and the difference between these two is explained in more detail in the G) Introduction to Virtual Containers section of this manual.  In this topic, however, all we need to do is see how to link information into a Virtual Container, which is thankfully very straightforward.

How to Attach into a Virtual Container - Step 1

1. Select your Items by clicking in the green tick column.

2. Click Attach To and choose Virtual Container from the drop down list.

How to Attach into a Virtual Container - Step 2

This pop up screen will then appear.

1. Tick the tick box next to the Virtual Container you want to attach to.

2. Click OK once done.

Attaching to Virtual Containers - Complete!

That's it!  Simple, isn't it? 

And that's the end of the topic and the section.  Next we're going to have a look at the View and Markup tool in some detail.  View and Markup is a great way of viewing files and demonstrating visually what changes you need made in drawings (they work well in combination with Workflows, which we'll cover in K) Introduction to Workflows).  There's heaps of functionality in here so prepare yourself for lots of VFP learning!

J) View & Markup

Viewing Items

Viewing Rather Than Downloading

We should now know a lot of VFP functionality, but one area we haven't touched on is how to review and comment directly on Items on VFP.  Throughout this section and  the next (K) Introduction to Workflows) we are going to start to look at how you can review information and ask for changes to be made.  Such reviews might then cause a revision to be made to existing documentation.

The first piece of functionality we are going to look at is the View and Markup tool which is a great tool for reviewers.  Markups are how we ask for changes, but on this page we'll look at the "View" element of View and Markup.

As we now know, it is possible to download both Primary and Secondary files from VFP.   Downloading the files will make your computer use its own available software to open the file you have downloaded. Rather than downloading, however, sometimes it is preferable to view files through your browser on VFP.  You can do this very easily through using the system's in-built View and Markup tool.  Interestingly, you can use the View and Markup tool to see file types you don't have the software for.  So even if you don't have the relevant software on you machine, you can still view a .dwg through View and Markup, for instance. 

Which Markup Tool?

If you are using Google Chrome (as we have been throughout this manual) then you will have to use the HTML5 Viewer which is pictured in screenshots below.  This viewer will start automatically and does not need to be downloaded.

If you are using Internet Explorer then you can download the Active X Viewer which you can find in the Support Site under downloads.  Obviously you may need to get your I.T. Department to download this for you if you do not have rights to download on your machine.  It does work quite similarly to the HTML5 Viewer, but there is one particular extra bit of functionality that might make Active X worth the effort to download; through Active X you will have an additional "Measure" option that will allow Users to produce takeoffs.  Please see the specific Active X help guide for more information on this (question mark inside a square icon within the Active X tool).

How to View a File through VFP - Step 1

You actually have two options here:

1. Click the mouse icon next to the file you want to view or tick the green tick column next to the file you want to view.

2. Click View and Markup from you mouse icon options, or choose the Markup icon from your Toolbar (square with magnifying glass and a red cross).  You can only use this icon for ONE Item at a time.

Both options do exactly the same thing.

How to View a File through VFP - Step 2

The file you have chosen to view will then open.  In this case we have chosen a drawing.

1. You can print the file here should you wish.

2. This option will rotate the drawing 90 degrees.

3. After zooming you can use these buttons to make the drawing fit across the width of the screen again, (fit width) or make the entire drawing fill the screen (fit all).

4. Zoom bar to zoom in on parts of the drawing.

5. A hand icon to allow you to click and drag the drawing so you can move it around and a zoom window option so you can click and drag a square area on your drawing to make this area fit your whole screen.  Content within that screen will then be zoomed in on.

How to View Files on VFP - Complete!

So it's very easy to use the VFP View and Markup tool to view files through your browser.  But what if it's your job to review a file on VFP and you've noticed a mistake whilst viewing the file?  Well if the file is in Workflow you would probably status the file as "Rejected" through a vote, but you would be well advised to still use the View and Markup tool to efficiently show the mistake by annotating.  Let's have a look at how to do these annotations on the next page.

Annotate (Create Markups)

Annotating To Explain Required Changes

So now onto the "Markup" element of View and Markup!

Sometimes when reviewing a file on VFP it is useful to annotate any corrections that need to be made. This might work very well in conjunction with a Workflow which can help you electronically status a file as "Accepted" or "Rejected".  If you do choose to reject a file in the workflow then you might want to choose to add a markup to the file to explain why it was unacceptable.

How To Annotate A File In The View And Markup Tool - Step 1

We've already opened the View and Markup tool here, see previous page to view steps to open View and Markup.

1. Click on the Annotate button, or click the drop down arrow next to Annotate and choose New.

2. Choose the annotation option you want to use here.  Clouds and Changemarks (post it notes) tend to be very popular.

3. Choose the colour and width of line for your comments here.  Some projects will have project protocols which will define specific colours for roles within the project to markup in, so pay attention to these protocols if they have been issued.  You can also insert a hyperlink if necessary.

4. Place your chosen annotation onto the drawing.

5. When done click the floppy disk icon to save your markup.

How To Annotate A File In The View And Markup Tool - Step 2

1. Here you can add some details about your markup:

  • Name - we recommend adding some useful details to this name field such as the organisation you belong to.
  • Notes - any useful notes about your markup can be added here.
  • Description - you can also add a description here if you wish.
  • Recipients - you can select recipients here.  You will see all Users who have access to the file you are marking up on.  Click on the names of individuals and use Ctrl + left click to multi-select.  These recipients will get an email notification that you have made your markup.

2. Click OK to save the markup.

How To Annotate A File In The View And Markup Tool - Step 3

Once you click OK your markup will be saved.  Don't worry, you haven't created a new revision or changed the file itself, or anything like that.  Rather, you have made a parallel markup on the file and this is visible as a cross icon on a piece of white paper next to the file.  This icon might signal multiple markups and you can see how many markups are saved on the file by clicking on the mouse icon and choosing Properties.

1. This icon shows there are markups on the file.

How To Annotate On Files In VFP - Complete!

So that's annotating on VFP.  A very useful feature indeed.  But on a project we may have more than one individual producing a markup.  On a construction project we might have comments from engineers, architects and design managers etc.  So how do we load all of these markups onto one screen?  Well the View and Markup tool has a great Review option that will help you out in such a situation, let's look at this functionality on the next page.

Review Markups

Seeing All Annotations On One Screen

It may be that we have multiple individuals reviewing the same file.  When deciding whether to "Accept" or "Reject" a file in a workflow we might need to review all these reviewers' opinions (in markup form) before making a decision.  The easiest way to review these markups is by loading them all onto the same drawing by clicking "Review" in the View and Markup tool.

How To Review Multiple Markups - Step 1

Like on the last page of this section, we have already loaded the View and Markup tool here by clicking on the mouse icon and choosing View and Markup.

1. Click the text on the button that says Review at the top of the screen.

How To Review Multiple Markups - Step 2

1. Tick the tickboxes next to the names of the saved markups you wish to load.

2. Click OK when done.

How To Review Multiple Markups - Step 3

1. The markups you have selected will load onto your screen.  Notice in the above example how we have different colours to show markups by different organisations.  This might be mandated by project protocols as we mentioned on the last page of this manual.

How To Review Multiple Markups - Complete!

Very useful indeed! Especially when trying to decide whether a drawing is technically acceptable.

If there are mistakes the creator of the drawing should really make a new revision and upload this onto VFP (see E) Working with Items - Revising Items in this manual for how to do this).  But how can we see whether they have made the desired changes?  Well luckily the View and Markup tool has a fantastic compare option and we'll look at this next.

Compare Revisions

Seeing Changes Between Files

So we know how to annotate and ask for changes on a drawing, but how can we be sure if this change has been made between revisions?  Luckily the View and Markup tool allows for a quick comparison between files, allowing us to compare a previous revision, a historical revision and a completely separate file if necessary.

How to View Changes Between Files on VFP - Step 1

In the above screen we have chosen to open a different drawing within the View and Markup tool.  It happens to be a .dwg file this time, but the functionality on this page would work perfectly well on a PDF drawing too.

1. To compare this current revision of the drawing to something else choose one of these three options:

  • Compare Previous Revision which will be comparing the last revision of the file before the current one we are viewing.
  • Compare with Revision () which can compare a historical revision from the drop down list with your current revision.  You could compare revision z with revision a, should you wish.
  • Compare Files which could compare with a different file, not just a different revision.  You could overlay an electrical drawing with an architectural drawing if you wanted to, for instance.

How to View Changes Between Files on VFP - Step 2

In this case we chose to compare with the previous revision of this drawing.  You have the five options below when it comes to comparing.

1. Overlay the two drawings with no highlights.

2. Overlay the two drawings with different colours to show what was included in each revision or file.

3. Show the drawings side by side (shown above).

4. Show the file or revision on the left of the screen only.

5. Show the file or revision on the right of the screen only.

How to View Changes Between Files on VFP - Step 3

In the screenshot above we've chosen 2. Overlay the two drawings with different colours to show what was included in each revision or file.

1. This scrollbar will be able to move between the two revisions to view them in more detail.  In the above screenshot you can see that revision B is on the left of the screen (the tab showing 5000-M-(95)L003 [B] is blue) and so moving the scrollbar to the left will show you revision B in one colour.  Moving the scrollbar to the right will show revision A in a different colour.  Without the scrollbar in the middle we can see both revisions in different colours and therefore see where the changes have been made.

2. Revision A in one colour.

3. Revision B in another colour.

How to View Changes Between Files on VFP - Step 4

1. We can use the print icon whenever necessary to print any comparison screens.

2. In this case we have chosen to show just revision A by moving the scrollbar fully to the right.  The above screenshot shows the result of doing this.

Viewing Changes - Complete!

So that's it for the topic and for the section.  There is so much you can do on the View and Markup tool, but hopefully you have now learned some of the basics.

Remember, as we've been saying throughout the section, the View and Markup tool works best when used in conjunction with Workflows.  Workflows are electronic approval routes.  Let's look at these in the next section!

K) Introduction to Workflows

Voting on Workflows (Single)

Electronically Reviewing Files On VFP

So we touched on reviewing in the last section, but a markup doesn't actually electronically status a file, it simply communicates changes that need to be made.  For a formal review status of a file, we are much better off using a Workflow.

Workflows are a very effective method of reviewing and statusing information on VFP.  It could be that information needs a Quality Assurance (QA) check to make sure that the information is labelled correctly, or that we need to technically check information to make sure that it's accurate (or maybe both of these things!).  We can electronically conduct these reviews through Workflows that are able to status and control the visibility of Items.  Below we're going to show you how you can individually check and review files one at a time.  Check with your Project Administrator to see whether your project is using Workflows.

An Extra Note On Workflows

Workflows can be very simple or very complicated!  Their complexity is entirely dependant on how the Project Administrator chooses to set them up on your project.  In this section we're going to keep things nice and simple and we are just going to focus on the voting element of Workflows.  Voting refers to reviewing information on VFP.  This could be as simple as an "Accept" or "Reject" option, or anything that is suitable for your project's terminology, but below we've opted for a construction industry standard of Status A, Status B and Status C.  Whatever your review statuses, the functionality will be the same and you can follow the steps below.

How To Vote On Workflows One File At A Time - Step 1

1. You will see that the file is in Workflow by the coloured dot that will appear next to the file name.  The colour of this dot will depend on how your Project Administrator has configured the Workflow.

2. Remember that Workflowed Items that we need to review should appear in My Inbox as an action Item (see section C) Searching, Reporting & Inbox - My Inbox).

How To Vote On Workflows One File At A Time - Step 2

Click on the dot icon pictured in 1. above to open this screen.  You will see the approval route for this particular Workflow in the screen that appears.  The Workflow that appears will obviously depend on your project.

1. The thick red line will show you where the file sits in the review process.  In the above example we can see the file is about to undergo a QA Check.  You may notice that the coloured dot under the red line is the same coloured dot that appears next to the file name in the Table of Contents.

2. The QA Check Decision is pictured here and someone (or a group of people) will have to conduct this review before the file is technically reviewed.  They can either pass the file on to a Design Review for this technical review or the reviewer can choose QA Rejected.  The QA Rejected option is a "Termination" point (as you can see by the smaller box), so here the Workflow would stop for this file's revision.  Hopefully a new revision would be uploaded and then the Workflow would restart.

3. Here is a "Design Team" review.  Notice again that this is a Decision point and we could have multiple people reviewing this file (these people might also use the View and Markup tool that we spoke about in the last section).  The three Terminations here (where the workflow would stop) are A, B and C.  In the construction industry usually Status A and B are accepted, but Status C is rejected.  So in this case information given Status C would need to be revised, thus restarting the Workflow.

Again, the above screenshot is just an example and your project's Workflow routes could be entirely different.

How To Vote On Workflows One File At A Time - Step 3

Because we are the reviewers in the above screenshot it is possible to open the Decision node and cast a "vote".  If you are a reviewer then double click on the appropriate Decision point to open the above screen.

1. In Node Properties you can see the name of file you are reviewing and the View and Markup icon which you can click to View and Markup the file.

2. Choose your vote from the drop down of options.  In the above example the drop down options would be to pass the file to the Design Team review or to QA Reject the file.  Choose the appropriate choice and then click Vote to cast your vote.

3. Here you can attach a Task, Discussion, markup or file to help demonstrate why you have chosen your vote option.  Any attachments here will produce a paperclip icon next to the Workflow dot in the Table of Contents.  This icon will show Users that there is some extra information to be seen with regards to the Workflow review.

4. Click Revert to undo your vote or Close to confirm your vote.

How To Vote On Workflows One File At A Time - Step 4

1. If you click Close after you have voted the thick red line will go to your vote's route.  In this case we have QA Rejected the file and so the red line goes to Termination.  An email might go to the Item owner to notify them of this (notifications are default, but may be turned off by your Project Administrator).

How To Vote On Workflows One File At A Time - Step 5

You can then close the Workflow screen down and you can return to the Container where your Item lives.

1. You will see that the dot colour next to your file will change to show the same colour as was selected in the Workflow screen (QA Rejected had a red dot and so the file now appears with a red dot).

It should be noted that these coloured dots (actually called "Activity Statuses) may control visibility.  Your Project Administrator might configure the Workflow so that rejected Items are only visible to the uploader and any reviewers in the Workflow (no other Users would see the file). Speak to your Project Administrator for more details on your project's Activity Statuses.

Workflow Voting (Single) - Complete!

So we now know how to individually review Items through a Workflow.  But it might be that we have lots of information to review and in this situation it would be quite slow to review the information one file at a time.  Instead we might want to use one of the Workflow batch vote options and we'll cover this in the next page of this manual.

Voting on Workflows (Multiple)

Reviewing Lots Of Files

Sometimes we have lots of information to review in a Workflow and it would be extremely lengthy to review the items individually.  When this is the case it is much quicker to use one of the batch voting methods available on VFP.  These methods have less functionality than the single vote method but are considerably quicker when votes are needed on multiple files.

How to Vote on Multiple Files in a Workflow

1. Select the files you want to vote on by ticking in the green tick column.

2. Choose one of the batch vote options out of Vote/Comment and Vote Grid.  

  • Vote/Comment will quickly allow you to apply the same vote to multiple files.
  • Vote Grid allows you to apply different votes to multiple Items quickly.

Were going to deal with Vote/Comments first.

How to Vote on Multiple Files in a Workflow through Vote/Comment - Step 1

Above we have chosen Vote/Comment to apply the same vote to multiple Items quickly.

1. Choose the Workflow you want to vote on here (there will only be one option available).

2. Choose which stage you are at in the workflow (there will only be one option available).

3. A question will be posed to you here to help you to conduct your vote.  This question will be set up by your Project Administrator.

4. Choose your vote here from the drop down list.

5. Click Vote to cast your vote.

6. Click Close once done to close this screen.

How to Vote on Multiple Files in a Workflow through Vote/Comment - Step 2

The above screen will then appear.

1. Once all the votes have gone through then you will see a box telling you the "Headers" have been "updated".

Vote Grid

Now let's have a look at the Vote Grid option...

How to Vote on Multiple Files in a Workflow through Vote Grid - Step 1

1. Choose Actions and then Vote Grid from the drop down options.

How to Vote on Multiple Files in a Workflow through Vote Grid - Step 2

The Table of Contents will then change into a Vote Grid.

1. Select the Items you wish to vote on.

2. Apply your votes or comments here from the drop down list available in your Workflow.

3. Add an additional text comment to supplement your vote/comment.

4. Click Commit to apply your votes and comments.

Voting on Workflows (Multiple) - Complete!

That's the end of the topic and the end of the section.  Remember to check with your Project Administrator about whether Workflows are being used on your project.  If they are, ask for some details about the flow and people involved in Decisions.  In the next section we're going to have a look at how to configure VFP to suit your needs more effectively.  Let's go!  Click BACK TO SECTIONS to move on.

L) Customising

Personal Settings

Making Things Work For You

So that's really everything in terms of VFP functionality!  You know how to put information on VFP, update it, download it, action it, attach it to other things and review it.  This last topic is simply going to run through how you can make your User experience slightly more pleasant through personal customisation.

As a User on VFP you may want to change a number of settings, either in relation to your User Account, or in relation to how you interact with the system.  You can make a number of useful changes within Personal Settings to make your use of the system a more comfortable experience.

How To Use Personal Settings - Step 1

1. To load Personal Settings simply click on the text that says Personal Settings in your Navigation Tree.  Make sure you click the text and not the icon.

How To Use Personal Settings - Step 2

The following pop up screen will then appear (check your pop up blocker if this doesn't appear!).

1. You can add a photo to your User profile here.

2. Change any of your personal details here (except Username which is fixed).

3. You can Email Opt Out here if you wish to stop email notifications from VFP.

4. You organisation details are shown here.  If these are incorrect then please contact your Project Administrator as they can contact VFP Support on your behalf.

5. You can change your password here if necessary.

6. Choose Configure Contact Channels to add phone numbers and other communication channels so that other VFP Users can find out how to contact you more easily.

7. User Journal will show what you have been doing on VFP.

8. User Settings allows you to configure certain settings for your account.  In here you can change your default Container records shown on a page and default markup colour should you wish.  There are lots of options on this page so ask your Project Administrator for extra help if you get stuck in here.

9. Click Apply to apply the changes you have made and click OK once done.

Personal Settings - Complete!

And that's a brief introduction on Personal Settings.  

Next we're going to have a look at "Set as Default" which is a really easy but incredibly useful topic that will save you clicks in the long run.  Let's get to it!

Set as Default

Set As Default - Saving You Clicks!

Automatically VFP will ask you every time you login to select which Enterprise, Site and Project you wish to load.  Often, however, Users are only accessing one project and this is the project they would like to load every time they login.  Set As Default will allow you to quickly access the information you need straight after logging into the system.

How To Save As Default - Step 1

Find the area you want to have as your default project or Container on VFP.

1. Right click and choose Set As Default.

When you've done this you will come straight to this level in your Navigation Tree after logging in going forwards!

Setting As Default - Complete!

Very simple isn't it?  But it's surprising how many Users forget about this functionality, so remember it is there.

Next we're going to look at Personalising Views which is the last topic of this section and the last page of the manual!

Personalising Views

Viewing Things Differently

We've opened many Containers in this manual and you may have noticed that VFP will load your Table of Contents in a default manner every time you open a Container.  It is, however, possible to change this by creating your own personal "View."  This allows you to quickly and easily view and export any metadata on files or communications on the system (please see the section C) Searching, Reporting & Inbox - Exporting as a Report as a reminder on how to do this).

How To Personalise Your Views - Step 1

In this case we have loaded a Document Container and we want to change the metadata shown in the Table of Contents.

1. Left click on My Views.

2. From your list of options that appear choose Define Views to start creating a View from scratch.  If you have already loaded a View you can update and change this View using Customise Current View.  Lastly, Save Current View will allow you to create a new View if you have already started to configure your Table of Contents.  We're going to focus on creating a new View in the below screenshots.

How To Personalise Your Views - Step 2

If you click on Define Views then the above pop up screen will appear.

1. Click New to create a new View.

How To Personalise Your Views - Step 3

Clicking New will open the above page.

1. Name the View here.

2. You will only be able to choose to make the View visible for yourself.  Project Administrators can create Views that are shared for all Users.

3. You can choose to make the View available only within Specific Containers of your choosing, or you can make Views available over all Containers of a type (Document Containers or Task Containers across the whole Enterprise, for instance).

4. Here is where you would choose the Containers to apply the View in if you have chosen Specific Containers from the drop down option in 3.

5. Here you can choose the metadata you want to see in your View.

6. Once you have selected your metadata you can apply these pieces of metadata to your View by clicking the right facing arrow.  You can remove metadata from your personal View by clicking on the selected metadata in the right column and clicking the left facing arrow.

7. Selected metadata is shown here.

8. You can change the order of the metadata by clicking Up and Down.  Metadata at the top of the list will be shown on the left hand side of the Table of Contents.  You can also change "Width Type" to change the width of the columns in your Table of Contents.

9. You can choose how you want to sort your Table of Contents.  This will define in what order your files are shown when the View is loaded.

10. Click OK to finish.

How To Personalise Your Views - Step 4

Clicking OK will take you back to the Container screen.  If your View is the only one on the Container in question then the next time you load the Container it should load your View.  

1. All available Views will always be available in this drop down list.

How To Customise Views - Complete!

And that's the end of the topic and the last section of this manual.  You should now be ready to take your test!  If you are ready then go back to the sections list by clicking on BACK TO SECTIONS and select M) Exam. Click on the link provided to take the test.  If you're not quite ready yet then make sure you re-read any sections you are unsure on before taking the test.

M) Exam

Exam Link