Shared Items - Automatic Emails and Expiration Date

Two new settings have been added for when sharing a drawing or document.  The first is that whenever the file's revision is changed an email can automatically be sent notifying the receiver that the drawing or document has been modified.  The second setting that has been added is the ability to set an expiration date to the shared item.

One of the major benefits to using Flatter Files is a significant reduction in errors caused by using outdated drawings.  By using link based sharing within Flatter Files, all of your outside partners can also know that the link they have been sent is always up to date.  It is possible that a partner might forget to visit the link each time to make sure they are using the latest drawing.  Therefore,  shared items now include an automatic email to everyone that has received the shared link whenever the drawing changes.  When sharing an item, you are able to select whether you these emails should be sent.  This option is called "Email recipients when file(s) change" and is shown in the share menu below.

This setting can also easily be modified within "My Shared Items."  Simply click the "Edit" link in the "Options" column.  A dialog will appear that includes the option for automatically sending emails when the drawing or document changes.

The first image above also shows the ability to set an expiration date.  This is an optional setting that simply denies access to the drawing or document once the date has been reached.  Once the item has been shared, you can easily manage the expiration date in "My Shared Items" which is shown below.  At any point, you can modify the date, remove the expiration, or add an expiration date to an existing item.  An expired shared item can still be edited as well.  Once it expires, it is simply shown as expired and no longer accessible.  To make it accessible again, simply edit the expiration date to a new date in the future.   

Flatter Files Android App

Flatter Files now has a native Android App for accessing your content on your Android device.  The app can be downloaded at this link.  Once you have downloaded the app, simply login using your Flatter Files account and all of your content will now be accessible to you on your Android phone or tablet device.

Shared Items and User Groups

When sharing an item externally with Flatter Files you simply send a secure link.  Multiple drawings can be shared with this single link.  This works great for sharing a group of drawings with a specific supplier.  Over time you may want to add or remove items from this link.  Thus, all of the items that you share are shown and can be edited under "My Shared Items."  This is very useful but it is likely that you have coworkers that might need to be able to edit this shared link or just need to verify that the supplier has indeed received the link.   This is now possible with user groups.  Once the item has been shared, you simply add the shared item to the user group.  Once added, every user within this group will now see the shared item when they click "My Shared Items."  This allows anyone in the group to verify that the drawings have been shared with the supplier, resend the link, change the password, add additional emails to the link, or delete the link.

To add a shared item to a user group.  First share the item and then right click on the item under "My Shared Items."  Then simply click the group that you will like to add the shared item to as shown in the image below.

A shared item can be added to multiple user groups and removed from those user groups at any time.  To view what user groups that the shared item belongs to, simply click "List" in the User Group column.  Once the list is displayed, the item can be removed by right clicking in the group and clicking delete as shown in the image below.

Administrators can create and edit user groups by clicking Dashboard, Settings, and Users.  At this point they will see a list of the existing user groups which by default will contain a single user group called "All."  There is now a button at the button that allows for the creation of additional user groups.  Once the new user group is created, users are added by simply dragging users from the "All" user group to the new user group.  This new user group interface is shown in the image below.

New Features

Over the past few months Flatter Files has been updated with many requested features.  Here is a summary of the most significant updates:

Hide Libraries
You can now hide custom libraries from specific users.  This allows you to create libraries that are only accessible by specific people within your organization.  This works great for R&D drawings and documents or to simply separate the drawings for different departments.  Administrators can hide libraries by visiting the users settings and deselecting the libraries that you wish to hide from each specific user.

Multi Item Share
You can now share multiple items at once.  Simply select a group of items and then click share. Once the share is created you can select another group of drawings and then right click and select "Add to Existing Share."  This allows you to perform multiple searches and continue selecting and adding items to a shared item.  The person you are sharing these items to will receive an email with a single link.  Clicking this link will allow them to log in with the password you provided at which point they will see a list of drawings where they can select the item to display.  This list is also searchable such that large groups of items can be shared and easily accessed.

Search App
A new web application has been created that simply allows you to search for and view your content on Flatter Files.  This works across all browsers and all devices.  Thus, you can now access your content within mobile web browsers on Android and other mobile devices.  Whenever you try to login to the main web app on any mobile browser or Internet Explorer 8 and earlier you will be redirected to this simplified search app.  You can also access the search app directly at

Hide Checked Out Items
Your account can now be configured to hide checked out items from your users.  Typically when a user views a checked out item the user is notified that the item is checked out and the current revision is then displayed.  If you decided to hide the checked out item, the current revision is not shown and instead the user is notified that the item is checked out and not available.  The option to hide checked out items can be found under company settings.

Advanced Search

Search is a big part of using Flatter Files.  Search makes finding your content super fast and easy.  If you know the part number then finding a drawing is nearly instant.  Just type in the part number, hit enter and the drawing will appear in the result.  Many times though you don't know the part number and need to find the drawing in another manner.  Here are a few advanced search methods that should make finding your content even easier.
  • Search using a portion of a part number
The part number field is indexed such that you do not have to match the entire value.  If you know a portion of the number then the item will still be returned.  For example, you may have a group of items with a part number that has a specific prefix.  You can find all of those items by searching for that specific prefix.
  • Use the keyword OR
Searches with multiple words require that the item contains both words to be returned.  Add the keyword OR between each word if you want the results to contain any of the words.  For example if you want the results to include any items that contain either plate or full then the query would be the following:

plate OR full
  • Use the keyword NOT
Using the keyword NOT will limit the search results to only include items that don't include a particular word.  For example, if you want the items that contain plate but don't include any items that also contain the word steel the query would be entered as:

plate NOT steel
  • Use quotes
Quotes force the search to only return items that match the words exactly as phrased in the query.
  • Field specific searches
Limit the search to only match values in a specific field by entering the field name and then enter a colon followed by the value.  For example, to search the description field for the value plate enter the query: 


To search for all checked out items enter:


You can also abbreviate the field values to typical abbreviations.  For example, description can be abbreviated to desc.
  • Combine field searches
To search for a description that contains the word plate and is also checked out the search would be entered as following:

desc:plate checkedout:yes
  • Date specific searches
To return any items that have a revision since a specific date enter the following:

date > 2013-1-1

This will result in any items that have a date newer than January 1st 2013.  If you would like to search for any items that are older than a specific date then the query would be:

date < 2013-1-1

The query above will return all items that have a date older than January 1st 2013.

The advanced search methods above should greatly improve your ability to find exactly what you are looking for within your content.

« Newer Entries
Older Entries »