Using the Navigation Pane


The Navigation Pane is used to access Cabinet-level folders and workspaces. The Navigation Pane is available on the Home Page, the Cabinet Page, Folders, Workspaces, Recent Documents, and Search Results pages.


When you sign in for the first time, the Navigation Pane is hidden. Select the navigation.png icon to open the pane. You can pin pin.png it and the pane will remain open on all pages.

If you do not use workspaces, all of the top-level Cabinet folders to which you have access will appear in the pane. Select the arrow next to a top-level Cabinet folder to expand it and display the subfolders. Select the folder name to open the folder.

If you are using workspaces, you will see your lists of Recent and Favorite Workspaces.

Recent Workspaces (Recent Matters) – Expand Recent Workspaces to view the last 40 workspaces you accessed. Expand a workspace to view its Filters, Folders, and Saved Searches.

Favorite Workspaces (Favorite Matters) – Expand Favorite Workspaces to view the workspaces you have favorited. Expand a workspace to view its Filters, Folders, and Saved Searches. The Favorites list can display up to 350 workspaces at a time.

Cabinet-Level Folders

Cabinet-level folders help you to organize documents through a hierarchy.

Note: We recommend organizations with a large number of documents use custom profiling and Workspaces to organize their documents rather than using Cabinet-level folders.

Cabinet folders are stored in a Cabinet and appear in the Navigation Pane. Note that you will only see folders that you have access to.

A NetDocuments folder functions similarly to the folders you use in Windows Explorer to organize documents on your local PC. However, NetDocuments folders are virtual, meaning documents are not actually stored in the folders. Documents exist in the Cabinet and can be "filed" in at least one folder. Usually, for Basic Accounts, the organization creates a set of top-level firm-wide folders where all documents are filed so that all users can easily find the documents.

If the account is a Professional Account, the organization will generally use only a few Cabinet-level folders for common firm-wide company documents. The remaining Cabinet-level folders are generally personal top-level folders which are created and used for personal organization as opposed to shared folders across the organization.

These personal folders are generally accessible only by that individual and cannot be shared with others. Subfolders under these personal folders can be shared with small workgroups in the organization.

If your firm chooses to use folders to organize clients and matters or projects, firm-wide, instead of using Workspaces and custom profile values, then you need to ensure that you do not have too many subfolders and/or documents in any given folder.

We would suggest when firm-wide folders are used for clients or projects, that the top-level folders be letters of the alphabet, or a subset of the alphabet and then the client folders would be created as subfolders under the related letter and then a set of subfolders under each client folder for the matters. This will keep the top-level folder from containing too many subfolders and/or documents. If a particular matter within a client folder has too many documents, then you may want to further subdivide the documents by date range for a specific matter. Also, if you have a lot of matters or projects under one client folder, you may want to subdivide them in a logical way.

Understanding How Folder Access Works

Cabinet Administrators

Cabinet Administrators must designate a default folder creation method in the Cabinet Administration page. By default, everyone with access to the Cabinet has rights to create shared top-level folders. When a folder is created in this scenario, the rights to that folder will be defaulted the same as the Cabinet rights. "Shared" means that all other users in the Cabinet will be able to see and access these folders.

However, we generally recommend that this flag be set such that only the Cabinet Administrator can create shared top-level folders. All members of the Cabinet can still create top-level personal folders that only they can see and access. These personal folders are not "shared" and cannot be viewed by anyone else in the Cabinet, HOWEVER, shared subfolders can be created under these folders. The access of these non-shared top level folders cannot be changed.

We recommend unless the organization has a relatively small number of folders, that the administrator set the flag to NOT allow everyone to create shared top-level folders. It will help reduce disorganization in the Cabinet at the top folder level. Users will still be able to create shared subfolders under their own top-level folder – just not top-level folders that everyone in the Cabinet will see.

Cabinet Members

If you have been granted rights to create "shared" top-level folders, any folder that you create can be seen by others in the Cabinet, unless you explicitly set permissions to "no access". If you do NOT have shared top-level folder rights, you can still create top-level folders that can be seen only by you. Your subfolders can be searched by others if you explicitly grant rights to other Members to access those subfolders.

When you create a top-level non-shared folder, your access will appear as View|Edit. However, you remain as administrator of your non-shared folder and can delete it at any time. Subfolders that you create under a non-shared folder can be shared with others in the firm. This is generally done in a small workgroup scenario.

Setting Access Rights

To modify an Access List to a folder:

  1. Open the folder

  2. Click Modify Access List

  3. Add or remove users to the folder access list

  4. Close the access list dialog

NOTE: A Cabinet flag can be set by the Administrator so that all documents that are filed in a folder or linked to a folder will inherit the Access Rights of the folder. This flag is useful, for example, in an extranet Cabinet where folders are generally used. It should NOT be used if one document will be filed into more than one folder.

NOTE: To add a document to a folder, you must have at least VE rights to the folder.  If you have View only rights, you cannot add a document to a folder.

Folder Profiles

Folders, like documents, have a profile and a name.  To access the Edit Profile screen for a folder:

  1. Open the folder

  2. Click on All Information OR Edit Profile/Tags on the Folder Options menu.

NOTE: If there are required custom profile fields in the Cabinet, the Edit Profile screen will automatically appear when a new folder is created as it does when adding documents to the Cabinet. The Profile needs to be completed by the person creating the folder. Users are allowed to complete a partial profile for folders and categories to facilitate folder and category hierarchies.

NOTE: Documents filed in a folder will always inherit any Custom Profile values which have been completed for that folder.

Searching for folders

From the Advanced Search page, you can choose Folders Only in the File Extension search field.  This will locate all folders to which you have access. By typing more specific information such as the date created, author, or text in the folder name, you can narrow your search results for folders, just as you do with documents.


You can create as many subfolder levels as you need. Any subfolder can be "shared" with other members of the Cabinet, even if shared top-level folders can only be created by a Cabinet Administrator, as explained previously. When a new subfolder is created, it inherits the Profile values of its parent folder.

Items Filed in Multiple Folders

You should be aware of the following.  In a traditional Windows folder system, you create the folder and add documents to it. The document can only exist within that folder. If you move it, it must be moved to another existing folder. However, in NetDocuments, you add documents into the Cabinet and then choose whether to "file" the documents in folders or not. Suppose a document is related to two folders with different purposes. One Cabinet user files it in her folder and another user files it in his folder view. If user A deletes the document, it deletes the document from both folders. If User B modifies it, it will be modified in both folders. If User A deletes her folder, the document will simply become un-filed from the folder but remains filed in User B's folder.

Using Drag and Drop to organize items 

From the Navigation Pane, you can drag folders and documents into other folders to move them. This has to be within the same Cabinet.

If you want to copy a folder or set of folders, hold down the CTRL key and drag the folder(s). You will have the option to also copy the documents or just the folders.

Also from an open folder, you can "drag and drop" items to file them in a different subfolder in the folder or a parent folder of the opened folder. To drag an item, hover over it with the mouse, then hold the left mouse button down and while continuing to hold the left mouse button, drag it to the new subfolder or parent folder where you want to move it. This has to be within the same Cabinet. 

If you drag a folder to the Cabinet name or to the "folders" heading, that folder will become a top-level folder.