Learn how CollabSpaces help you work smoothly and securely with your team, clients or other third-parties.

CollabSpaces are the ideal way to share and collaborate on documents stored in NetDocuments with people outside your firm, whether clients or other third parties.

Discover how to share your documents using and administering CollabSpaces.
Note: CollabSpaces are compatible with ndOffice 2.6, not earlier versions of ndOffice. You can also perform all actions with documents in CollabSpaces using NetDocuments for Web.

User Topics

What are CollabSpaces?

CollabSpaces are the ideal way to share and collaborate on documents stored in NetDocuments with people outside your firm, whether clients or other third parties. CollabSpaces allow you to keep all of the documents you need to share securely inside NetDocuments without being forced to first download or copy those documents to a different platform or to attach those documents to an email. In addition, CollabSpaces allow you to share documents in a way that is consistent with how you already work and organize your content: inside workspaces and matters.

To share documents, first create a new CollabSpace in a workspace where your documents are already stored, add documents to that CollabSpace, and share the CollabSpace with the external users who need access. 

The Impact of Enabling CollabSpaces

When CollabSpaces have been enabled in a cabinet, they become the sole place to fully sharing content with external users.  (This assumes that ShareSpaces have never been or are no longer used in the same cabinet.)  In that cabinet, external access cannot be granted to documents outside of CollabSpaces.  The only exception to this rule is secured links, but secured links do not provide the recipient with full access or allow for true collaboration; secured links simply give external users view access rights to ad hoc documents.

Accessing CollabSpaces

Accessing CollabSpaces by Internal Users

Every CollabSpace is associated with a workspace. There are two places where internal users can find the CollabSpaces that have been created in a workspace.

CollabSpaces Tab

The CollabSpaces created for a workspace can be accessed from the CollabSpaces workspace tab:


(Only the CollabSpaces you have access to will be listed here.) If the CollabSpaces tab does not appear for a particular workspace, it is likely that CollabSpaces have not been enabled by an administrator, at either the repository level, the cabinet level or in the workspace itself.

This list of CollabSpaces includes basic information about each CollabSpace. Select the name of a CollabSpace to access it. In the CollabSpaces tab, select Add CollabSpace to create or request a new CollabSpace.

CollabSpaces are not displayed in the Documents tab of a workspace when in Summary view.  CollabSpaces have a unique icon that differentiates them from other containers in a workspace:


Navigation Pane

CollabSpaces are child containers of their workspace and can also be viewed from the Navigation Pane as direct children of the workspace:


Displaying CollabSpaces in the Navigation Pane is useful for two reasons:

  • Often the Navigation Pane provides a faster way to navigate to the CollabSpace or one of its folders.
  • Content can be dragged into, within or out of a CollabSpace from the Navigation Pane as a way of sharing the content, moving it or unsharing it.

Accessing CollabSpaces by External Users

External users have a different way of accessing CollabSpaces. External users cannot be given access to a workspace in a cabinet with CollabSpaces enabled. (The exception is when external access was granted to a workspace before CollabSpaces were enabled or by using Profile-Based Security.) Instead, external users will see CollabSpaces displayed as direct children of the cabinet in the Navigation Pane:


And, by default, the Navigation Pane will be pinned open for users who only have external access to NetDocuments. (The external user can unpin the Navigation Pane.)

In addition, when an external user is given access to a CollabSpace, the CollabSpace will be added to the user’s Home page, providing the external user with direct navigation that CollabSpaces in the future:


External Users with Access to Workspaces

If an external user in a CollabSpace-enabled cabinet has been given access to one or more workspaces in that cabinet (for example, because the external user had pre-existing access or was given access using Profile-Based Security), then the external user's experience from the main NetDocuments webapp will be similar to what the external user would see if CollabSpaces were not enabled in the cabinet.

For external users with access to workspaces in a CollabSpace-enabled cabinet:

  • Favorite and Recent workspaces will be displayed in the Navigation Pane and in the Move/Copy and +Add interfaces for that cabinet.
  • The Workspaces tab and Go to Workspace search field will also be displayed.

Reverting to the standard user interface will allow those external users to easily access the workspaces they have been given access to. If those external users have also been given access to CollabSpaces in the cabinet, the external user can access those CollabSpaces directly from the NetDocuments Home page, where the CollabSpaces will have been favorited.

Accessing CollabSpaces in Other NetDocuments Applications

In addition to accessing CollabSpaces via NetDocuments for Web, CollabSpaces can be accessed from these other NetDocuments applications:

  • iOS mobile app (starting with version 2.5.3)
  • Android mobile app (starting with version 1.4)
  • ndSync for Windows (starting with version 2.3.4)
  • ndSync for Mac (starting with version 2.3.5)
  • ndOffice (starting with version 2.6)
  • ndThread (starting with version 1.0.42)

Workspace Actions Impact on CollabSpaces

Refresh the Workspace

Refreshing a workspace should have no impact on any CollabSpaces in the workspace or the content of those CollabSpaces, although it is possible that the CollabSpaces tab will be deactivated if the corresponding workspace template does not have the CollabSpaces tab enabled by default. 

Delete a Workspace

Deleting a workspace will delete all of the CollabSpaces in the workspace and all of the folders in that CollabSpace, but the documents in the CollabSpace and in its folders will not be deleted.     

Deleting all of the documents in a workspace (using Delete all results when in workspace List view) will also attempt to delete all of the documents in every CollabSpace in that workspace.

Modify All Workspace Results Access

If you select Modify all results access, that will change the access rights of documents in CollabSpaces.  Because that action is typically used only to add or remove specific users and groups, it likely will not remove external access rights to CollabSpace documents.

Applicability of FlexStore, Workspace Holds, Closed Workspaces, and Retention Policies

If your firm uses FlexStore to store documents for certain clients or matters in a specified geographical location, then the documents in the corresponding workspaces will be stored in that location, and that will also include all of the documents in all of the CollabSpaces in those workspaces.

If a litigation hold is applied to a workspace, that hold will apply all of the documents in all of the CollabSpaces in that workspace.

If a workspace is closed, the impact of closing the workspace will apply all of the documents in all of the CollabSpaces in that workspace.

If a retention policy is applied to a workspace (or to a workspace closing date), that policy will apply to all of the documents in all of the CollabSpaces in that workspace.

Support and Feedback

If you have any feedback, questions, or issues, submit a request via our support site or call the closest customer support center:

  • US customers, call 801-226-6882 or 866-NET DOCS (638-3627)
  • UK customers, call +44(0) 2034.55677
  • AU customers, call +61 2 8310 4319

We thank you for your input and feedback. We value you as a customer. 

The NetDocuments Team