Working with Files

Repository Files and Attachments
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Repository Files and Attachments

Files can come in all shapes and sizes, and be used for a huge variety of purposes. In Dovetail, we support two distinct use-cases for files: repository files and attachments.

Repository Files

The first use case is uploading a file with broad, long-lived value. This is a repository File - it could be a presentation with distilled findings, a company all hands video, or an industry whitepaper. Any filetype can be stored as a repository file. Repository files are stand-alone records - they can be found using search, referenced in stories, and they have collaboration features like comments, likes, and views. They're useful without any additional context.

How do I know if I’m looking at a repository file? Most notably, a repository file will have the ability to add a comment, like, or see who has viewed the file.

To upload a repository file: See our guide to uploading repository files.

To reference a file: See our guide to referencing repository files in Stories.


The second use case is attaching a file to another content object (stories) as supplementary content, within an editor experience. This file is an attachment on the object - it could be a spreadsheet that an interviewee was talking about, or a signed NDA for the interviewee. These typically only have relevance in the context of the object they were attached to.

How do I know if I’m looking at an attached file? Most notably, an attached file will only be accessible by direct link, or via the object it's attached to. You won’t be able to find it in search. You also won’t be able to comment, like, or see who has viewed the attached file.

To attach a file: Drag and drop your file into your editor experience. In Notes, you can also pick files from a range of sources. See our guide on attachments for more information.

What happens to my previous attachments?

Given only repository files appear in search, you'll need to navigate to the specific note or story your previous attachments were attached to. To migrate these attachments to repository files:

  1. Click on the (...) on the attachment's preview within a note

  2. Click "Download" to download the attachment to your local drive

  3. Upload the downloaded attachment to Dovetail by following our uploading repository files guide.

  4. The attachment is now a repository file and will appear in search, explore, and your recent page

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Last updated 24 June 2022
3 min read

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