Transferring Existing Files to M-Files

Transferring files to M-Files is very easy. Files can be transferred by dragging and dropping or by copying files or folders to the M-Files document vault.

If you transfer one file only, M-Files asks you to fill in a metadata card for the file, which makes the file a document. It is very important to understand the difference between a file and a document. An M-Files document consists of zero or more document files and metadata.

For instance, when transferring a folder with subfolders or several individual files at a time, M-Files is able to preserve the old folder structure. If you wish the folder structure to be preserved, the contents transferred are organized into traditional folders created in the document vault by M-Files. You can fill in the document property data while transferring or later on. For more information, refer to Transferring Folders to M-Files by Using the Import Files and Folders Dialog.

You can also use existing files directly from their original locations. This way, the additional properties provided by M-Files (such as version management) are available for these files, while they can still be used externally to M-Files. You can add metadata to the documents later on as necessary. For more information, refer to External File Sources.

Different databases can also be used and imported into M-Files. For example, the data in the customer database can be added to the M-Files metadata structure. This way the information does not have to be copied from one location to another. For more information, refer to Object Types and Value Lists.

When you add metadata to documents imported to M-Files, these documents are displayed both in traditional folders and in M-Files dynamic views.

Tip: If you are transferring several individual files with the same metadata, such as the same customer, remember to ensure that the metadata you specify the first time will be used by default for the next files. You can do this when filling in the metadata card by checking the Use these values as defaults for the next document box (see the image below).


New Document window for a multi-file transfer.
Tip: With the Skip This button, you can choose not to transfer a certain file. This is useful if you are transferring a large number of files and notice that you do not want to transfer one of the files after all.

Converting a temporary local file to a document

The Convert to Document operation is available for documents that are imported to M-Files in some unusual manner, such as by using a command prompt, M-Files indicates these temporary local files with a grayed-out icon. If you want to convert a temporary local file into a normal M-Files document, right-click the temporary local file and select Convert to Document from the context menu.