Collections are containers or virtual folders used for collecting and organizing content. Typically, this content is related in some way: they are files of a photo shoot, files related to a story in a publication, files of a product, files you want to share with someone, and so on.
This article explains in detail how to work with Collections in Assets.
Figure: Collections in Assets.
A Collection stores references, not files
An important concept of Collections to be aware of is that a Collection contains references to files in Assets and not the actual files themselves. Compare it to creating a shortcut to a file on your desktop: you can access the file by double-clicking the short-cut, but it is not the actual file itself.
In this respect adding a file to a Collection is different from adding a file to a folder.
This means that:
- You can add the same file to different Collections. For each Collection a reference is made to the original file. The file itself therefore only exists once in Assets.
- When removing the file from a Collection or deleting the Collection itself, only the reference to the file is removed and not the file itself.
- When deleting the original file from Assets, all references in all Collections are also removed.
You can recognize a Collection by the following:
- Its icon in the Folder browser
- The thumbnail showing a grid of up to 4 image previews
The easiest way to work with Collections is to pin them in the Pinned Collections panel. This makes it easy to manage Collections by creating them, opening them, adding files to them and deleting them, all from one central place.
To access the Pinned Collections panel, click the Collections icon in the toolbar on the right of the page.
The Pinned Collections panel is accessed by clicking the Pinned Collections icon (A) in the toolbar.
Adding a Collection to the Pinned Collections panel
Do one of the following:
- Drag an existing Collection from the Search results onto the Pinned Collections panel.
- Create a new Collection (see later in this article).
Tip: To change the order of the Collections, simply drag them into the correct position.
Unpinning a Collection from the Pinned Collections panel
Do one of the following:
- To unpin a single Collection:
- In the Pinned Collections panel, access the context menu of the Collection that you want to unpin and choose Unpin Collection.
- To unpin all pinned Collections: (requires Assets 6.97 or higher)
- In the Pinned Collections panel, access the context menu of any Collection, choose Unpin all Collections and confirm the action in the message that appears.
Creating a Collection
Use any of the following methods:
- Select some files and drag them onto:
- The Pinned Collections icon in the toolbar (when the Pinned Collections panel is closed)
- The Pinned Collections panel (to a position between existing Collections)
- The button labeled '+' in the Pinned Collections panel (this automatically adds the Collection to the top of the list of Pinned Collections)
- To create an empty Collection:
- Click the button labeled '+' in the Pinned Collections panel (this automatically adds the Collection to the top of the list of Pinned Collections)
- In the Folder browser, do one of the following:
- Select a folder and in the toolbar click the 'New Collection' icon
- From a folder menu choose 'New Collection'
Where Collections are stored and who can access them
When creating a Collection, it is stored in one of the following locations:
- When creating the Collection in the Pinned Collections panel, the Collection is stored in your private folder. Only you (and the system administrator) can see that Collection. The location of the folder is:
Users/<your user name>/Collections/<yyyy-MM>
- When creating the Collection by right-clicking the folder in the Folder browser, the Collection is stored in that location. All users that have access to that location can see the Collection.
- When creating a Collection in a folder at the highest level in the hierarchy, the Collection will be added to a sub folder named 'Auto organized'. This folder is further divided into a sub folder for the year followed by a sub folder named Year-Month-Day:
Example: Demo Zone/Auto organized/2019/2019-01-02
Adding a Collection to a Collection
A Collection can also be added to another Collection. This makes it possible to organize content more structurally, similar to using a folder structure. (See also Organizing content stored in Assets Server by using Collections.)
Adding a Collection to another Collection can be done by doing one of the following:
- Creating a new Collection in an existing Collection
- Moving or copying an existing Collection to another Collection
There is no limitation to the number of Collections that can be added to another Collection.
Adding files to a Collection
Alternatively, drag the files onto a Collection that is visible in the search results.
Note: Dragging files onto a Collection in the Folder browser is not supported.
Sharing Collections with others is done for many different reasons, including:
- Approve, reject or comment on files internally by editors or externally by clients and customers
- Letting a production team use them in an upcoming publication
- Distributing them to internal or external users for their reference (such as documents, presentations or videos)
You share a Collection by sending a hyperlink (referred to as a 'Shared Link') to the recipient. This hyperlink gives that recipient access to only those files in Assets that you share through the Collection.
Who you can share the Collection with
The Shared Link can be sent to anyone, including those that do not exist as a user in Assets. No log-in is required to view the files.
Shared Collections are dynamic
Instead of using a Collection to share files, you can also share files individually. The benefit of sharing a Collection though is that they are dynamic: when adding or removing files from the Collection, these changes are also visible to the user of the link.
How to share a Collection
The process is identical to sharing individual files. For a full description, see Sharing files with others using Assets.
Collections and metadata
As with all other files in Assets, Collections also have metadata properties.
Note: To learn more about metadata in the Pro Client, see Working with metadata in Assets.
Metadata is very important when it comes to searching for files and for filtering the search results, so make sure to add as much relevant metadata to the Collection as possible.
Note: Changing the metadata of a Collection has no effect on the metadata of the files in the Collection.
Performing bulk actions
One other benefit of storing files in a Collection is that you can perform a single action on all files:
- Checking-out files. To open all files for editing, select the Collection in the Search results and click 'Check Out' in the menu.
- Downloading files. To download all files, do one of the following:
- In the Search results: select a Collection, click 'Download' in the menu bar and choose one of the download options.
- In the Search results or Folder browser: right-click a Collection and choose one of the download options.
- In the Folder browser: select a Collection and from its menu click 'Download'.
- In the menu of a pinned Collection, choose one of the download options.