File conflicts and File Locking for groups
Once you and your friends sync a shared library onto your computers, you may add, delete or edit files in the library together. Every change you make to the library will be automatically synced to the others' computers.
Sometimes you and your friends may edit the same file at the same time. Your changes may conflict with each other's. In this case, Your Secure Cloud would keep the first version synced to the cloud unchanged, while rename the other version to a "conflict file". A conflict file's name ends with it's author's email address, plus the current time, e.g. test.txt (SFConflict firstname.lastname@example.org 2015-03-07-11-30-28).
If more than one person collaborate on a file, it's likely that more than one person modify the file at the same time. Your Secure Cloud handles this situation nicely with conflict files. But it's often more convenient to lock the file when one person wants to exclusively modify the file.
File locking works on both the web app and the desktop syncing client. We'll introduce them one by one.
File Locking on the Web App
To lock a file, you can navigate into the file's folder on the web app, and click on the "operations" drop-down menu.
After the file is locked, you can see a red "stop sign" at the corner of the file icon. Moving the mouse on the stop sign, you can see who locks the file. And you can also unlock a file that's locked by you. But you cannot unlock files locked by others.
File Locking on the Desktop Client
After a library is synced to the desktop, you can lock/unlock files in that library inside File Explorer on Windows or Finder on Mac OS. To lock a file, just right click on a synced file and choose "lock this file" in the "Seafile" menu.
If a file is locked by you, you can see an orange "stop sign" on the file icon. You can choose to unlock it.
If a file is locked by other user, you can see a red "stop sign" on the file icon. The file is automatically set to read-only. You cannot modify it until it's unlocked.
If a library is not synced, you can still use cloud file browser to lock and unlock files in it.
Auto Locking Office Files
After a library is synced to the desktop, if you open a Microsoft Office file inside the library, Your Secure Cloud automatically locks the file. When you close the file, Your Secure Cloud automatically unlocks the file. The locking state is propagated to other computers syncing this library. It prevents concurrent editing the same Office file and is convenient for collaboration.
Details about File Locking
There are a few useful tips about how file locking works:
- A locked file can only be unlocked by the user who locked it.
- A locked file cannot be modified other than the lock owner. But it can be deleted, renamed or moved by other users. The purpose of file locking is only to prevent concurrent editing.
- When a locked file is renamed or moved inside the same library, it remains locked after the operation.