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Working with GCD Documents in Word

This how-to outlines all common processes and typical use cases for the GCD for Word plug-in. Click the topics in the Table of Contents on the right side of this page to skip to your specific question.

Opening a Word Document from within GCD 

Once you have installed GfW and entered your login information, open a browser and login to GCD at Go to the documents tab and find a Word document. (If GCD recognizes a document as a Word document, the Word icon will appear in the list.) Click the document name in the list to open the file.  
For GCD to automatically open the file in Word, you must have your browser configured to automatically open Word files in Word. See your browser’s documentation for details. If you do not wish to automatically open the document in Word, you can still open it from your browser's downloads list. However, note that the file name in the downloads list will not match the familiar document name. It will look something like “######.GCD.doc.” If you open this file (the Control File) in a text editor, you will not see your document, but rather instructions to the plugin that tell it what file to download. However, if you opt to open this file normally (in Word), the plugin will process the Control File and download the actual document. 

Once you have opened the document in Word, the GfW panel will open and display the document name, id and version number. 

Opening a Local Copy of a GCD Document

Once you have opened a GCD document in GfW, the GCD document ID and version number are embedded in the document (these are only numbers, do not disclose any confidential information, and cannot be used by non-authorized persons to gain access to the document). If you save the document locally (e.g., to your C: drive) and reopen the document at a later time, GfW will read the identifying numbers and retrieve the necessary profile information from GCD. This means that you may work on a document locally, even if you do not have an Internet connection at the time, and save changes locally without committing the changes to GCD until you are ready. (Note: saving a GCD document locally as a temporary way to save changes is not the same as a locally stored document with a GCD profile. Locally stored documents will be addressed in detail here). 

Note: If you save a GCD document by using Word’s built-in save option, GCD’s identifying information is saved with it. However, if you choose Save As from Word’s menu, GCD will assume that you want to save a new, local copy of the document, without any GCD identifying information. Otherwise, you could have multiple local files with different names that GCD would treat as the same document. If you choose Save As, GCD will remind you of the result of renaming the file. If you proceed, the GCD information will be removed, even if you subsequently click Cancel in the Save As dialog. To restore the link between the GCD profile and the local document (as originally named), save the document, close it, and reopen it from GCD. Because the local copy will have a more recent timestamp than the GCD copy, you will have the option to reopen the local file. 

Working with Documents in GfW

You may create multiple versions of a single GCD document either through GfW or in the GCD web application. (Note: Locally stored documents may not be versioned) 

To create a new version in GfW: 
  1. Open the document from GCD (or from a temporary local file).
  2. In the GfW Panel, click Save to GCD. You will see this dialog box: 
  3. Click OK. Your changes will be saved under a new filename and will be given a sequential version number in GCD. Once the new version is saved, the GfW panel will be updated to reflect the new version number. Note that a new version cannot be created if the document is locked. 

The document profile in the browser will list all versions at the top of the Details tab. 

Opening a Previous Version of a Word Document from within GCD 

To open a previous version of a Word document, open the document profile and check the “Previous Version” you want to open by clicking on the Open button to open the version in Word. Alternatively, you may view a text extract of the version by clicking “Text Extract” in the version list. 

Creating a New GCD Document 

To create a new GCD document from within GfW, click Save to GCD and then “Create New Document.” If the document has not previously been saved to GCD, “Create New Document” will be the only enabled option. You may also create new documents by uploading them directly from the GCD web application. 

Using a Computer Where the Plugin is Not Installed 

If you use GfW, GCD stores that preference in your user preferences on the web site. If you subsequently open a Word document from GCD, GCD will transmit the control file to your computer rather than the underlying file. If you are using GCD from a computer where GfW is not installed, you will see only the contents of the control file, and not the actual document.  

To open the actual document, go to Settings, User Options (in GCD) and uncheck “Use GCDforWord plugin when opening Microsoft Word documents.” Word documents will now open directly.  

When you return to a computer where GfW is installed, return to Settings, User Options and recheck “Use GCDforWord plugin when opening Microsoft Word documents.” 

Creating a Profile for a Locally Stored Document 

A document maintained in GCD consists of two parts: 1) the document profile, which is information about the document such as name, expiration date, document type, tags, counterparties, related actions, etc., and 2) the document file itself. The document profile is always stored on GCD’s servers. Normally, the document file is also stored on GCD’s servers. You may opt to maintain some or all of your document files on your local hard drive or other file system rather than uploading them to GCD. This is referred to as Local Document Storage (“LDS”). Using LDS will mean that the files are only accessible when you have access to your local file system; it will also mean that only persons who have access to the local file system can share the files. However, corporate policy or other considerations may make LDS a better choice than cloud-based storage.  

To create a profile for a locally stored document: Open the document in Word, expand the GCD panel, and click “Create Profile”. A Document Profile will be stored in GCD. After the profile is created, you will be able to open the document file from GCD just as you would any other document, as long as you have access to the local file system at that time. 

When you open a locally stored document, the GCD panel will look something like this. Note the “Storage: LOCAL” caption beneath the “Lock” button. 

IMPORTANT: Because GCD cannot directly manage your local file system, GCD cannot guarantee that files stored locally will not be deleted or moved. Furthermore, if the name of a locally stored document is changed, GCD will not be able to open the document. 

Locking a locally stored document will prevent another user from deleting the document profile from GCD, but it will not protect the local file. A lock may, at least, serve to alert other GCD users that you do not want the file to be deleted or modified.

Saving Changes to a Locally Stored Document

If you click the Save to GCD button, you are indicating that you want to convert the locally stored document to a cloud-stored document. Whether you choose to convert the current document to cloud storage or to create a new document, the result will be to store the document on GCD’s servers. Versioning is not supported with LDS, so “Create New Version” will not be an option at this point. Once the document has been converted to cloud storage, you will be able to create and manage versions through GCD. 

To save changes locally, whether to overwrite the original, create a new version, or create a new document, use Word’s standard Save functionality, as you would with any local document. Note that GCD will not track documents saved or created through Word. To save a new local document and also manage the new document’s profile in GCD, click “Create Profile” after saving the new document. 

Locking / Unlocking a Document from within GCD 

Locking a document prevents other users from deleting or modifying a file. Locking also prevents other users from adding a new version of a document. If you lock a document, only you can perform these actions until the document is unlocked.  

To lock a document from within the GCD web application, open the document profile and click the Lock button at the bottom of the screen. If the document has already been locked by another user, that user's name and the date of locking will appear in red. 

Unlock a document by opening its document profile and clicking Unlock. 
Only a Team Admin or the person who locked the document may unlock it. 

Locking / Unlocking a Document from within the Plugin 

In GfW, if you open an unlocked document, the Lock button in the GCD panel will be enabled. Click the Lock button to lock the document. Now the unlock button will be enabled. You can unlock the document at any time by clicking Unlock. 
Alternatively, when you click Save to GCD you will see a checkbox on the save dialog labeled “Unlock After Save.” Check this checkbox to automatically unlock the document after you have saved your changes. 
Note: Simply opening a document does not lock it. Therefore, if you open a document for editing, you should always lock it immediately. 

Opening the GCD Document Profile from within Word 

When you have a GCD document open in Word, the GfW panel will display a link labeled “Open GCD Profile.” Clicking on this link will open the GCD web site in your default browser and display the document profile for the current document. If you are not currently logged in to the GCD web site, you will be prompted to log in. If you are logged in to a different team, you will be told that the document cannot be opened.  

Note that even if you are logged in, and logged into the same team, opening the profile will cause a new browser tab to open, so you may have GCD open in two tabs. Each time you open a document profile, a new tab will open.  It is a good practice, if you find yourself with multiple GCD tabs, to close each new tab after you have finished working with the document profile. 


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