How to Use the Documents Tab in Salesforce

By Liz Kao, Jon Paz

Prior to the addition of Salesforce Content, you could store files in Salesforce on the Documents tab. Although not as robust as Content, the Documents tab is still available and useful in many ways. For example, you can host images referenced in email templates, custom apps, fields, and even Force.com sites on the Documents tab. These files typically don’t change often and definitely don’t need to be collaborated on, so you can continue to store them by clicking the Documents tab.

You can also think of the Documents tab as a place where system administrators house files. However, if you need the ability to preview files, collaborate on them with Chatter, or store larger files, those files belong in Salesforce Content.

Creating folders in the Document Library

To create a document folder, you must first have the Manage Public Documents permission. (If you’re not sure you have it, you can quickly find out by seeing whether you get past Step 1 in the following list. If you’re not able to get past Step 1, ask your administrator to help.) To continue, go to the Documents tab and follow these steps:

  1. Click the Create New Folder link under the Document Folders heading. A New Document Folder page appears.
  2. Type a name for the folder in the Document Folder field.
  3. Use the Public Folder Access drop-down list to select the access rights.
  4. Click the radio buttons to select who should have access to the folder.
  5. When you’re done, click Save. The Folder Name Documents page appears, and you may begin adding new documents to your new folder.

Adding documents

Before reps can begin using documents in Salesforce, you or someone in your company must first add the documents to the Document Library.

When uploading documents, the file size limit on any individual file is 5MB. For some companies, this may be the average size of a PowerPoint presentation or a PDF file with graphics, so plan accordingly.

To add a document and upload its file, log in to Salesforce and follow these steps:

  1. Click the plus sign at the top to the right of your tabs and then select Documents. An Upload New Document page appears.
  2. Type a name for the file in the Document Name field. If you want the document name to be an exact match of the filename, leave this field blank. After you select the file, the filename automatically populates the empty Document Name field.
  3. Select the For Internal Use Only check box only if you want this document to be confidential. If you select this check box, you don’t alter access to the document, but you flag your end-users not to send the file outside the company.
  4. Select the Externally Available Image check box only if you’re uploading an image that you’ll be sending in HTML email templates to people who should view it without having to log in to Salesforce to see it. For example, logos or letterhead footers should have this box selected.
  5. Use the Folder drop-down list to select a folder.If you haven’t yet created the appropriate folder, or you don’t have read-write access to the correct folder, you can first store the file in the My Personal Documents folder and refile the document later.
  6. In the Description field, type a brief description of the document.
  7. In the Keywords field, type keywords that will help your end-users find the document. Salesforce provides a Find Documents search tool on the Documents home page, so you should select keywords that you think your users will enter.For example, if you’re adding a case study, you might enter keywords that include relevant products, customer names, challenges, and so on that sales reps could use for cross-referencing.
  8. Under the Select the File step, the Enter the Path radio button is selected by default, so you just need to click the Browse button to select the desired file. A Choose File dialog box appears.
  9. Select a file from the folders on your computer and click Open.The dialog box closes, and the document path is entered in the File to Upload field.
  10. When the upload is completed, the document record page reappears in Saved mode with information on the document and a link to view the document.

Using documents

After you create documents in Salesforce, you can use them in various ways in the course of your selling. You can search for documents from the Documents home page or browse through your document folders. You can leverage an image that was uploaded from the Documents tab, in Email Templates. If you’re an administrator, you can also customize the logo in the upper-left corner of Salesforce with an uploaded image, as long as it’s at most 20KB and 300 pixels wide by 55 pixels high.