Summary & Reference


Uses & Benefits

Enfold Desktop is a Windows tool that lets you upload and publish multiple files directly to a Plone site. (See the 5 minute tutorial). Using Windows Explorer, you can edit files and file properties of individual web pages without even opening up a browser. Enfold Desktop uses Web-based Distributed Authoring and Versioning (WebDAV) technology to collaboratively edit and manage files on a remote Plone server. Here are some key features which Enfold Desktop lets you do:

  • Copy a large number of images into a Plone folder and create a gallery instantly
  • Keep items "locked" from editing by other users while you edit it on your local machine
  • Make it easy for a reviewer to review and approve lots of items quickly
  • Cut-and-paste files directly into a Plone folder
  • Edit a Plone page within Enfold Desktop using the editor of your choice
  • Select Multiple Files and/or Directories and Publish Simultaneously
  • Edit Metadata using the Properties tab in Windows
  • Add New File Templates (Office Docs, PDF, Open Office). Note: This is available only on sites running Enfold Server.
  • Lets you view workflow state of multiple objects simultaneously.

Technical Requirements & Support

  • Works with any Plone installation if the free Server Component bundle of Plone products has been installed (see how to download and install the Server Component product bundle onto your Plone site). If you have the Enfold Server (a commercial version of Plone for Windows), Server Component has already been installed. Note: Although Server Component is backward compatible, the latest version of Server Component on your Plone server contains the most recent bug fixes.
  • Plone site needs either to be Enfold Server or a general Plone site (Plone 2.x or above). For Plone 3x, Enfold Desktop has limited support for versioning.
  • Windows version supported: Vista 32 bit, Vista 64 bit, Windows 2000, Windows XP (all server packs), Windows 2003. It will work on Windows NT Service Pack 6, Windows 98 and ME, but these platforms have not been tested. See the topic Enfold Desktop and Windows Vista.
  • Browser Support: Generally, all are supported, but initially you may need to tell the browser to associate the plone_desktop_config.cmd with the PLONECMD file type in Windows. (Most of the time, this will work automatically).

A person installing Enfold Desktop should have a user account for a Plone site with write-access to documents and/or folders. The user must have Windows administrator privileges on the local machine when installing the application; however, during daily use, a normal user account on Windows is sufficient to run Enfold Desktop.

Content Types which are Supported

Built in file types supported by Enfold Desktop include:

  • Plone document (HTML, txt). This is equivalent to the "Page" content type from the Add dropdown list.
  • Images (jpg, png)
  • Event (.ics files)
  • File (.pdf, .doc., .mp3, etc)
  • News Item (HTML, txt)

Also: File Templates (a special type supported by Enfold Server) is supported.

Note: Enfold Desktop supports only the built-in content types listed above. If your site has a third party product installed with another content type, this will not be supported. It will not work.


Check In. In Enfold Desktop, it refers the step necessary to perform after you have edited a file and wish the changes to be reflected on the server. Until you do this, any changes you made to the local version will not be reflected on the Plone site.

Demo Server. Enfoldsystems has set up this to make it easy for users to become acquainted with using Desktop. During the install wizard, you will be asked whether you want to create a session with Demo Server. Read how to connect to the Demo Server.

Desktop Action is a way to extend the functionality of Enfold Desktop with a Portal Action configured by the Zope Management Interface (ZMI). It appears as a right-click option when a Desktop user clicks on a content item. See Adding Desktop Actions).

Drag-and-drop The capability to copy/paste or to move one or more files from a directory on your PC to directory in Enfold Desktop.

Enfold Server A commercial implementation of Plone sold by Enfold Systems. In addition to Plone, it includes several extra products, including the ShellEx Server (which supports Enfold Desktop).

File In this context, it is a Plone content type available to be added through the right-click menu inside a Desktop directory. In most cases, people use a File type when they want to upload a binary file (like a MS Word document), a compressed file (like zip or mp3) or a file with a nonstandard file extension. An important difference between a file and a Plone Document is that by default a file does not have a workflow. (This could be changed by your site administrator; see Giving Workflows & Versioning to Files ) Because by default a File does not have a workflow, it is published once it is placed into a Plone directory with Enfold Desktop. It will be public even if the containing folder has been marked private (making it impossible to see a directory listing of it). By default, versioning does not work on Files (although again, the system admin could enable this by changing default behavior for the content type in Plone Site Setup; see the same link above.

File Template Special Plone product available only on Enfold Server, a commercial product.

Kupu The rich text editor which is built into Plone. (Read these recommendations about when to use Kupu and when to use Desktop).

Local (name of folder). This folder lists all the items which are being used or checked out by Enfold Desktop. Its main function is to make it easy to see all the items in all Plone directories which are in use by you. (This makes it easier to avoid accidental locking of items).

Item When used in the context of Plone and Enfold Desktop, this generic term includes both Plone document and files.

Link Integrity This feature (new to Plone 3x) determines whether a content item is being linked to by other pages before you try to delete it. This safety check identifies dependencies and maintains internal links if a piece of content is moved elsewhere on the Plone site. Enfold Desktop supports this feature and provides a warning dialog if you try to delete something needed for another page.

Local State This field is listed as one of the columns in Windows Explorer for an Enfold Desktop directory. It indicates whether you have made any changes to an item. If yes, it will say, "Local modifications".

Lock In a generic sense, it is a mechanism for granting exclusive access to edit an item. This field is listed as one of the columns in Windows Explorer for an Enfold Desktop directory. When you edit a file in MS Office, the file will be "locked" as long as the application keeps the file open. (You will need to close the file before you can check it in).

Normalization. When you add a content item inside Enfold Desktop, Desktop will "normalize" the names (i.e., rename things) so that they comply with Plone standards for names and URLs. It does this to avoid name collisions and enforce consistency. (Read more about file naming and Enfold Desktop).

Plone Document Content type which appears in the right-click menu inside a Desktop directory. It corresponds to the page content type in the Add dropdown menu on the Plone website. The important thing about Plone documents is that they have workflow states. After you check it in, you will need to change the state from State: private to Publish or Submit for Publication (if your website requires someone else to approve the submission first).

Retract This refers to changing the state of a Plone document from Published to private.

Server Component. A bundle of products which you the server administrator must download onto the Plone server. (It is free). It includes ShellEx Server, a product which must be enabled on the Add on Product list on Plone Site Setup.

Session. A session is a connection to a Plone site with Enfold Desktop. Once you successfully create a Desktop session, you will be able to view the website just as if it were a folder in Windows Explorer.

ShellEx Server. A free product included in the Server Component product bundle which which system administrators must install on the Server. If this product is not installed via Plone Site Setup, users will not be able to connect to the Plone site using Enfold Desktop. Read more about installing Server Component.

WebDav general web protocol for synchronizing content between a local machine and a web server. It is the technology underlying Enfold Desktop.

Windows Explorer file manager in Windows. Enfold Desktop snaps in easily to the Windows Explorer view and looks indistinguishable from a new drive when a session is established.

Workflow State Enfold Desktop lets you change the workflow state of Plone documents. The state could be Private/Published/Submitted for Publication. The state will appear in a column to the right of the item name (and is in the Properties menu when you right-click on an item).