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Cheat Sheet for General Users (Cloud)


This cheat sheet" is a helpful document that allows users to reference common tasks such as logging in, searching for files, using the asset bar to drag/drop to PowerPoint, InDesign, etc., creating albums, using the carousel and uploading files.


Login to OpenAsset using the username and password that your OpenAsset administrator provided to you. 

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Basic Search

Search for files in OpenAsset by using the search bar at the top of the page. Files are stored in categories, which you can select in a dropdown on the left side of the search bar.

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As you type into the search bar, suggestions will appear that match your search criteria. You can search across project name, keywords, custom fields, photographers, and any other data stored in OpenAsset.



Use the Advanced Search dropdown menu on the far right of the search bar to access other useful search options.

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After you select search criteria from the search box those terms will create a search trail. Add additional search terms to narrow your search results.


If you hover over a search term in the search trail, you will have options to "Exclude", "Remove" , "Clear Search" and Save your search.

Browsing for Files

"Browse" in OpenAsset provides you with another way to find, view and use files. You can quickly browse to all content in a particular category, project, album, file format, etc.



File Details

When viewing the image thumbnail on an image search results, click on the image to go to the File Info page. 

Screen Shot 2018-07-27 at 11.05.52.jpgFrom the File Info page you can:

  • View and keywords and other data associated to the file
  • View and use the image in the various available sizes
  • Download a crop of the image
  • If you have privileges, you can also edit keywords, add or remove images, edit field data, delete the file and rotate the image 

Drag and Drop

In OpenAsset Cloud, you are able to Drag and Drop files into Microsoft Office PowerPoint, Word, and Outlook 2013+, and with the InDesign Plug-in installed, also InDesign CC 2015+.


Installing the InDesign Plug-in

The InDesign Plugin is required for Dragging & Dropping into InDesign CC 2015+ you can find the installation page here. Once this is installed you will be able to Drag & Drop.

Drag & Drop

You can Drag & Drop files in OpenAsset from two different locations

  • Search results page (single file)

  • Carousel (multiple files, InDesign only)


Top right corner




The OpenAsset InDesign Plugin allows you to drag images directly from OpenAsset Cloud into InDesign Creative Cloud documents. You can use the InDesign Plugin to work with OpenAsset images no matter where you are without having to package up your work to preserve links.



For further detail on dragging & dropping files into InDesign CC 2015+ please view the InDesign workflows page.


For dragging and dropping into Office 2013+ products, no plug-in is required, you can Drag and Drop files into these programs from the search results page.



Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop  

You can place images from OpenAsset into Adobe Illustrator and Adobe Photoshop using the Copy Path button and Insert LInked/Embedded in the programs. You are required to be on a Windows computer for this workflow to work.


From the Search Results page

Click on the copy path button that appears when you hover over a thumbnail in the search results. You can copy the link that appears to copy the URL of the image. To change the default size that appears here - please contact your OpenAsset Customer Success Manager.


You can then use File>Insert Linked or File>Insert Embedded within Photoshop or Illustrator to open up OpenAsset images within those apps.


From the File Details page

You can click into the File Information page and click on the Sizes tab

Click on the Use gear next to the image size of your choice, and click on "Copy Path" to copy the URL of the image

You can then use File>Insert Linked or File>Insert Embedded within Photoshop or Illustrator to open up OpenAsset images within those apps.


Drag & Drop Settings  

Site-wide Drag & Drop settings can be adjusted by an administrator on the System Preferences page in OpenAsset. You can set your default Drag and Drop sizes (InDesign and Office), as well as the high resolution size (InDesign), the InDesign plugin cache size and the file-naming format for files dragged into InDesign.  


While there are no browser limitations with the InDesign plugin, dragging into Office tools does require use of Chrome, Firefox or Safari. You currently cannot drag & drop into Office using IE or Edge, though we hope that future updates to Edge will make this possible.



Albums are collections of images in the system for personal use or sharing. Albums can be great time savers.  If you have a set of images you use frequently you can keep them together in an album for immediate access.


These 'albums' take up no physical space on the server as they are just links to images within OpenAsset.  You can have as many albums as you like and can also share albums with other users or groups.


To create a new Album from a search results page, click the "Add to Album" icon below the image thumbnail.




Then either pick an existing album or create a new album and click "Save".




You can also create an album from the "Browse Album" page. Just click the "New Album" button in the top ribbon of this page.



The carousel allows you to quickly create a temporary collection of images. From a search results page, select the checkbox below an image. The image will be automatically be added to the Carousel. You can add as many images to a carousel as you like.   




You can view your Carousel by clicking on "Show" in the lower right.




You can then use the images in the carousel to edit the images, create albums, PowerPoint presentations, CSV files, Contact Sheets, or Drag and Drop into various applications.  



Uploading files is easy! If you have permission to upload, click the "Upload" button at the top of OpenAsset. Select the category (Projects, Reference, Staff) location for storing the files and launch the uploader. OpenAsset's file uploader allows you to easily add files to the library.  It also allows you to quickly add rich metadata and keywords to these files during the upload process.  

Creating a New Upload

Click the 'Upload' button at the top of the page. This will take you to your uploads overview page:




To upload files, simply drag and drop files on to the page or click the green Select Files button to navigate to the files you want to upload.


Once you've dropped or selected files you'll be asked where to upload the files. You need to select a category to upload to. Administrators can control which categories users can upload to.


Users will be shown each category they're allowed to upload to, along with access levels and their default.


Selecting a category opens up the next step.  If you are uploading to the Projects category, the next step is to pick a project.  Start typing a project name or code and you'll be presented with projects to select from. Note: If the project doesn't exist in OpenAsset then you'll need to create the project prior to uploading.


Step 3 (Partial Filename) and Step 4 (Album) are optional.  If you don't want to set these, just click the big blue Continue to the Uploader button at the bottom to begin transferring files.



Clicking on Album lets you select a current album to add your files to automatically once uploaded, OR create a brand new album for your files.  You can change this setting later if you want, even after you've begun transferring files.


Clicking on Partial Filename lets you select a partial filename to add to all the file names generated for your incoming files.  


Once you've finished with these settings, a new upload will be created and any files you selected / dropped will begin transferring straight away.  All new uploads start out as incomplete uploads, meaning they require completion before they are finalized and added to your system.  Files added are essentially in a staging area where you can add keywords and edit metadata, but no one else can see these files until you complete your upload.

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You've now created a new upload. Next Step: Assign metadata to files and complete your upload.

Editing an existing Upload

Adding more files to an upload

You can add more files to an upload at any time by simply dragging them to your browser window while an upload is open, or by clicking the green Add Files button at the top of the upload window to open a file browser.


When you add files in either way, you'll see a file placeholder appear letting you know the file has been added to the upload and is being transferred to your OpenAsset server.  Once transferred, a thumbnail appears and you can begin selecting and editing them.

In order to attach keywords or edit metadata, you must first select one or more files.

Selecting Files within an upload


There are a number of options available to make selecting files easy.  Starting with intuitive mouse-clicks listed below.


Mouse Action


Left Click

Select a single file only

Shift + Left Click

Select all files between last selected file and current clicked file

Ctrl (⌘ on macs) + Left Click

Add clicked file to current selection.  When used on an already selected file it will remove just that file from the current selection

There are also some keyboard shortcuts to make things easier.

Keyboard Action


Ctrl (⌘) + A

Select all files

Ctrl (⌘) + Shift + A

Clear current selection

Editing File metadata

Once you've selected a file, the right-hand section of the uploader will populate with that file's metadata.  The default rank and access level for the category will already be set plus any extra data that we can automatically retrieve from the file itself (such as copyright holder, photographer and any already set description or caption).  

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You can edit any of the fields on the right by simply clicking on them.



Any changes you make are then saved as soon as you click away from the field to do something else or press Enter.

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Editing fields with multiple values

When selecting multiple files you will find that fields which have the same value across your entire selection will remain showing their value in the same way as when you select a single file.  However if files in your selection have different values then you'll see a warning in orange saying Has Multiple Values where the field value would usually be.



If you click on the field to edit it, you'll be shown the multiple values that exist in a pop-out.

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You can overwrite the value by typing text in the field as normal.  You can also click on an item from the pop-out list of currently existing values to overwrite all selected files with.  

Attaching Keywords to Files

You can also attach keywords to files within your upload.  With one or more files selected, simply click on the Keywords section header on the right-hand side.  


This brings you to the keyword editor.


Adding keywords is as simple as finding the keyword you want in the bottom half of the keyword editor and clicking on it.  

  • If a keyword is highlighted Dark Green then it is already attached to all files in your selection.  

  • If it is Light Green then it's attached to some files in your selection, but not all.  

  • If it's Grey then it's not attached at all.  

  • Hovering over any Green keyword will give you the option to remove the attachment. If the keyword is Light Green then you'll additionally have the option to attach this partially attached keyword to your entire selection.


Removing files from an upload

To remove files from an upload, select the file(s) you want to remove and click the red Remove Selected button at the top left-of-center of the main upload window. You will be asked to confirm the removal.


Returning later to the same upload

You can leave an incomplete upload at any time and come back to it later.  All changes you make to an upload are saved automatically after each change occurs - so you don't need tell it to save anything.  Just close the upload either by clicking the top right X button or bottom right Return Later button.  Or simply close your browser / tab and you'll be able to come back to the same place you left off later.


Note: If files are currently transferring (the thumbnail doesn't appear yet) you should wait for them to finish before attempting to close the upload. Files that have not transferred prior to closing an upload will be not be saved.

Completing an upload

When you're done with your upload and want to finalize it, simply click on the green Complete Upload button.


You will be asked to confirm that you want to complete the upload, just to make sure you didn't click by accident.


Clicking the large green Complete button will then complete and finalize the upload.  All files in your upload will now be available in OpenAsset, with all metadata and keywording intact.  If you had selected to add files to a new or existing Album, the files will be added at this point too.  


If you want to view your uploaded files in OpenAsset search, click the large green Search for uploaded files button.


The upload will remain on your uploads overview page as a completed upload, so you can get back to the files easily if you need to find them again.  It also serves as a record of what was uploaded when and where and by who.


Shortcuts! Uploading directly to a project

There are shortcuts available to upload directly to a project.  When clicking on these direct upload buttons on various project related pages throughout the system, you'll be taken to the uploads page and be prompted to create a new upload with the Project already pre-filled.  


So with just a few clicks you can be uploading direct to a project you were viewing elsewhere in the product.

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From the Project List Page

You can upload directly to a specific project by clicking on the Upload Files button on the project list page's right hand side project preview.



From Project Pages

A similar button is available on the Project pages (Browse->Projects).



From Search Results

You can also upload directly to a project from the search results page.  A direct upload ribbon button will appear whenever you're searching on a single project.


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