Support » Plugin: File Away » Custom Columns : Formidable / Fileaway

  • Resolved Tim Rowley


    I can see that this is a quality piece of work, but I’m not getting on top of it yet.
    I put a bunch of articles in the directory and got a very nice display by list or by table. But, I am trying to tie it in with data from a Formidable form (with which we obtained the authors’ permissions to publish their work) and include category and keywords fields. The exact filename of the document was one of the fields collected on the form.
    I tried to make a custom column with category so that they could be sortable by this field selection.
    [fileaway type=”table” mod=”no” style=”silver-bullet” paginate=”yes” pagesize=”30″ customdata= “[231]Category” sortfirst=”custom”]. I thought the Formidable code [231] was going to populate the column, but it is has formed part of the column title instead.
    When I read the instructions it seems very focused on who is logged in. We want to tie the articles in the library with information about it supplied by the author.
    Are there any existing articles that will point me in the right direction? I’ve read that you’re very busy – but do you have any spare time?

    The fileaway table is currently on This is created from the Fileaway shortcode on a ‘View’ page of the relevant form.

    On the right is a ‘flyout’ with a connection to another view I made of the same form using just Formidable shortcodes. I’m quite confused as to what is happening.

    If it’s useful the form is on We’re not planning to display every data field collected there.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
  • Plugin Author thomstark


    Just now seeing this. Yes, it’s not going to work the way you’re trying to make it work. The actual filename itself must contain the square bracket “[]” description in order for that data to populate the column. In the shortcode, customdata=”Whatever” is simply to name the column and notify File Away to look at the files to find data from the filename that is inside square brackets.

    The usefulness of File Away with formidable is mostly to have dynamic subdirectories. You would create directories for each user, or whatever, then in a Formidable View, you would use a field or user_info shortcode inside the sub=”” attribute. That way it will point dynamically to whatever the field shortcode says, so long as those directories actually exist. You can use a hook, I believe, with formidable to upload files to a directory named for the user, but you’d have to check with them.

    Email me if you have any further questions. You can find my email on the Donate link (not a hint for you to donate!).

    HI Thom
    Thanks for finding the time to reply.
    I don’t see the difference between what I want and this one that you said could be done
    We both want more columns with data about the download.

    Plugin Author thomstark


    Yes, but the data will have to be manually entered in the filename of each file. For instance:


    And your shortcode would look like:

    [fileaway customdata=”Column Name”]

    When I am able to get the time to add multiple custom columns, filenames will have to look like this:


    And your shortcode would look like:

    [fileaway customdata=”Column 1 Name|Column 2 Name|Column 3 Name”]

    That would be good. I’m sure it’s possible to make a spreadsheet or something to build the filenames.
    We’re planning a library with many thousands of articles. It is freely available to the public and so we’re not asking people to log in.

    As our library is so big we were really looking at filters rather than just sortable columns. We would filter by category (128 cats at present), title, author, and by keyword tags.

    I think Fileaway looks great and I hope we’re able to utilise it. We have pressure to launch very soon though and so could maybe incorporate later.

    Plugin Author thomstark


    If you’re using Formidable and want an easy way to generate the filenames, just create a small form with one field for the filename and one additional text field for each custom column you would need. Then create a View that outputs each entry like this:


    And it will output your list of filenames. Then you just need to copy and paste to change each file’s filename.

    But it’s not ready yet. 🙂

    I’ll try to have that functionality added soon.

    Plugin Author thomstark


    Or I suppose if you already have a form that you’re generating the File Name data from, then you wouldn’t need to create a new form just to generate the filenames. You’d just create the View with that single line as above.

    That will be amazing. How soon do you think? I know you have a busy life.
    When the time comes I might need one more pointer about those filenames – are you saying that the File Name data field could be one of the Formidable [] shortcodes? like [125] in [125][[126]|[127]|[128]].pdf

    Would some payment help get this out sooner, or are you just fully stretched?

    Perhaps I should have sent that in the e-mail address you gave earlier

    Plugin Author thomstark


    I need more information about what you’re trying to accomplish to answer your question. Are the files being uploaded in a Formidable form by users? Or are you uploading the files manually for users to access? If the former, then generating the desired filenames on upload is going to require a lot of custom code. If the latter (which is what I was talking about) then read below:

    What I was saying was this: Let’s say you have a form where information is stored that you want to convert into a file name.

    In the form, Field ID 125 is a field for the Title of the file. Field ID 126 is a field for information that will go into your first custom column. Field ID 127 is a field for information that will go into your second custom column. Etc. You would then create a Formidable View (formerly known as Custom Display), for all the entries in this form. The content section would have one line:


    (or .whatever file type). If the file type varies, that could be another field in the form: Field ID 130 is where the file extension is entered. Then your View would look like this:


    Then your View would generate a list of file names. You would then copy and paste each file name and manually overwrite the file names of whatever files are uploaded via an FTP client.

    Then you would point your File Away shortcode to whatever directory these files are stored in, and your basic shortcode would look like this:

    [fileaway customdata=”Column 1 Heading|Column 2 Heading|Column 3 Heading|Column 4 Heading”]

    Column 1 Heading would correspond to the data from field 126 of your form. Column 2 corresponds to the data in field 127. Etc.

    Is that clearer?

    Plugin Author thomstark


    This is now done and uploaded. Please download version 1.4.

    You can now add an unlimited number of Custom Columns to your File Away tables, using the same method as before. In the shortcode, using the customdata attribute, separate multiple column headings by semi-colon. Then in your file names, inside the square brackets, separate the corresponding data sets by semi-colon.

    Example Shortcode:
    [fileaway type=table customdata=”Artist*; Album; Label; Year” sortfirst=”custom”]
    The asterisk next to “Artist” indicates that sortfirst=”custom” should apply to the “Artist” column.

    Example Filenames:
    My Funny Valentine [Chet Baker; My Funny Valentine; Blue Note; 1994].mp3
    So What [Miles Davis; Kind of Blue; Columbia; 1959].mp3
    Birdland [Weather Report; Heavy Weather; Columbia; 1977].mp3

    Wow that was quick. You must have been burning the midnight oil – your poor family. I saw the update in the site’s admin first and then saw your correspondence.

    We have a collection of many thousands of articles which we are writing to the authors about, and inviting them to a Formidable form to supply some basic details and category. They are invited to send a more up to date revision if it exists. We are also inviting the writers to go round the form again and upload additional articles.

    What we envisage is that the reader arrives at a blank page with the search query form at the top. Once a filter is set then the related files would pour into the page.
    Do you think this is achievable with FileAway? Can Search query filters bring only the relevant documents?

    That is amazing work but for now, if there is no filtering we’re going to go with the Formidable view solution, even though it is going to be a little uglier for the moment. The reason is that, if say the files are sorted by the column “Category” and the category they want to see is the 70th of the 128 categories, they would have to click through many pages to reach where they want to be. Similarly if Author or Title were arranged alphabetically.

    I’ve got to build something today, so please let me know if a Formidable query form could control the output of Fileaway, because I’d much rather be using this. If not we’ll have to go another way for now and look at joining up with your work in the future.

    Thank you for all your attention, I’m sure your going to hear from me in the future.

    Regards, Tim

    Plugin Author thomstark


    Oh man. I wish I had seen this like 30 minutes ago before I uploaded version 1.5 (now with recursive directory iteration). I could add a query string filter to its functionality fairly easily. How many queries would you need?

    We have four search criteria.

    • Category (drop-down)
    • Keyword Tag (we’ve invited author’s to supply up to five, that are in five fields, but only plan to have typing space for one in the query form)
    • Authors Name / Publishing Body
    • Title (same as filename basically)
    Plugin Author thomstark


    OK. I can do this, but all that information would have to be in the filename. I am working with Jamie from Formidable on a strategy for auto-generating filenames from Formidable fields when the file is uploaded in a Formidable form. I’ll get back to you.

    Plugin Author thomstark


    We have worked out how to auto-generate file names using Formidable fields and file upload. And I can add query string filtering functionality to the plugin. But to be honest, I use the tables without the File Away plugin in my Formidable views all the time. What I can do is create an add on that will allow you to build File Away type tables in Formidable views, with three shortcodes. One for the before content, one for the Content, and one for the after content. Then you can use uploaded files without worrying about what the filename consists of.

Viewing 15 replies - 1 through 15 (of 18 total)
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