UFO/AFO: Open and edit non-Google attachments in AODocs

The Universal File Opener (UFO) and the AODocs File Opener (AFO) are Google Chrome extensions. 

  • UFO is for Google users in any type of AODocs library using Google Drive
  • AFO is for Google users or Microsoft users in AODocs Document Management libraries using Google Cloud Storage or Azure Blob storage

The UFO and AFO extensions enhance your AODocs experience by allowing you to:

  • open non-Google files locally on your computer using the corresponding software
  • save the changes you made locally back to Google Drive (UFO) or AODocs (UFO/AFO)

This article explains how to:

Automatically generated table of contents

Note: In AODocs libraries using Google Drive without UFO installed, you can open and edit Microsoft file attachments but not other non-Google attachments. However, you are recommended to use UFO for all non-Google attachments as it lets you access your attachments more quickly and efficiently.

Open non-Google attachments from your document in AODocs (UFO and AFO)

1. Open a document that has a non-Google file attachment.

2. Depending on the type of library you're working in, the following options are available:

  • in all library types: select the UFO/AFO button next to the attachment in the sidebar
  • in Team Folders and Secured Folders only: select the UFO button in the toolbar

Tip: When you hover over the UFO button in the toolbar, you can see the lock status of the file. Learn more: View locked files.

image01.pngOpening a Word attachment from the toolbar (available in Team Folders and Secured Folders)

  • in Document Management libraries only: scroll down to the Attachments section in the  Properties tab and use the UFO/AFO button next to the attachment title

image02.pngOpening an Excel attachment in a Document Management library using Google Drive

image03.pngOpening a Word attachment in a Document Management library using Google Cloud Storage

3. UFO/AFO opens your document in the corresponding application.

4. Edit the attachment and save your changes. Your attachment is synchronized in AODocs.

5. When you return to AODocs and open the attachment, you can see that your modifications have been saved.

– Two users can't edit the same file at the same time. The file is automatically locked when a user opens it. If another user tries to edit the file, they will only be able to save a local copy or (in the case of UFO) open it in read-only mode.
– If you keep a file open for one hour without saving it, the lock is released and another user can edit the file. You will no longer be able to edit the file again until the other user has finished editing. You can save the file locally to keep any unsaved changes.

Open non-Google attachments from a view in AODocs (UFO only)

1. Open a view in a library using Google Drive.  

2. Select a document that has a non-Google file attachment.

3. If you're working in a Team Folder or Secured Folder, press the UFO button. 


If you're working in a Document Management library, open the Attachments panel and press the UFO button next to the attachment you want to open. Learn more: Access attachments directly from a view.

Document Management library using Google Drive

The file is downloaded and opens locally in its software application. An information pop-up is displayed. If the file is too big or takes too long to open, you can cancel from the pop-up.

Note: If you have read-only access to the file in Google Drive or AODocs, you can open the file, but any changes made and saved locally will not be uploaded back to Google Drive or AODocs.

6. Save your changes locally. Your document is synchronized in AODocs. A message indicates that the file is being uploaded back to AODocs.

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