Dropfiles Documentation


Dropfiles is a Joomla extension used to manages all your files and categorize them in a smart way. The file manager is completed by a theme pack and a connection to cloud services (all included).




Main advantages:

  • Add a file in 3 clicks from editor
  • 4 responsive themes with icons
  • Apply a theme per category
  • Files & category AJAX ordering
  • Use Dropfiles from any text editor
  • Theme display parameters
  • Update files in one click
  • HTML5 multi uploader
  • Use Joomla file access rights
  • Remote download
  • File importer from server



1.1 Install

Our component is Joomla 3.x compatible. All the features and 3rd party integrations are included in all memberships.
In order to install our component you have to download the extension .zip file and use standard Joomla installer.




Then click on Browse > Upload and Install button, component, modules and plugins will be installed activated by default.

1.2 Update & automatic updater

In order to update the extension you can install a new version over the old one by downloading the ZIP file from JoomUnited or use the automatic updater (recommended).




The automatic updater, which push the update notification, is embedded in the Joomla extension you've installed. So you'll get notified like any other extension in the dashboard or using the menu: Extension > Manage > Update menu.

Login to your account to update

You need to login to your JoomUnited account to update all your JoomUnited Joomla extensions. In order to login access the main configuration of the component then click on the Live update tab. At the bottom, you'll find a login button. 




Enter your JoomUnited credentials, the same you use to login here @ www.joomunited.com




The button will turn orange, congrats! you can now update all the JoomUnited extensions on this website! If your membership is expired you'll get a renew link and a text that explain that.




Note: one single login will allow you to update all the JoomUnited extensions (regarding your membership). Login won't expire unless you disconnect it.


The main idea of Dropfiles is to set display parameters, size, and file format allowed in the component then manage files and categories directly from articles or any WYSIWYG editor. Dropfiles works on every Joomla WYSIWYG editor, both for frontend and backend. For example you can use it in a custom Joomla module.

2.1 Manage files from article

When Dropfiles is installed you have an editor plugin that is displayed bellow your editor. Click on it to open the main Dropfiles manager view.




It's exactly the same interface as if you're loading the component view using the menu Components > Dropfiles




From the interface you got the category management on the left part, your files on the center part and the files and category settings on the right part.




2.2 Manage file categories

In order to create a category, click on New category in the left column




Note: A default category is already created during the component installation

To order the categories you can use drag’n drop feature by clicking on the left "folder" icon and moving it. Navigate it up and down to order the categories or from left to right to define category levels (category or subcategory)




The category accordion manager can be expanded all sub-categories or collapsed using a global parameters. To change the state you can click on the +/- buttons on the left side.




On the right side of the screen you can see category and theme options of the theme. 




You can define a theme per category or setup a default theme for all the categories from the Dropfiles settings > Main parameters. In order to do that, you should use the parameter Load theme in category:




Note that when browsing category level the theme will remain the parent one. So the end user won’t be disturb during navigation on frontend.

Depending on the theme you’ve selected you have some displayed options. It helps to show or hide some of the theme elements on frontend, for example display/hide file size, file hits number...




Once you’re done with the category parameters, you can click on Save button at the bottom of the right column to save the theme preference.




If you've chosen to setup the category theme parameters in the component options you'll find the same settings at menu Components > Dropfiles > Options > Default theme, GDD theme, ...




2.3 Manage files

To add files in a category, you can drag’n drop files in the center part or click on Select files button




Then select one or some files to upload. The uploader is HTML5 powered so you can send big files they will be uploaded.

The only limit you’ll have will be defined by your server configuration, especially the upload_max_filesize and post_max_size values.

A file ordering can be done using drag'n drop, just drag the file on the dashed line to define it's a new position in the file category.




You can also order all the files from a category or by clicking on the column title then save the ordering. For example, here I've ordered files by size. Once you made the ordering you’ll at the right side, in category options the Ordering fields become blue.




You have also the option to click on the column title to order file by:

  • Type
  • Title
  • File size
  • Date added
  • Date modified
  • Version
  • Hits

The column top right option checkbox helps you to clean the backend interface to focus on the main files parameters you have; ie show only file title and version for example.




Finally, in order to insert a file category in your editor, click on Insert this category button in the right column.




File category will be materialized in your article by a grey area with a Dropfiles icon.

Already done, you’ve added your first Dropfiles category!!
The first time you insert your category, save your article to see the result on frontend. To open again the category and reload the configuration you’ve done, click on it and click back on the Dropfiles button or double click on the grey area.




2.4 Copy Cut Paste files

Once a file has been uploaded to Dropfiles, you can select the file by clicking on it. You can also select several files by maintaining Ctrl (on Windows/Linux)/Command (on Mac).

The first method to move or copy files is to use drag'n drop. Drag'n drop alone will move the file, drag'n drop + Ctrl (on Windows) or Command (on Mac) will copy the files.




You can also use the buttons above the file list.




2.5 Manage single file

Manage a single file has never been as simple as a click on a file, then the file option will be loaded at the right side.




Dropfiles allows you to define:

  • File publication state
  • File title
  • Description: HTML editor can be activated through an option
  • File date of creation
  • File date of modification
  • File publish up and down
  • File version
  • File hits
  • File tags (used i the search engine)
  • Custom icon: will see if the option is enabled
  • File direct link: be copied easily by clicking on copy button.
  • Single user file view: select multi/single user(s) that will be able to view the file
  • File new version upload: upload a new file version and keep all file information in old versions.

To add a single file, not a category, simply click on it then insert this file to add it in your editor.




Note that from the option, menu Components > Dropfiles > Settings > Main parameters > Single file parameters section, you can define the frontend download button design.




From now on, you can override the single file layout, please go to 5.3 Custom single file layout.

And each files has its own direct link which you can use to share easily. You can find the URL at the bottom on the right panel.




2.6 Update a file

In order to update a file, open Dropfiles, click on the file of your choice, then use the Send a new version bloc to replace the file.




You can change file format, size or whatever, all will be detected and updated. You have also a file version history manager so you can download and restore an old file version.




2.7 Remote file download

The remote download is the possibility to add a distant (not hosted on your server) downloadable file among others. It has to be activated through the component configuration.




Once it's activated a new button called Add remote file will be added. Then you need to define a title, a remote URL (the link to the file); e.g: https://www.mywebsite.com/file.zip and a file format (to apply the proper icon to the file).

Once the file is added, you can edit all its information like any other files.




2.8 Email notifications

This feature helps your users know if any changes or actions has been made on your files. There are 3 main parameters for notification:

  • Notify category owner: the user owner of the category that contains the file will be notified
  • Notify file owner: the user owner of the file will be notified
  • Notify Joomla super admin: users in super admin group will be notified




Users and/or admin will receive a notification email if a file is added, edited, deleted or downloaded. Each type of notification can be activated separatelly. and you can add several custom emails.




There are some supported tags you can use in the Email content: {category}, {receiver}, {username}, {website_url}, {file_name}. The Email content is only some HTML, you can create your own if you want.

2.9 A custom icon on files

You can replace the file default icons by your own (PDF icon by a document preview for example). First, you need to enable Custom icon feature from the Dropfiles options.




Next, in the Dropfiles component, click on a file to change its icon. At the bottom right panel, you can select an icon you like from your images.




Or upload a new one.





3.1 Dropfiles search engine

Dropfiles got it's own search engine, apart from the Joomla search engine. The search engine view can be called from a menu element. Use Menus >> Your Menu >> New button >> In the menu Item Type select Dropfiles > Search file.




Then you'll be able to setup all the search engine elements.

  • The default search file category on page load
  • Search field display only or search engine + filters
  • The file tags as checkbox or as search box: the tag can be added on file from the file edition
  • Default tags
  • Creation date range filters
  • Update date range filters
  • Number of results per page




3.2 Dropfiles Joomla search plugin

Dropfiles also got a Joomla search plugin. As files added in articles can be searched by the Joomla default search engine.





4.1 Main parameters

To access to Dropfiles parameters, go in Component > Dropfiles > Options.




In option, you can define:

  • Allowed extensions: the file format you want to authorize on your website to be uploaded/downloaded
  • User viewer: Dropfiles includes a file type viewer
  • Open PDF in browser: to open PDF in a new browser tab instead of the Google drive viewer
  • Viewer format: witch file format you want to enable the viewer
  • Max upload file size: it's set by your server php.ini value. You can define a lower limit here
  • File importer activation: activate a server explorer to import files in Dropfiles categories
  • SEO URL: it adds a prefix to the file links
  • Close categories: the option to load categories accordion open or closed by default
  • Load theme in category: load the theme selection and theme option in each file category
    If it's set to No, the default theme settings from the options apply
  • Add remote file: the possibility to add remote files among other (not hosted on your server)
  • Use WYSIWYG editor: load a full text editor for file description
  • Single user restriction: add the possibility to select a single Joomla user to access a category or multiple users to view a file
  • Category restriction: apply file access restriction on file category using Joomla User group or Joomla access level
  • Custom icon: Possibility to upload a custom image or icon for single files
  • Versioning number: Dropfiles stores history of files when you update it, you can setup the number of files to backup (0-100: limit per file)

4.2 File importer

Dropfiles has a unique file importer available for Joomla. To enable it you should go in Component > Dropfiles and click on Options. Then set “File importer” to Yes.

Note that the importer will be only available in Dropfiles component in the backend for security reason, because it will display all server folders.

Then on the right part of your screen you’ll see the listing of your server files with 3 tools that allow you to Select, Unselect and Import files.




To import files, choose the category on the left part then select the desired files and click on Import button.

4.3 ACL file permission

Dropfiles is Joomla user group and access levels to restrict file access. In the file restriction documentation we can separate the permission to view or download a file and the permission to manage the files.

First, to setup who is allowed to view or download the files you need to define in the component main parameters whether you want to restrict access by Joomla access level or Joomla user group. By default it's Joomla user group.

Then in the category settings (right column) you can allow a group to download files from a category or not. If a user is not allowed, he won't even see the category on frontend.




To setup who is allowed to view or download the files an additional parameter is available, still in the main parameters of the component: Single user access. This is the possibility to restrict the access to a file or a category of files for a single Joomla user.

This user can be selected from the Joomla user list in the category settings or in the single file settings. And a single file can be viewed by some users also.




Finally to setup the file permission regarding file management, you can access to the configuration still in the settings but in the Permissions tab. Each Joomla user group you have will be listed with the Dropfiles permissions.

For example if you want all users from the Administrator group to access and edit only their own files, set “Edit” to denied and edit own to “Allowed”. You can also restrict:

  • The global configuration access
  • The main Dropfiles interface access 
  • The files creation (upload)
  • The files deletion
  • All file edition
  • Own user file edition
  • Download files


File manager access per Joomla user group


Super admin user will always have access to all files and categories.

Manage personal user file repository

Dropfiles allows you to create and let your Joomla users manage their own files repository because you can define, as an admin, who own a category of files.

The first step is to setup in the Joomla user group user permission to: "Edit own category" only. Uncheck "Edit category", because users would be able to edit all exiting categories in this case. The other privileges are not mandatory, depending of what you want to allow.




Then you can create file categories for your users, or if "Create category" is checked in his user group, they'll be able to do that by themself. Then, from the file category you've created, you can define who owns the category and therefore who'll be able to edit it.




Note: the category owner definition setting must be activated from the configuration

4.4 Frontend file management

To manage files from frontend, you got 2 options (1-2 attached):

  • Use a menu with the same interface as backend: in this case the permissions have to be used to define the users rights on files. 
    See previous chapter about setting up ACL permissions.
  • Use an "Upload only" menu to upload file in a selected category

To add a frontend file management interface that match with the ACL permission, in your Joomla admin navigate to Menus > Your menu > New button > in the menu Type select Manage Files




The users, from frontend, will need to login and depending of the ACL settings, he'll be allowed to do certain actions like add a file, edit a file, delete a file...




It is recommended to use our template for frontend edition, in this case you'll get a full width interface to manage the files.




When a user is connected and have the edition rights, the user will see Manage files button on the top right. It helps user manage files in categories conveniently in frontend. 





To add a frontend file upload form only, in your Joomla admin navigate to Menus > Your menu > New button > in the menu Type select File upload form




Then you can select the default file category where the file will be sent, still from the menu item management.




Finally, on frontend, you got a simple upload area to send or drag'n drop files.




Note: The frontend file upload form always require a login for obvious security reason (to avoid users to upload illegal or malicious files on your server or cloud accounts).


In order to display your latest files on frontend, you should navigate to Menus > Your menu > New button > in the menu Type select List Files




Then you can select a Top Level Category to show the files or Select All if you want.




Finally, you will see the files in the selected category are listed on frontend.




4.5 File category themes

Dropfiles includes a pack of themes. A theme can be set for each category or as a global setting. That's why you have theme settings in the component options and also in the file categories. The category configuration will override the default configuration.

Default theme




Tree theme




Google Drive like theme




Table theme




4.6 3rd party: Docman file importer

You can import files from Joomla Docman extension in no time. There's a dedicated import tool that will automatically import to Dropfiles from the Docman:

  • Category of files
  • Files and documents
  • Files titles
  • Files descriptions

To launch the importer, got to Dropfiles > Options > Import tab. Then select a Docman root category to import, click on import and wait a little depending of the file quantity to import.




Dropfiles includes EDocman, JDownloads and Phoca download Importer.




When using JCE Editor, you can insert Dropfiles link to text.
First, you need to select text in your article or click on Link icon in JCE Editor. 


A popup window will be appeared and you can pick a file. Then click on Insert button.


Finally, the Dropfiles link is inserted into your text. That’s all!

4.8 Download statistics

You can go directly from Components > Dropfiles > Statistics, or a download statistics advanced dashboard is available from the Joomla admin (additionally to the Google Analytics event tracker).
You can create your statistics graph and detailed view using filters: file category, single file selection and date range of the download.
File download statistics from Joomla


5.1 Dropfiles using module or HTML custom module

Dropfiles Latest module helps you display all recent uploaded/updated files. You can limit number of files, select a category you want to display and define the ordering.




Order options are: Descending, Ascending or Random + Latest uploaded, Latest updated, Most downloaded or File size.




You can also display Dropfiles Search function by module. Besides the features as Menu item > Dropfiles search, you can set Item ID for the module also.




Dropfiles is built to be used in every WYSIWYG editor field, you just need to have content plugin to be called. Most of the time it’s activated by default.

It’s not the case in the Joomla HTML custom module, you need to activate it like above.

In the option tab you need to set the option Prepare content to Yes




5.2 Clone a Dropfiles theme

You can duplicate and customize theme in Dropfiles. First you go to Configuration > Clone theme tab, after that select a kind of theme you want to adjust, then input theme name. Finally, press on Clone button.




The created themes are listed below, you can click on them to edit the theme parametters.




Dropfiles themes are in fact plugins and they are located in the folder /plugins/dropfilesthemes

5.3 Custom single file layout

Beside the simple single file settings at Main parameters tab, you can override the single file layout also. First, you go to Extensions > Templates > Templates and after that click on the theme you are using.

At Editor tab, please go to html > layouts > com_dropfiles > dropfiles > singlefile, then click on tpl.php file where you can customize your style. Remember press on Save button when finishing. Good luck!





6.1 Create a Google drive App

The Google Drive is included in the main Dropfiles package.

First, you need a Google dev App to connect your website to Google Drive. Go to https://console.developers.google.com/project and create a new project.




Then setup a project name (no space, no accent)



Then wait few seconds for the project creation…




If it's the first time you're using the Google Drive API, you should go to Navigation menu > APIs and Services > Library to activate it.




From the left menu, click on “Navigation menu > APIs and Services”




Then on the left menu “Credentials” >> “Create credentials” >> OAuth client ID (if asked, add a name to your OAuth consent screen).




Now, the most important step.

  • Select “Web application” and add a name of your choice.
  • Authorized JavaScript origin: https://your-domain.com (replace by your domain name, no slash, no www.)
  • Authorized redirect URIs: https://your-domain.com/administrator/index.php?option=com_dropfiles&task=googledrive.authenticate (put your domain name)
This is the backend Dropfiles URL + &task=googledrive.authenticate




Note: if this warning appears: "Invalid Origin: domain must be added to the authorized domains list before submitting", press authorized domains list link or go to APIs & Services >> OAuth consent screen, then add your domain name at Authorized domains.




Then… voilà! You got your ID and Secret to add in the Dropfiles configuration.




In order to use "the sync with Google Drive in real time" feature, you need to verify your Domain. You should follow these steps below:

Please go to “APIs & Services” >> "Domain verification", click on Add domain button. Next, input your domain and click on Add domain button.




If your domain was verified, then you add domain successfully. Go to Dropfiles configuration for the next step.




If your domain has not been verified, a pop-up window will be appeared, click on Take me there button.




You will be linked to "Webmaster Central" page. From here, you should:

  • Select your domain name provider, if the list does not include your provider, choose Other
  • Add the TXT record to the DNS configuration. E.g: google-site-verification=vyV1rZfPloPdrFjau0Hw2W9d18_bd...
  • Click on Verify button




The page with successful notification will be shown if you do correctly the steps above. After that, go to the Dropfiles configuration for the next step.




6.2 Login to Google Drive in Dropfiles

Then go back in Joomla admin and click on the menu Dropfiles > Options > Cloud connection tab > Google Drive settings section. Paste your

  • Client ID
  • Client secret

Then save the configuration and click on the Connect button.




After that, a pop-up window will be shown and you can select your account.

If you haven’t made any mistakes you should select Google account and validate the authorization in a new window like bellow.




Connection should be a success ☺ Simultaneously, you will see the parameter "Watch changes from Google Drive" is turned on. If you turn off Files and Folders will not be synchronized immediately from Google Drive to your Dropfiles.




Now, you can create Google Drive folders and upload files in it!




Get rid of the error: error: "invalid_scope when connect Dropfiles with Google Drive"

Google have recently introduced a new security layer that forces apps to be verified.  If you've created the app with your Google account and then you login from Joomla with the very same account you won't see this error.
This error will only appear if you've created an App with a Google account and trying to connect to Google from Joomla with another account.

In this case you need your app to get approved by Google following this process: https://support.google.com/code/contact/oauth_app_verification



6.3 How it works? What can I do with GG Drive?

How it works? 

Dropfiles will generate a root folder on your Google Drive with the site name



All the categories and sub categories added in Dropfiles will added under this folder.


What are the sync directions?

It works in both directions! You can add a file from Google Drive and see it in Dropfiles or add a file in Dropfiles and see it in Google Drive. It also means you can manage files in Dropfiles from your desktop using Google Drive sync software. That’s crazy! Yes we know ☺

Note that if you remove a file from Google Drive you have to empty your trash to erase it from Google Drive.





7.1 Create a Dropbox App

The Dropbox is included in the main Dropfiles package.

First you need a Dropbox App to connect your website to a Dropbox account. Go to https://www.dropbox.com/developers and create a new app. 




Then setup an app type "Dropbox API", "Full dropbox" and an app name

File categories from Dropfiles will be added as folders @ the root of your Dropbox account (great for a dedicated Dropbox account). If you select "App folder" all folders/files will be stored under a single folder (avoid the mess in your Dropbox account).




Then you're almost done, your app is created and you got your App key and secret




7.2 Login to Dropbox in Dropfiles

Then go back in WordPress admin and click on the menu Dropfiles > Options > Cloud connection tab > Dropbox settings. Paste your

  • App key
  • App secret

Then save the configuration and click on the Connect Dropbox button




You'll have to validate the access authorization for app access, just click Allow.




Finally, an authorization code will be generated and you'll have to copy it in Dropfiles configuration. Then press Connect Dropbox.




Connection should be a success ☺ 




You can now create folders, sub folders in Dropbox and in Dropfiles, everything will be sync!




7.3 How it works? What can I do with Dropbox?

How it works? 

Dropbox can sync folders/subfolders and files on your Dropfiles interface and the same is possible on the other way (from Dropfiles to Dropbox).



What are the sync directions?

It works in both directions! You can add a file from Dropbox and see it in Dropfiles or add a file in Dropfiles and see it in Dropbox. It also means you can manage Dropfiles files from your desktop using Dropbox sync software. That’s crazy! Yes we know ☺





8.1 Microsoft OneDrive Application

The OneDrive is integrated in the main Dropfiles package.
First, you need a Microsoft Azure App to connect your website to a OneDrive account. Go to: https://portal.azure.com/, login and click on New registration button.




On Register an application form, setup an app name and copy your website URL into the Redirect URL field and click on the Register button.




Then you're almost done, from here you have an Application ID (Client ID), only the password is missing. On the left menu, go to Certificates & secrets, then click on the New client secret button to create one. After that, fill the Description and set the Expires for it.




A password (Client Secret) is generated right away after pressing on Add button, then remember to make a copy.




8.2 Login to OneDrive

Then go back in Joomla admin and click on the menu Dropfiles > Options > Cloud connection tab > OneDrive settings section. Paste your

  • Client ID
  • Client Secret




Then save the configuration and click on the Connect button.




You'll have to validate the access authorization for app access, just click Yes.




Connection should be a success! ☺ Then you can add files, folders and sub folders in OneDrive and in Dropfiles, everything will be synchronized!




Note: Dropfiles does not support Business account.