“Docs” allows group members to collaborate on documents and provides granular control over who can edit documents, and who can view them.

Getting Started

Docs is a BuddyPress plugin, and has been activated for all groups on the Commons. However, it must be “enabled” by a group’s admin in order to work, much in the same way a WordPress plugin must be activated. Non-admins will not be able to see the “Docs” function until their group admin enables it.

Enabling BuddyPress is simple. Just check the box below:

You will also be able to control who in your group can create a document. Choices are: Admins, Moderators or Members.

If an admin is setting up a new group, an additional option (“6. Docs”) will be available, and he/she will be prompted similarly to enable “Docs,” and be directed to a similar dialog.

What is a BuddyPress Doc?

A BuddyPress Doc is an online document that members of a group may work on together. It inherits many features that are available for a WordPress post. You may embed pictures and videos, use blockquotes, links, bullets, numbering and indentations. Like posts, some html tags are allowed, and an easy to use tool bar is available for common edit needs (including the “kitchen sink”):

You may switch between Visual and HTML just like your were writing a post. To embed a youtube video, simply paste the url into the body of the Doc.

Creating a Doc

Click on the “New Doc” hyperlink to create a new BuddyPress Document.

Configuring your Doc

There are three sections at the bottom on each Doc which control taxonomy, hierarchy and privileges:


Each document may be tagged to help describe and organize your collection of documents. A complete list of your entered tags will be available as hyperlinks which you may use to filter your collection of documents. Choose tags carefully and consistently to get best results.


Some documents may be hierarchical in nature, and the parent tab is available to assign such linkages. When child/parent relationships are established, links to the parent will appear at the bottom of the child doc, and links to children will appear at the bottom of the parent doc.

Document Edit and Comment privileges

The settings tab on each document control who can edit the document, who can add comments to the document, and who can read the comments that have been written. This is a very powerful feature that may be useful when mangaging group projects.

Document Visibility

If you want your documents invisible to the public, consider making your Commons group either private or hidden. If your group is public, your docs will be visible to everyone, even though you can control who may edit them, comment on them, or read comments (see above).

Managing your Group’s Docs

Tagging is a very powerful way to organize your group’s collection of documents, and you may filter by tags. Other ways to access your documents also exist. Sorting your collection is a good way to view group docs by title, author, creation date, and last edited date.


You may want to be able to track the changes that took place on each document. This is an enhancement which is on tap for a future release. Stay tuned for a release date!


A url is available for each document and its discussion thread. If your group is private or hidden, these urls will only be viewable by members of your group. Your doc’s discussion thread will be viewable if comments have been set up as readable by the public