Add and remove relations for files, such as images, PDF, etc

Is your feature request related to a problem? Please describe.
This feature request is not strictly related to a problem, but it does seem to violate the basic principles on which Anytype is built on.

Describe the solution you’d like
Anytype is built on the fundamental concept that everything - including files - are an object. And each object is connected with relations. However, as of this moment, it is not possible to add or edit relations for files (images, PDFs, audio, etc), only the default relation for each file type is available (size, creation date, width, height, ISO, etc).

Adding a feature to add and edit relations for files would fulfill the expected behavior on which Anytype is built on - that everything is an object and that every object is connected with relations.

Additionally, adding the ability to connect file objects with relations can help create a few new usecases, such as a tag-based file management system, as outlined in this article.

A image of the current interface for viewing a file. There is no option to create or edit relations.

Describe alternatives you’ve considered
There are a few applications which exist for having a tag-based file organizations system, such as the Mac Finder, but integration with Anytype is not possible.

Additional context

29 Likes

+1 Great request :smiley:

Even without the ability to add a relation to a file object, we can sort of mimic it by creating a custom type with an attachment relation and a tag relation and can filter them by tag in a set.


But yes, it would be great to have the ability to add relations to file objects. TBH, it would be great to build on that and add the ability to add relation to any objects - i.e, even audio, video and images as well

4 Likes

Wow - thanks for drawing my attention to the Attachment relation. I’d completely neglected to use that relation, and it seems very powerful for some other uses that I’d had in mind. Although as you said, yes, having the ability to add tags and relations for files would make the software much more powerful and flexible for many new use cases.

4 Likes

This is a must have for finding back files. Many relations could be automatically added upon uploading the file into Anytype such as:

  • File name (already there, but not as a relation I think)
  • File size (same, it is in the details about the file, but not something searchable/findable)
  • File type (like Word document, PDF, web page, etc., or at least the file extension in text/as a tag)
  • Creation date
  • Created by
  • Last modified date
  • Last modified by
  • Upload date
  • Uploaded by
  • File type specific properties such as
    • Version
    • Word count
    • Resolution
    • Subject
    • Etc.
9 Likes

I love the idea of being able to add relations to images, pdfs, and such. It would make file-specific sets much, much more powerful.

8 Likes

I like idea, i wanna to file system suport for better intergration with my OS device like drive

1 Like

WHAT DO YOU RECOMMEND

Allocate a more specific file type to each uploaded file. This new file type should allow us to create sets, filter and change the name of the file. This would allow me to create sets of all my pdfs with a specific tag (which I can add) in Anytype. PDFs are just an example. It could also be audio files or other types.

A good example is Capacities in this regard. They sort the file typed directly into a specific database (in our case this would be “type”) and show them on a single page.

HOW COULD IT BE DONE

Check for the file extensions and assign them to the specific type.

REAL WORLD USE CASES

Have all of the pdfs in one set which I can then tag etc. This allows me to easily find all the pdfs related to a certain topic.

RECOMMENDED ALTERNATIVES

Gather all the items on a single page. You can also create a set of file name relations and filter i.e. for the term “pdf” but this is just a workaround.

2 Likes

Hi! Even though it is not straight forward, I believe this is already possible in Anytype for Desktop 0.27.0:

  1. Open Anytype
  2. Search for the “File extension Relation
    image
  3. Click the “Create set” button
  4. (optionally) rename your set
  5. Add a filter, either by clicking on the “File extension” column > “Add filter”

    Or by clicking on the filter icon at the top right of the Set > “Filters”
    image
  6. Finally, set up your filter to your needs. I’m filtering on any extension that contains “pdf”:
    image
  7. As a result, you now have a Set with pdf-files only!

Disclaimer: This feature is quite new (for me), so I didn’t extensively test this (yet). You might run into limitations. If you do, I’d be very interested in hearing them :slight_smile:

If this is indeed fulfilling your needs I suggest we rebrand your feature request to make this process easier :wink:

3 Likes

Hi Sam

Thanks for showing me this. It is indeed what I wanted to see but in a hacky way. With this implementation, we make a set of the relation and not the item itself. Additionally, I would like to be able to change the name of the items as they are sometimes cryptic. Let’s change the name to make this workflow easier.

2 Likes

Great! Are you able to edit your OP yourself?

Hi Sam

I guess this feature request is closely related.

Maybe we can broaden the feature request to better handle media and files.

Thanks for your follow-up.

For renaming files I would indeed invite you to upvote that topic.

For your request to better handle files, the following feature request might already cover your needs:

Haven’t seen those requests before but they seem to be exactly what I want. Can you merge the requests not to have multiple ones for the same feature?

2 Likes

I just want to reply for two reasons:

  1. To bump this topic.
  2. To emphasize why I think this is an important feature request.

For #2, I can only speak for myself, but I am in academics. I routinely work with pdf files and excel files and powerpoints, and latex files, etc.

If we only focus on pdf, there are many classes that these pdfs fall into. They might be a pdf that is a paper I am reading for a research project. It might be a report that a student sent me that I have to read. It might be a bit of logistical information sent from the college, it might be a budget report, etc.

So, for me, it would be VERY useful if I could add tags (relations) to the files, so that I can control what class of file this is. I understand I might be able to sort by extension, but this only gives me all the pdf files. However, I might want to see all the pdf files that are also student reports.

Even *better that adding relations would be the ability to make my own custom file type. I would love to be able to make a “literature pdf” type that I could put all my research pdfs into. If I could also then add relations to it that include things like “author” “page number” etc, then I am getting to the point that not only do I have unique objects, but I can assign them to projects AND (once APIs are available) it starts to look like a bibliographic management tool.

I realize that there is another ‘hack’ for this, which is to create a custom time and then add the file to this. But I don’t think this is quite a clean. It would be better if one could define a custom file type, and then bring Anytype’s power to bear on this.

4 Likes

How is it possible that files are not treated as objects that can be given relations? This seems like a massive oversight…

Hey @ccrawford, the team is aware of it, don’t worry. “Files as objects” project isn’t on the roadmap yet, as Multiplayer has higher priority atm. But they’ll take care of it down the road.

1 Like

I don’t quite understand why multiplayer is more important than basic app functionality. Do I want to be able to collaborate on Anytype long-term? Of course, it’s a necessary feature (and one reason Obsidian is not as useful as people think it is imo), but the core app functionality is not quite there yet. The focus should be on making the core app useable before adding multiplayer.

A few things that I think should take priority over collaboration:

1 Like

@ccrawford I see your point and sure, there are features that need to be polished or even introduced at all.
But i think we should all appreciate that the team is listening to community feedback and tries their best to implement as quickly as possible. So it’s already the best way to let them know through upvoting the topic.
Let’s just hope after Q4 there are some roadmap news regarding this. :slight_smile:

2 Likes

Bumping this!

1 Like

+1 (and rename them)
Any update?