Version 1.2 of our WordPress document library plugin is now available. It has 2 exciting new features that our customers have requested. Now your users can preview a document before downloading it. They can also tick multiple documents and download them as a zip file in one click.
Our Document Library WordPress plugin was released in February 2021, as a document-only version of our existing Posts Table Pro plugin. It quickly become incredibly popular and became our top selling plugin in July!
Since its launch we have listened carefully to our customers' feedback. We have already added lots of improvements that people have requested. With version 1.2, we have added some major new features which are particularly in-demand:
- Document previewAllow users to preview documents before (or instead of) deciding whether to download them.
- Multi-document downloadSelect multiple documents at once and download the selected files as a zip file.
- Extra download button stylesAs well as displaying download buttons as a button, file type icon or text link, you can now add a download icon to the button or display a download button on its own.
Keep reading to learn more about these new features, how to use them, and where to get the document library plugin.
Preview documents before downloading
Until now, users could view information about each document in the library along with a separate page for each document, plus download buttons. But what if the user wants a quick preview of the document before deciding to download it?
We've had lots of requests for a document preview feature. Here are some examples from our customers:
- "Can I allow the user to preview before deciding to download?"
- "Is it possible to preview documents before downloading?"
- "Is there a way to easily add a smart previewing of the media files?"
- "Any way to preview documents without downloading them?"
- "The only thing that is missing is a preview of the document itself so the user can verify/confirm that it is the correct document they wish to download."
- "For videos uploaded, do you offer quick preview?"
- "Is there a way for the files within the library to be shown within the webpage once clicked instead of having to download the document itself?"
- "It would be great if there were two options: a) to open the document, or b) to download the document."
Document Library Pro now has a preview feature that does exactly what our customers have requested.
How does the document preview work?
The document preview is super-flexible and you can choose whether to display the preview option as a button, text link, magnifying glass icon, or all of these. You can either show the preview button alongside the download buttons, or instead of them. They appear in the main document library and on the single document page. You can also change the 'Preview' text to anything you like, such as 'Document Quick View'.
From the user's perspective, if they are not sure whether they want to download the document, then they can preview it first. Based on the document preview, they can then either close it or proceed to download the file.
The document preview is also useful for document libraries where you don't want to allow users to download the file. For example, you may want to offer a preview with no download option for copyright reasons. You can easily achieve this by displaying the preview button without a download link.
What file types does the document preview support?
The document preview option will appear for the following file types:
- Images (supported file types: jpeg, gif, png, webp, svg)
- Videos (supported file types: mp4, ogg*)
- Audio (supported file types: mp3, mp4, mpeg, ogg*, aac*, aacp*, flac*)
Your users don't need to install any other software to preview documents, such as a PDF plugin.
To enable the document preview for any other file types, we recommend saving them as a PDF before uploading them to the document library. This is better for accessibility reasons anyway because not everyone has software such as Microsoft Word or Excel installed. If your WordPress document library contains any file types that don't support the preview feature, then the preview link simply won't appear for that document.
Learn more in the document preview documentation.
Select multiple documents for one-click bulk download
Just as many customers have asked for an option to select multiple documents and download them in bulk:
- "Is there any way that the user can just "tick" the documents they want and then in one click download them all?"
- "Can this plugin allow the visitor to select multiple documents and compile them into a single file?"
- "Is there a function that adds tick boxes next to each document, so that they can be selected for bulk download in a zipped file, or is only possible to do individual downloads?"
- "Is there a way to allow a user to select a few lectures at a time and download them all at once?"
- "Does this plugin have the option to select multiple documents at once and download the selected files as a zip folder?"
- "Is there a way for a user to select multiple files for download?"
Until now, the document library plugin only let users download one document at a time. We have now added a bulk download feature which adds a checkbox next to each document. Users can select all the documents they require and click a single 'Download Selected Documents' button to download them in bulk. The downloaded documents are compiled into a zip file, which the user can extract and save as they wish.
Again, it's very flexible and you can choose whether to display the multi-download checkboxes on their own, or in addition to the individual download button for each file.
Learn more in the multiple file downloads documentation.
What's next for Document Library Pro?
Document Library Pro users love the table layout as it makes it so easy to search and sort large numbers of documents. However, we feel that our customers deserve some extra layout options.
The next major version of Document Library Pro will have a new document grid layout. This will display documents in a tiled layout instead of the usual table. It's perfect for allowing more space for each document. The document grid feature will be released in late Summer/Autumn 2021.
Update: The document grid is now available. This is what it looks like:
In the meantime, install the plugin on your website and start creating professional document libraries. You can take advantage of the document preview and multiple document download features straight away. As soon as the new document grid layout becomes available, you'll receive an email with instructions on how to update.