Easy to learn version control with Folio

While the underlying technology Folio uses is very powerful we worked hard to make using it very simple. There are just a few key concepts you need to understand to get started.

Projects

To keep things organized Folio organizes files into projects. A project in Folio is just a folder on your Mac. Any supported file you move to this folder will automatically show up in Folio and you’ll be able to start creating versions.

You can also drag files to the project window or use the ‘+’ button in the toolbar. We currently support Photoshop, Illustrator & Sketch files.

Deleting the folder from your Mac means you also lose your project and all version history.

Project window

Every project lives in its own window and every window has two main parts, the file browser on the left and the version history panel on the right.

File browser

The file browser shows all supported files, no matter where they are in the folder hierarchy on your Mac.

So, even if a file is buried three subdirectories deep Folio will show it in the main overview. This saves a lot of time clicking around in the Finder trying to find the file you’re looking for.

New and recently modified files are shown first and are marked with a blue dot before the filename.

You can select a file by clicking it with your mouse.

Version history panel

The history of the currently selected file is shown on the version history panel on the right.

Managing versions

Folio’s most important feature is its ability to restore previous versions of your designs.

To create a version, enter a short message and hit enter or push the ‘Create version’ button.

Folio will save the current state of the document and create a thumbnail which (along with your message) will make it really easy to find a version back in the future.

Browsing versions

To view previous versions of your file just hover your mouse over the list of versions on the right, the thumbnail will update in the asset browser on the left.

If you need to view a bigger version hit the space bar or the ‘v’ key on your keyboard. Hitting it again will close the preview.

Restoring versions

Whenever you find a version you want to restore click the action gear on the right of the highlighted version. This will allow you to revert the file, or save a that version.

If you restore the file, Folio will recreate the file on disk and automatically add this change to the version history. This way you always keep the full history of the file.

If you save a version, Folio asks you where on your Mac to save it and will create a completely seperate new file. If you create it in your project folder it will have a new status and you can start tracking changes from there.

File status

Files in Folio can be in one of 4 states: new, modified, saved or deleted.

Whenever you save changes to a file after you created a version, its status changes to modified and you can create a new version.

Finding back files

To start searching click the search field in the toolbar or hit command + F (⌘F) on the keyboard and start typing.

Folio will search through filename and all commit messages

How to work together with Folio

Folio will help you create better products by making it really easy to share files and creating a shared version history with your collaborators.

Sharing is done on a per project basis, there are two ways to start working together on a project:

1. Join an existing project

2. Share a project with collaborators

If you already have a Git repository setup (ask your favorite developer) you can use that as well.

We’ll start with the first scenario.

Join an existing project

1. Click the “Open project…” button in the bottom right of the Folio window and choose “Open existing project (clone)…”.

2. Enter the repository URL (HTTPS clone URL on GitHub)

This will create a copy of the complete project on your local machine including the complete version history (so it might take a while).

Now that you have a complete working copy try selecting a file and hovering over the history on the right, you’ll see all the changes reflected in the thumbnails on the right.

Whenever you changes something and create a version, it’s automatically pushed to GitHub and it will be visible to other users of the same project.

Share a project with collaborators

Since Folio is based on Git you can share your project on any Git host you want (including your own) all you need to get started is the clone URL of an existing repository. Folio has built-in support for creating new projects on GitLab. Follow the steps below to publish your first private project.

GitLab

1. Start by creating a new account on GitLab (Skip this step if you already have an account).

2. Gitlab will send you a confirmation e-mail. Click the link in this e-mail and sign in.

3. In order to securely communicate with the GitLab servers, you will need to follow these instructions and add an SSH key. This might look a bit complicated at first, but don't despair. Just follow their steps; you'll only need to do this once! (Note: all commands on that page are typed into the Terminal application on your Mac. Simply type 'Terminal' in spotlight to start the app).

4. Back to Folio. Right-click a project and choose 'Publish to Gitlab'. Enter the credentials you created in step (1) and log in. We'll prefill a name for your project but you can pick any name you want. Now click the 'Publish to Gitlab' button to publish your project! (Note: for large projects this can take a while, hang in there).

5. Optionally add team members to your project.

From now on, everytime you create a version, Folio will automatically sync your changes to GitLab and notify your team members.

Other Git services

Creating an account on GitHub or BitBucket

Creating a repository on GitHub or BitBucket

Adding collaborators on GitHub or BitBucket