PASS Explorer Instructions

Getting Started
Overview of PASS Interface
Working with Files and Folders
Creating File Shares
Creating a Photo Album
Getting Help


Getting Started

The PASS Explorer tool lets you transfer files quickly and easily between PASS and a local directory/folder on your machine. The PASS Explorer has been redesigned to provide a more intuitive and user-friendly interface, a file sharing feature, a tool to create a photo album, and much more.The PASS Explorer is accessed via the Penn State Access Account Storage Space (PASS) channel in the Penn State Portal. To use the PASS Explorer, you must first login to the Penn State Portal if you already haven't done so. From the Portal's splash screen, click <Login>. The Penn State WebAccess authentication screen appears. Enter your Penn State Access Account userid and password and click <Login>. Note that if you already have authenticated to a Web service that uses WebAccess for authentication (Penn State WebMail, downloads.its.psu.edu, Penn State Web-based Training, or the ITS Secure Server), then you will not need to re-authenticate to the Portal. Upon successful authentication, your Portal page appears. NOTE: First-time users will be greeted by an introduction page before they can continue on to their respective Portal pages. For details, visit the ITS Training Group's online tutorial/handout information. In addition, online tutorials are available (also provided by the ITS Training Group) via the Portal's "Help" section.

Once your Portal page loads, click on the "PASS Explorer" link located in the PASS channel, as noted above. This launches the PASS Explorer in a new window and displays the contents of your PASS folder.

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Overview of PASS Explorer Interface

The PASS Explorer window provides an easy-to-use, intuitive interface. Primary navigation is located on the left-side of the screen; files and folders are listed on the right-side of the screen.

PASS Explorer interface

Navigation Panel (left-side of screen):

  • Upload: Upload files from a local computer to folders in your PASS.
  • Download: Download files from your PASS to a local computer.
  • Rename: Rename files and folders.
  • Delete: Remove/delete files and folders.
  • Move to: Move files and folders to another folder in PASS.
  • Copy to: Copy files and folders to another folder in PASS.
  • New Folder: Create a new folder.
  • Info: Displays information about a file or folder, such as who owns the file, when it was created, when it was last modified, etc.
  • Duplicate: Create a copy of a file or folder.
  • View File: Immediately view a file from the PASS Explorer without downloading it.
  • File Sharing: Create files and folders for friends, colleagues, etc. to view-only (read), view and edit (read and write), or edit-only (drop box/write). NOTE: Once a share is created, the E-mail Link(s) button appears. This allows you to e-mail links to those who have access to your share, so that they may access the files via a Web browser, as well as from the PASS Explorer.
  • Refresh: Refresh the current folder.
  • Make Album: Automatically generate a photo album for a selected directory.
  • Quota indicates your maximum quota amount and used indicates how much of your quota you currently use.

Files and Folders Window (right-side of screen:

  • Current Folder: displays the current folder. Note that all folders are listed first, followed by all files. Folders are indicated by brackets [ ].
  • Browse To: A location in PASS: Browse to other folders in PASS to which you have access, including your Personal Web Space (ePortfolio) folder.
  • Files and folders window: lists all of the files and folders in the selected folder. Double-click on a folder to view the contents/change to that folder. Double-clicking on a file will automatically display the file (this is the same as the View File option).
  • Change Folder: Click once on a folder in the current folder to select it; click <Change Folder> to change to the selected folder. You can use this as an option if your Web browser won't support the double-click action, as noted above.
  • Select <All> <None>: Select all files and folders in the current folder at once or cancel the selection.
  • Filter: Filter all types of files or files by type, only. File types include: Archive Files; Audio Files; Document Files; Image Files; Source Code Files; or Use File Filter (filter by a particular file filter/type, usually the file's extension; for example, .html, .doc, .txt, etc.). In addition, you may choose to show or hide hidden files by clicking the <Show/Hide> button. Hidden files, typically, are system or server files that could cause problems if they are removed.

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Working with Files and Folders

The Files and Folders window on the right-side of the screen displays your current folder location. By default, the current folder location is your PASS. To change the folder, double-click on the folder in the folders/files listing or use the Browse To: pull-down menu. Alternatively, the <Change Folder> option may be used. Click once on a folder in the current folder to select it; click <Change Folder> to change to the selected folder. You can use this as an option if your Web browser won't support the double-click action, as noted above.

To navigate to the previous folder, double-click on <Up One Folder> in the file/folder listing or use the <Change Folder> button, if necessary.

The Browse To: A location in PASS listing displays the folders to which you have access, including your PASS and your Personal Web space (ePortfolio) folder, in addition to any other folders in PASS to which you have access (Course Web space, Departmental Web space, and Web space on the Student Organizations server). You also can move to and add other folders in PASS and add them to this listing.

Add or Remove a Folder/location from the Browse To: listing
  • From the Browse To: A location in PASS pull-down menu, choose <Enter a path>. A dialog box appears, prompting for the path to the folder. Using the samples shown, enter the path for the folder and click <OK>. PASS Explorer moves to the folder. Now, choose <add current folder to Browse To menu> from the pull-down menu. Once the folder is added to the listing a dialog box displays, noting the successful update to your listing. Click <OK>. The folder is now added to your listing, providing a "quick link" to this folder.
  • To delete/remove a list item from the Browse To: list, choose <Remove from Browse To menu>. The Remove From Browse To menu pull-down menu appears to the right of the folders and files window. From the pull-down menu, choose the folder you wish to remove from the listing and click <Remove>. Once the list item is deleted, a dialog box displays, noting the successful update to your listing. Note that this action only deletes the listing itself from the Browse To: list and it will not delete the directory itself.
Downloading Files and Folders
  • Click once on a file or folder to select it.
  • From the navigation panel on the left-side of the screen, click on the <Download> icon. At the prompt, save the folder or file to your local computer. Once the file or folder downloads to your local computer, double-click it to "extract" it or, prior to its full download, choose an application to unzip/untar/extract the folder and its files, if you are prompted to do so.
Uploading Files and Folders
  • To upload a file to the current folder, click <Upload> from the navigation panel. The Upload Files window appears.
  • Click <Browse> or enter the path for the file. Click on <Upload>. If the file is zipped or archived (likely for folders) click the Auto Extract check box to choose this option.
  • To upload a folder, the process is the same, but you must first archive or zip the folder. This <packages> the directory in one, compact file, so that files don't need to be uploaded individually or in batches of five. Choosing auto extract extracts the files, creating the folder and its contents, once it is uploaded. It lists as folder in the files/folder window.
  • NOTE: Folders and files upload and download as .zip to ensure consistent downloading of files/folders via different browsers. No matter what type of Web browser you use, the folders/files will always download and can be extracted on your local computer once the download is complete.
Deleting Files and Folders
  • To delete a file or folder, first click the file or folder in the current to select it. Click <Delete> from the navigation panel.
  • A dialog box appears to confirm the delete. Click <OK>. Once the file(s)/folder(s) are deleted, a confirmation dialog box appears. Click <OK>.
  • To delete multiple files or folders at once, simply hold down the Shift key on your computer's keyboard and click to select the files/folders. Then, click <Delete> and follow the steps noted above.
Moving Files and Folders
  • Click on a folder/file to select it. Then, click <Move To>. The Move To window appears. Choose a new location from the Browse To: A location in PASS pull-down menu available in this window. The folder you select will be the new destination for the file/folder. Click <Move>.
  • A dialog box appears to confirm the move. Click <OK>. To move multiple files or folders at once to the same, new location, hold down the Shift key on your computer's keyboard, click to select the files/folders, and follow the steps above.
Copying Files and Folders
  • Click on a folder or file to select it. Then, click <Copy To>. The Copy To window appears. Choose a location to which to copy the file or folder from the Browse To: A location in PASS pull-down menu available in this window. The folder you select will be the copy destination for the file/folder. Click <Copy>.
  • A dialog box appears to confirm the copy. Click <OK>. To copy multiple files or folders at once to the same location, hold down the Shift key on your computer's keyboard, click to select the files/folders, and follow the steps above.
Creating New Folders
  • Click <New Folder>. A dialog box appears.
  • Enter a new folder name and click <OK>.
  • The new folder is created. PASS Explorer automatically changes to this folder, as noted in the files and folders window. To return to the previous folder, double-click "Up One Folder" or click "Up One Folder" and then click <Change Folder>.
Getting Info about a File or Folder
  • Click on a folder or file to select it. Then click <Info>. The Folder Information window appears.
  • The window displays basic information about the file or folder: the owner who has access, the group that has access, the date the file was created, the date the file was last accessed, and the date the file was last modified.
  • If you are familiar/comfortable with the ACL Explorer via the ITS Secure Server, then click <Go to permissions>. The permissions for the file or folder via ACL Explorer display in a new window. From here, follow the instructions through ACL Explorer's "Help" documentation to modify the permissions.
  • Click <Close all Windows> to close the ACL Explorer and Folder Information Windows or click <OK>.
Duplicate
  • Click on a folder or file to select it. Then click <Duplicate >.
  • A duplicate of the file or folder is created. A dialog box appears to confirm the duplication. Click <OK>. A duplicate of the file or folder is created in the current folder.
  • To duplicate several files or folders, hold down the Shift key on your computer's keyboard, click to select the files/folders, and follow the steps above.
View File
  • Click on a file to select it. Click <View File>.
  • The file opens per its file type. If you prefer to save the file to your local computer, then download the file. The <View File> option lets you view/examine the file before you perform a download.
Refresh
  • Click <Refresh> to refresh/update the current folder.

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Creating File Shares

The PASS Explorer's file sharing feature makes it very easy to share folders and files with friends, classmates, colleagues, etc. File shares of different types: read-only (view), read-write (edit and read), and write-only (drop box/edit).

Create a share:

  • Click <File Sharing>. The Share Manager window appears.
  • Click <Create Share>. The Create Share window appears.
  • In the Share Name: field, enter a name for your share.
  • Next, you will need to add the types of users and their respective levels of access to your share. For read-write and write-only users, you may choose to make the share available to any valid Penn State Access Account holder or to a specific Access Account holder/holders only. For read-only users, one of these two options may be chosen or the read-only share can be made available to the public. If this option is chosen, it means that anyone can view it. It will not be restricted to Penn State users or specific Penn State users unless you specify this.
  • To restrict a share to specific Access Accounts, first choose the type of user (for example, read-only). In the Read Only Users area of the screen, click "Available only to the following Access Accounts". Then, click <Add>.
  • The Add User window appears. Enter the Access Account userid or the last name for the user. Click <OK>
  • An abbreviated version of the user's online directory entry appears. Click <OK> to add the userid to the share.
  • Do this for every user.
  • Also note that you may specify different types of users for a particular share folder for the "Available only to the following Access Accounts" option. Some Access Account users may be added as read-write, while others may be specified as read-only or write-only.
  • If you have a list of users stored on your local computer, you may upload this list to any type of share by clicking <Upload List>. The Upload Users window appears. Click <Browse> to choose the file or enter the file name in the Filename: field. Click <OK> to upload the names to the share.
  • Click <Apply> to complete the share creation.
  • The PASS Explorer automatically defaults to the share folder upon successful creation, as noted by the Current Folder path. The share also will be listed in the Browse To: A location in PASS listing.
  • The share folder is now ready for files. Click <Upload> and follow the instructions for uploading files, as noted above.

Send Link(s):

  • Note that the <Send Link(s)> button appears in the navigation panel once a share is created. This function lets you send a link to the share folder or to specific files in the share for shares (read-write, read-only, write-only) restricted to specific Access Account userids.
  • Click <Send Link(s)>. The E-mail Links window appears.
  • From the pull-down menu, choose the type of user specified for your share. The user's Access Account userid appears in the field below the pull-down menu. Click to select the userid and click the <Add> to add the users to the "Recipients" field. If you have multiple users, hold down the Shift key on you keyboard and click to select all users at once.
  • Note that once users are listed in the "Recipients" field, the @psu.edu is added to the userid.
  • As necessary, other e-mail addresses may be added to the e-mail notification. Enter an e-mail address in the field provided and click <Add Address>.
  • The subject of the message reflects the name of the share. You may change this as you wish.
  • In the text field, the link to the share automatically appears. Enter a message (optional) and click <Send Mail>. A confirmation message appears. Click <Close Window>. You also will receive a copy of the e-mail notification.
  • .
  • Recipients can click on the link to the share from their respective e-mail clients. This action should launch the specified Web browser and recipients will be required to authenticate (via WebAccess) with their respective Access Account userids and passwords if they already haven't done so otherwise.

Modify a Share:

  • To modify a share, click <File Sharing>. The Share Manager window appears.
  • Click a share folder to select it, as listed in the "Shares" field. Click <Modify Share>.
  • The Modify Share window appears. The Modify Share window is the same as the Create Share window.
  • Edit the share accordingly, per the instructions noted above, and click <Apply>.
  • The Share Manager window appears. Click <Close Window>. The share is now modified.

Delete a Share:

  • To modify a share, click <File Sharing>. The Share Manager window appears.
  • Click a share folder to select it, as listed in the "Shares" field. Click <Delete Share>.
  • A dialog box appears to confirm the delete. Click <OK>. The share is deleted. Click <Close Window>.

Also note that all shares are stored in a folder called share in your PASS. This folder is automatically created by the PASS Explorer once your first share is created. To see the share folder, double-click "Up One Folder" (or select this option in the files/folders window and click <Change Folder>) to return to your PASS folder. The share folder is listed along with your other PASS folders.

In addition, once the share manager is launched, note that some of the navigational elements are deactivated, as only certain actions may be performed with a share.

All shares (the shares you create as well as the shares to which you belong) are grouped together in the Browse To: A location in PASS listing.

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Creating a Photo Album

  • First, you will need to create a folder for your photo album. As an example, name it vacation. It is suggested that you create this folder within your www folder.
  • Then, upload the images as .jpg files to the vacation folder.
  • Alternatively, you can upload an entire folder as a .zip or .tar file. Remember to click the Auto Extract option in the Upload Files window, so that the files automatically extract once the .zip or .tar file uploads.
  • If necessary, double-click the vacation folder so that it becomes the current folder.
  • Click <Make Album>.
  • The Generate Photo Album window appears. In the "Album Title" field, enter a name/title for your photo album. The title serves as the main heading of your thumbnail index page once it is created.
  • Choose the number of photos/thumbnails per row for the album by selecting a number (one through four) from the pull-down menu.
  • Click <Generate Album>. Please be patient, as the generation process may take several minutes.
  • The album is created. Note that .html files of the .jpg files are created, including an index.html file. This file serves as the main, thumbnail index for your album.
  • Now, the album is ready to be shared with/sent to colleagues, family, friends, etc. In this example, the link to the photo album would be http://www.personal.psu.edu/xyz123/vacation/ where xyz123/vacation/ represents your Access Account userid and the folder name for your album, respectively.

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Getting Help

If you need assistance or experience a problem, please contact the ITS Help Desk staff at helpdesk@psu.edu. For problem reports, please include the following information:

  • your Access Account userid;
  • the time the error occurred;
  • the error message you received (if any);
  • the Web browser type and version (for example, Firefox 1.0.6); and
  • the platform and operating system (for example, Macintosh OS 10.4.2).

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Last revised: Tuesday, August 30, 2005.