The Workspace

MasterFile provides a tabbed workspace within which you organize all your cases.

Each case is represented by a square icon and each tab can be used to organize these by whatever criteria you prefer - alphabetically, by type, year whether active or dormant, etc.  Icons are moved like any Windows icon. To move multiple cases, while holding the shift key down, select their icons and before releasing the shift key, drag them to the new spot or to a new tab's title.

  1. The MasterFile_Template, from which you create new cases.
  2. These two icons show 'Local'; these cases reside on laptop or tablet only and are unique to this user.
  3. These two icons represent cases on the MasterFile server (dom-t1700); any users with appropriate rights can work on them simultaneously.
  4. The small arrow on JLC v BCH's icon tells you that both a local and server replica of this case, exist. It can be worked on on-line or off-line with synchronization occuring automatically when you're back on-line.

A case's database icon is created automatically on the current tab when you create a new matter from the MasterFile_Template. It holds everything to do with that case - evidence, facts, issues, chronological items, timelines, and work product, notes and argument, as well as tracking production.

Each case is one file on disk, so archiving, backup and mobility is simple.


The left most column of icons (#5 in the screenshot) holds various bookmarks by default. You can also add bookmarks here to specific cases and even documents within them. The most widely used one will of course be the Workspace and any Favourites you drag and drop there.

MasterFile's default window

This is MasterFile's main window and default view, "Documents by Date".

  1. The left navigator. It holds views into the case that find and presort documents, research, facts and key information so you can easily browse to anything within a couple of clicks. You can collapse a navigator away by clicking the twisty on its inner border.
  2. The right navigator. It contains the actions you need to perform during intake, document import, review, production, analysis and so on.
  3. The central area. This displays the view selected from the left panel.
  4. The selection margin. A persistent selection area for multiple documents.
  5. The Status bar. It lists (primarily) progress, technical and troubleshooting messages. Click it to expand.

Using the navigators

Both navigators have a common appearance.

  • Dark grey buttons group similar views or functions together.
  • Light grey buttons, all on the left panel, display a selection of profiles in the centre sorted and categorized according to the view selected.
  • Blue buttons, all on the right panel, perform commands or functions on the profiles or on the database itself.

We refer to views on the left navigator or panel as [L+] and commands on the right panel as [R+].

Using views

Views are similar to folders except that instead of you dragging documents there, views search the database for a set of documents and group, sort and display them in specific ways.

Evidence, research, correspondence, key extracts, facts and events, etc., is therefore sorted and grouped by your own topics and issues, by document types, by author, and by relevance, and so forth. Simply browsing MasterFile's set of over 75 views lets you find what you need quickly - although you can also search the database when you need.

The view below shows documents "by Document type". Under "Transcripts" and "Transcripts - all" you can see four transcripts are shown.

To open a profile from a view, simply double click on its row, or select it and press the enter key, just as you would an e-mail message.

Profiles may be displayed in edit or view mode; however you can only change their content and save it from edit mode. To change to edit mode, double click anywhere in an open profile.

To see one or more documents, select them in the selection margin and click [L+ General > View documents].

  • If the navigators disappear, and you see the MasterFile "folder panel" instead, click Actions > Restore MasterFile from top menu or "Restore MasterFile" at the top of the plain navigator to restore them. If the  Actions menu is not visible, click on any row in the current view to restore it.
  • In some versions of Notes, views may appear with all categories expanded. Press <Shift-> or click on the collapse all button.
try it - Selecting a view and opening a profile

Note that the 'try it' sections refer to the sample case Arcade v SkyHigh installed with MasterFile.

To open a view

  • Click on [L+ Documents > by Doc Type]. The view changes to show a list of document type categories.
  • Click on the grey triangle left of "Court Documents" to expand the category and list documents types in it.
  • Click on the grey triangle left of "Affidavit" to show all affidavits in descending date order with a short summary and other details.

To open a profile

  • Double click on the first affidavit's row (or click to select and press Enter) to open its profile.
  • The original affidavit file is attached to the first shaded field.
  • Double click the file (or click it to select; then click the "Launch" button at the top of the profile) to open the affidavit in its default (associated) application on your computer.

Note that you can open the same native file(s) directly from the view by selecting its row and clicking "View documents"