User Guide

Docavea brings you to a new level of information overview in document collections. Information otherwise scattered and hidden across multiple documents are brought together in one integrated place. The cornerstones in Docavea are:

  • The Document Collection gives you a graphical overview of the documents.
    • Documents can be sorted, rearranged, grouped and titled to you liking.
    • All documents are kept open on the page you leave them.
    • The same document can be kept open on multiple pages with virtual duplicates.
  • The Annotation Extract gives you overview of all important locations across all the documents.
    • The Extract List gives you navigation links to all important locations in all documents.
    • Filter your annotations by categories using annotation labels.
    • Present your annotations to yourself and others in your customized order.
  • The Project Share allows you to share and collaborate on document contents with others.
    • Share all documents, annotations and overviews with others.
    • Discuss and exchange information for each individual annotation.
    • Easily control which users can add documents and change overviews.
You can access your Docavea Projects on Windows, Mac, Chromebook, iPad, iPhone and Android. Docavea supports both PDF, office and image files.

Quick Guide

In Docavea you have the Document Collection overview to the left, and the Document Reader to the right.
  • Selecting  in the toolbar slides in the Annotation Extract list from the right side.
  • Using Docavea on smart phones in portrait orientation shows only one part at a time, and you switch between them by selecting  and  in the toolbar.
Start adding some documents by selecting the ‘Add Documents…’ (to add more than one file, hold Ctrl/Cmd while selecting files).
  • Try switching between documents in the left side by selecting the thumbnails.
  • Browse the document in the right side with the mouse wheel, scrollbar and controls below the document.
During reading it is easy to add your annotations (markup and comments) to important locations in the documents.
  • Activate the rectangle tool  in the toolbar, and then drag a box over the relevant information in the document.
  • Select  in the toolbar to display the Annotation Extract list. Select one of the comment bars to add your comment.

That is the basic workflow of Docavea!


Select any of the links below for a detailed description. Note that you can also read tooltips when hovering a mouse cursor over the various options in Docavea.

Projects, Collections, Documents

Each Docavea Project can hold multiple Document Collections. Separating your documents into more collections can be done from the start, but you can also move documents between Collections later. Typically working with multiple Document Collections comes naturally when having many documents, or working with more revisions of some of the same documents.

So, a Project holds Collections, that again holds Documents, and there is a separate options menu in the toolbar for each of these three topics:

  • Project and Collection menus. Here you can select the Project/Collection to view, and you have a number of options related to the displayed Project/Collection. Besides new, delete, rename and copy, these are:
    • Project sort by. List your projects sorted by name, creation date, or last used date (usage).
    • Project sharing. This is covered in a separate section.
    • Collection grid size. Set number of columns in the Collection Overview.
  • In the Document menu add, delete, move and copy options address the set of selected documents in the displayed Collection Overview. Other options are:
    • Select/unselect all documents in the Collection Overview.
    • Sort documents by name or date.
  • Options for individual documents are available in the menu under each document in the Collection Overview. See the section on Collection Overview for details.
  • You can also change the displayed Project, Collection or Document by selecting the respective titles in the status bar in the bottom of the screen.

Collection Overview

In the Document Collection Overview you have the central navigation point for your documents. You select a document to view it in the Document Reader, and you can rearrange the document layout by:

  • Drag and drop.
  • Sort by name or date (option found in the Document menu).
  • Split documents into groups by inserting Group Titles (see below).
  • Insert more documents in any of the blank positions by selecting the “+”. See details on different file formats below.
  • Insert new blank positions by double-click/tap.
  • Remove blank positions by selecting the “x”.

In the Collection Overview you have these options for each of the individual documents:

  • Lock document thumbnail to the current page. By this you can set a recognizable cover-page, that you can jump back to by selecting the page number next to the lock. On small screens this option is placed in the individual document menus.
  •  Select one or more documents. Selected documents are addressed by the delete, move, copy options in the toolbar’s Document menu.  On small screens this option is placed in the individual document menus.
  • In the individual document menus (under each document) you can:
    • Split the documents into groups by inserting a Group Title in front of the document.
    • Duplicate a document. A duplicate document allows you to have direct access to multiple locations in the same document. You can combine this with the Lock option to help identify the locations. Each duplicate can be named individually, but reference the same original file, and all show the complete set of annotations in the document.
    • Rename the document title. The title is by default the file name, but you can modify this for clarity. The option also offer you to revert back to the original file name.
    • Delete the document from the collection. If the document has duplicates, these are not affected.
    • See original document informations about file date, file size and number of pages.
The Collection Overview can be hidden by selecting  in the toolbar.

In the statusbar below the Collection Overview you can change the displayed Project and Collection by selecting the respective titles in the status bar.

Docavea supports both PDF, and many office and image file formats. Internally documents are handled in PDF format, and other file formats are converted automatically. When you add a document to Docavea, is shown while document is loaded and if necessary converted. If a file conversion fails,  is shown for the document.
Password protected PDF files are also supported. Here a  is shown until the document is selected and the password is entered.

Document Reader

In the Document Reader you basically read and create annotations at the important locations in the document. You browse the document with the mouse wheel, scrollbar and the controls below the document. See separate section on Annotation below.

You can control the appearance of the document by using these options in the toolbar:

  • Page Orientation rotates the page right, left or upside down. The page orientation is remembered for each individual page.
  • Page Zoom resizes the page so the full page or page width fit the screen size. You can also zoom to another size using Ctrl/Cmd + mouse wheel or pinch zoom on touch screens.
  • Page Layout can be set to show one or two pages horizontally. The ‘cover page’ layout shows page 1 alone, and the rest in pairs of two.

In the statusbar below the Document Reader you can change the displayed document. You can also browse the history of displayed documents with.


During reading of the documents, you can add annotations to the important locations in the documents. An Annotation consists of a markup in the document and one or more optional comments. The markups can be either a graphical rectangle you place in the document, or a text selection.

To use one of the markup tools, select it in the toolbar. Note that the markup tool remains active after use, as you would typically use it more than once. Select it again to deactivate it.

  •  The rectangle annotation tool allows you to mark any area on the page. Tool options:
    • 6 different colors can be used.
  •  A   A   A  The text annotation tool allows you to mark text lines in the page. Note that this tool require the text in the document to be selectable (many scanned documents does not include this). Tool options:
    • Text markup can be either highlight, underline or strikeout.
    • 6 different colors can be used.

When you have created (or selected an existing) annotation markup, you can add a comment to the annotation.

  • If you have the Annotation Extract list open in the right side ( in the toolbar), you can find the markup highlighted in the list, and you can select the input field to add a comment.
  • If the Annotation Extract panel is closed, a small comment input panel is shown in the bottom of the screen while the annotation is selected.

See more details about comments in the Annotation Extract section below.

Selecting  in the toolbar, will show the Search Pane. The Search Pane gives you classic text search, but also provides yet another way to navigate between documents by selecting to search all documents in the Collection.
In the Search Pane you can:

  • Enter a search text.
  •  Search across all the documents in the current Collection Overview.
  • Match case of search text.
  • Match only whole words in the search text.

Annotation Extract

Selecting in the toolbar, will show the Annotation Extract list. The Extract list can display a configurable amount of annotation comments extracted from the complete set of annotations in the whole project. By selecting the individual annotations in the list, you can jump to any location in any document in the project.
Each of the annotations listed in the Annotation Extract shows all the comments for the annotation (shows page number if comment is blank), and offer these options for the annotation:

  • View original document markup. Hover with mouse or select to lock/unlock view.
  •  Add a new comment to the annotation.
  •  Label an annotation. You can add one or more labels (categories) to the annotation.
  • / When the filter menu is set to list an annotation label, you can arrange the order of the annotations.
  •  Delete a comment of the annotation. As comments are chronological, they must be deleted by the newest first.

To delete an annotation and all of its comments, select the annotation (in the list or document) and press the delete button appearing at the bottom of the Document Reader window.

You control the content of the Annotation Extract list in the filter menu above the list (), where you can affect the list in three major ways:

  • Label. Limits the list to the annotations with (or without) a specified label.
    Note that when the extract list is set to show annotations with a specific label, creating new annotations will automatically be given this label.
  • Scope. Limits the Extract list to either annotations in: a single document, the documents in the current Document Collection, or all documents in the Project.
  • Sort. Order the annotations to match the document order in Collection and Project, or order them by creation date or modification date.

The Extract list options () offers to perform an action on multiple annotations in one operation. First you must choose to show selection boxes for each annotation in the list, then you have these options:

  • Add or remove a label on all selected annotations.
  • Delete all selected annotations including all related comments.

Project Share

You can share your Project including all the documents, annotations, document layouts, labels etc. with others. You find the option in the Project menu. With these features Docavea can facilitate the whole process of reading, sharing, and having a dialogue about the content of the documents.

To share a Project, you just enter an email to one or more attendants, and then an invitation is sent out. You can input more emails in one input by separating with commas.
You can invite anyone, they do not need to have an existing account with Docavea (but will need to log in to access the project). To invite existing Docavea users, you should use the email they have already registered in their Docavea account.

When sharing a Project you allow others to read your documents, and add their own annotations. Attending users without editor rights are restricted from adding, deleting and moving documents, and can only delete their own annotation comments. Only you, as the project owner, can change the sharing settings. All project users can make a copy of a project, so that they can work privately with the documents.

User Settings

Selecting  in the toolbar will show the User Menu containing a number of options for the user account and the appearance of Docavea.

  • User account dialog.
    • See and modify your authentication credentials (login settings) required to access you private data i Docavea. You can set up Docavea so that you can log in with more than one login-method, which also allows you to change from using one method to another. You can also change your display name, email or password.
    • Restore a project or the user account from any of the automatic daily backups.
    • Delete your Docavea account and all related data.
    • Opt-in to receive the Docavea Newsletter. This option is available if you did not select it during account creation.
  • Subscription dialog. You can use Docavea for free with a small number of documents. For professional use Docavea offer a much more comprehensive document capacity in a paid subscription. See all details in the subscription dialog.
  • Options
    • Animated user interface. Use smooth transitions when showing and hiding the different panes etc.
    • Annotation tool auto-off. Automatically turn of the annotation tool after use to avoid unintentionally creating annotations.
    • Color Theme. Change the overall color pallette.
    • Reload Docavea app. Restarts the Docavea web page.
    • Reset display option (reloads app).
  • Fullscreen. Switch Docavea in and out of fullscreen mode.
  • Log out. Terminate your authenticated state. Note that if you chose “keep me logged in” when you logged in, your private data is still accessible when you open a new browser tab, unless you use this explicit log out.

Keyboard Shortcuts

On devices with keyboards you can use these keyboard shortcuts to further speed up the navigation in your document collection. 

Document Collection   
  Function Key
  Collection C
  Document switch  
     Prev. Shift + ⇐
     Next Shift + ⇒
     First Shift + Home
     Last Shift + End
  Grid size G, Shift + G
Document Reader    
  Function Key
  Page switch  
     Prev. Page Up
     Next Page Down
     First Home
     Last End
  Panning view ⇐, ⇑, ⇒, ⇓
     In "+"
     Out "-"
  Annotation tool A
  Page layout P
  Zoom mode Z
  Orientation O, Shift + O
Annotation Extract  
  Function Key
  Annotation extract E
  Annotation switch  
     Prev. Shift + ⇑
     Next Shift + ⇓
  Function Key
  Search S
  Color theme T, Shift + T
  User guide U, Shift + F1
  Function Control
  Scroll in
    - Collection
    - Document
    - Annotation Extract

  Zoom in
    - Collection (grid size)
    - Document

Ctrl/Cmd + Wheel