Any file uploaded from your local system is represented in BSCW as a document. A docu­ment may contain text, spreadsheets, graphics, print files, pictures, sound, video, etc., typi­cally stored in various proprietary file formats. Each document in BSCW is associated with an according file type when it is uploaded. This file type is represented by a specific icon in front of the docu­ment name (or by the unknown icon for a file type that does not have an individual icon on your BSCW ser­ver). On the Internet, these file types are identified by so-called MIME types. The info page of a document shows this more technical looking MIME type.

BSCW provides specific functions for two kinds of documents.

Plain text and HTML documents:
Documents of file type ‘Plain Text’ or ‘HTML Document’ (MIME types text/plain or text/HTML) may be created and edited di­rect­ly on the BSCW server (actions  File    New    Text Document ,  File    New    HTML Do­cument  and action  Edit ; see 8.1 Direct editing of documents).

Zip and Tar archives:         
BSCW can create Zip and Tar archives from objects in a folder (including personal objects like your home folder, clipboard and trash). Such archives are again BSCW documents (of file type ‘Archive (Zip/Winzip)’ or ‘Archive (Tar)’). BSCW can also extract the files from Zip or Tar archives that you have uploaded from your local system; the files are put into your clipboard as BSCW documents and fol­ders (actions action  Archive  and action  Extract ; see 13.1 Archiving and transferring objects).

Depending on the file type of a document and on the configuration of your Web browser, several things may happen when you click on the document name in a folder page:

the Web browser may interpret the underlying file and display it;

a program on your local computer may be started to display the file;

a dialog box may come up that lets you store the document as a local file;

the Web browser may offer a set of options for handling the document.