Download and Preview Documents

SupportAbility is a great place to store important Documents for Clients, Staff, Contacts, Organisation Incidents and Opportunities for Improvement. Many of these uploaded Documents contain private information, so care needs to be taken with how these Documents are viewed and interacted with.

In most cases, Staff Members simply need to view files. Generally, they don't need to download a copy of the document onto the device they are using. To assist with this, SupportAbility provides two buttons for each uploaded Document, 'Download' and 'Preview'.

Audience: All


Selecting the download button downloads the document onto the Staff Member's computer or device so that it can be edited and uploaded again as a new document. The Staff Member is then responsible for deleting the file from the device once they have finished working with it.


If the Staff Member is using a device that supports the preview (see details below), they will be able to click the preview button which will show them the contents of the file without downloading it to their device. This is generally preferable because they do not need to remember to clear the device of private information.

These buttons are available for selection next to the attachment within the Documents tab of the record e.g:

Availability of Document preview functionality

Depending on the Document Type you are trying to access, the browser & the device being used, SupportAbility will allow you to preview specific file types as follows:

If you are using Google Chrome, we highly recommend installing the Office Editing for Docs, Sheets & Slides extension to be able to preview word and excel documents. Unfortunately, this extension is not yet available on tablet and mobile devices and therefore word and excel documents must be downloaded on such devices.  

Please note that the Office Editing for Docs, Sheets & Slides extension is for previewing documents only and any changes made when a document is opened using this plugin are not saved.  To make any changes to a document, staff still need to download the document, edit the document and then re-upload it to SupportAbility. We recommend asking your IT staff/provider to rollout this Chrome extension automatically to all staff machines using Chrome.

As you can see from the table above, not all browsers support the Preview functionality, therefore if this is not available, the Preview Unavailable icon will be displayed: 

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