Swarthmore uses a document management system called AODocs with Google Drive. AODocs is an add-on for Google Drive that allows departments and groups to manage files instead of individuals. Google Drive only provides file storage for individuals and does not allow files to be owned by a department. This can cause problems if important files are shared with members of a department and then the person owning the document leaves the college. AODocs provides a means for the department or organization to own the files. AODocs ensures that files placed inside departmental or organizational folders will have the correct permissions and can be easily shared with an organizational group. There are two AODocs browser extensions that provide the following benefits:

  • Controlled permissions of folders and documents
  • Searching within a specific folder
  • Microsoft Office integration
  • Editing non-Google files directly from your Drive

You know if you have access to a folder managed by AODocs when the owner is listed as "Swarthmore College" or a department or group. Files and folders owned by you will have "me" listed as the owner, and any files owned by an individual other than you will list the person's name as the owner. You can find more information about AODocs by viewing their official documentation at:

For instructions and tips on how to install the AODocs extensions to take advantage of these features, please see our page on installing the AODocs extensions. If you are having trouble getting the extensions to work properly, check out our troubleshooting AODocs page.

Request an AODocs Google Drive folder

You can request an AODocs managed folder for your department, committee, student organization, etc. Simply fill out our AODocs Drive folder request form. This form will require a Swarthmore login. If you have any questions about AODocs folders or would like to consult with someone to see if it is the right option for your group please contact

Deleting Folders and Files from AODocs

In order to delete folders and files from an AODocs library, you are required to use the AODocs Smartbar extension. If you do not have the Smartbar extension and use Google Drive's "Remove" option instead, the folder/file will reappear in the library after a short time. With the Smartbar extension installed, you will see a series of icons as you hover over individual folders and files located in your AODocs library. One icon that you will see is a trash can icon (which looks almost identical to Google Drive's trash can icon for their "remove" option). Below is a screen capture of where these icons will appear and what the delete icon for AODocs looks like.

Screenshot of a folder with the AODocs Smartbar icons

As a note: Google Drive uses the wording "Remove" in relation to all of its delete options. AODocs will use the word "Delete" when you hover over the icons. This is a great way to make sure you have the right icons.

For more information on all the different features AODocs Smartbar adds, check out our page on using features in AODocs.

Edit your non-Google files directly from Google Drive

You can edit non-Google files directly from Drive. For more information on how to do this, please see our page on editing non-Google Files with AODocs.