Exploring the Desktop App


In addition to the Web App, you can use the Copia Desktop App to manage your repositories and their contents. Most users will likely prefer to use the Desktop App in light of its advanced change detection features.

Copia encourages use of the Copia Desktop App as it provides custom and supported features that are beneficial for the automation industry. While it's possible to use the GIT CLI, this workflow should be performed with care as it may provide access to operations that are not supported by Copia. If you still have questions, reach out to us at contact@copia.io.

Selecting a Repository

In the Copia Desktop App, the current selected repository will be show in the top right. This reflects the status (changes) of the Repository folder on your PC, and provides access to History of that folder.

This button not only displays the currently selected repository, but it can be selected to change to another repository.

Using this menu, you can change to another repository (grouped by Recent or Organization). The green dots indicate there are "uncommitted" (or unsaved) changes in the repository folder. The Arrow indicates that there are new changes to Pull from the server.

In addition, select the "Add" button to either add a local folder as a repository or clone (i.e. copy) a repository from the Copia server to the local system.

Selecting a Branch

Next to the Repository selector, the Branch selector displays the current branch (or line of code) that is currently in the repository folder on your PC. Branches are explained in more detail in the Branching section, but in summary; A branch is a new/separate version of the main repository, that you can work in without changing the original branch (or contents).

Creating or changing the branch, will update the contents of the repository folder on the PC to that branch's contents. (in the case of a new branch, it will copy the source branch) This allows you to make changes, and then overwrite or merge into the original branch at a later time.

When you select the Branch button, you will have the opportunity to:

  • Select a different branch

  • Create a new branch, based off of the currently selected branch

  • View the current open Pull Requests for the branches shown (see Pull Requests for more information, but in summary they are a "request to merge two branches")

Accessing the Repository Folder

When you want to make changes, work on your project or add more data into the repository; you do this from the repository folder. This is just a folder on your PC that you chose, when you created or cloned (i.e. copied from Copia) your repository to this PC.

You may already know which folder this is, and you don't even need to use the Copia Desktop App to make changes. If you forget, Copia can easily get you to it!

If there are no changes, you can select "Show in Explorer" button, or you can access the same option from the Repository Menu at the top of the Copia Desktop App. You can also use the Ctrl + Shift + F hotkey to access the repository folder.

Viewing Changes

The Changes tab will display any files in your repository folder that have changed. You do not need to do anything, just make any change in the repository folder on your PC, and switch back to the Copia Desktop App, and it will detect that a file has been modified. The differences will be displayed on the right.

The example below shows a change to a text file in the repository folder, and upon switching back to the desktop app the change is highlighted in green.

Viewing History

Once you fetch and pull from the Copia server, you'll have access to your repository's full history of commits -- and to all file changes in each commit.

Click the History tab on the top left corner of the Copia Desktop app. You should see the changes in each revision rendered in a panel to the right.

You can also perform compares between history. See the Managing History topic for more information about this.

While Git is a powerful tool for individual engineers to track and understand changes to their files, it truly shines when used in collaboration with multiple engineers. Copia supports collaboration features like Organizations, Teams, Issue Tracking, and Wikis, which are covered extensively in the Managing Repositories section.

Additional Menu Options

The Copia Desktop App provides additional menu items for you to explore. Each menu item is described below:

  • File

    • The File menu provides the ability to create or clone repositories, as well as providing access to the Desktop App Options, which are described in more detail in the Administration section.

  • Edit

    • The Edit menu provides the standard operations found in most PC-based software

  • View

    • The View menu lets you activate standard views that are typically available elsewhere in the client.

    • The Toggle Developer tools option may be needed in some cases to troubleshoot issues with Copia technical support.

  • Repository

    • The Repository menu gives you an alternative location for some standard operations.

    • It also provides access the the Git Command-line interface and Repository specific settings, including the .gitignore file, which allows you to "ignore" certain files in your repository from change control.

  • Branch

    • This menu provides an alternative menu for the commands that may be used to create, delete or modify branches.

Last updated