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BioRender’s New Features and Collaboration Tools

You requested it, we built it! Katy Brenneman (Product Manager, BioRender) will be sharing more of BioRender’s newest tools built to address popular user requests. Find out how you can speed up your workflow, collaborate seamlessly with your team, and more!

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Today, I'm going to be talking about what's new in BioRender. I'm going to cover some features that have been in BioRender for maybe a few months now, but then some features that were just released this week, so we can talk through some old and new. The focus of today's conversation is going to be around sharing and collaborating in BioRender.

So for the first half of the conversation, we're going to talk about the 3 different ways that you can share your files in BioRender. And then the back half of the conversation is going to be some features to support in tool collaboration. So I'm just going to turn off my video to make sure that we're getting some top performance here. The first one that we're going to cover is going to be inviting your colleagues to view or edit your figure.

So when we think about inviting people to view or edit your figure or collaborate on any sort of file, the best way to go about inviting someone is when you have a small group or one person that you want to invite to your figure. You know that they have a BioRender account, and this is infrequent sharing. So maybe you're not sharing with them a lot or in large volumes. It's kind of just a one off. This is going to be your best way to share your figure.

So I'm going to go through a quick example here. What you can do is click on the share button in the top right corner. Once you click on the share button, you're going to see the option to invite a person via their email address. So what you can do is type in the person's email address and you can choose their permissions. So you can give them edit permissions or you can give them view permissions. Anyone who has an edit permission is able to edit the figure as well as your poster if you're choosing to invite someone to your poster. They can also change the permissions they can invite other people or they can make a copy. If you're choosing view only, that means that they can just view the content of your file. So I'm gonna go ahead and add Frank here and then send the invite at the bottom. If I send that invite, this is going to send an email to Frank. Frank is going to receive an email inviting him to the file that I've just sent him. And what's going to happen when he goes to his gallery page, there's going to be a shared file section down here in the bottom left corner. A red dot will appear on the shared files icon when new files have arrived in your shared folder section. So if you click on the shared files there, all of the files shared with you will appear here. So Frank would see my presentation here in his shared folder section.

The next way to share a file that we're gonna go through is gonna be via a shared folder. So just at the end of last year, we released the ability to create shared folders. This is a really nice way to share with people if you have a small group, a large group, and you know that they have BioRender accounts, as well if you're sharing frequently or you're sharing large volumes of work. So this kind of acts like a workspace where you can drop all the files that you want to collaborate on and you can invite everybody at that file level. 

So I'm gonna jump back to my gallery here. You can see my folders on the left side. There's this shared with me. These are all folders that have been shared with me. So if I open one of those folders, I can see a ton of different files and I wasn't added to those files 1 by 1, instead I was added at the folder level. So I'll walk through the process of how to do that. If we click a new folder on the far left there, we're gonna click a new folder. I'm going to type an example for this purpose here. And click save. If I hover over my new folder and I click those 3 dots to the right side, I'm going to see the option to share. If I click share again, I'm gonna get that invite model. I'm gonna invite Frank again. And add Frank to that folder. Now anytime I drop files into that folder, Frank's gonna be able to access them.

The way to differentiate files or folders that you've created that are shared or independent to you is the icon on the far left, if it's shared, it has a person in the folder there. If it's not, if it's just your own folder, The icon won't have a person in it. So again, just to quickly recap, you can create shared folders for project type work if you're sharing with people frequently or in large volumes.

The third way to share in BioRender, which is the newest way to share in BioRender and we're gonna go through a live demo today is to share a link to your figure. So this is ideal for times when you're sharing with an individual or a really large group. And they don't have BioRender or maybe it's unknown if they have BioRender. 

I'm gonna go into an example here. I've chosen a file and I'm going to click on the share button in the top right corner. And you're going to see this new section which is called invite via link. It will by default, anyone with the link will not have access. However, if you'd like to enable access, you can click on that button there and you can allow anyone with the link of this file to add a minimum view of the file. When you click to edit or view, give edit or view permissions, you're going to get a confirmation model to say, are you sure you want to do this? You just confirm.

And then you can either copy the link in this model or you can get the link from the top of your URL here and give that a copy. What I'm gonna do now is I'm going to share this link live, so we can all give it a try and see what happens. I will give a little bit of an explanation. So if I paste this link, if you have BioRender open, and you've already logged in, you're going to be directed immediately to this file. If you're not logged in to BioRender or you don't have it open, you're going to be shown a preview. So I'm going to drop it in the chat.

The nice thing about this feature is if I jump back to the share model, I can see everyone who's joined that file, and I do have the option to revoke access.

So I can switch back to no access. If I click no access, and someone tries to enter that file, you shouldn't be able to access that link unless you've joined as a collaborator. So if you've joined as a collaborator, you'll still be able to access the file. If you haven't, it'll show no access and nobody can access that file anymore. 

If you leverage 1 of the 3 ways that we just covered there, The benefits are that your files are up to date. We heard from a lot of people that we interviewed. There's a lot of exporting files, sending to somebody for feedback, getting the feedback, applying the feedback, exporting again, sending away again.

So it was a lot of version management. When you share via BioRender, whether it's the link to a folder or directly via email, your files are always up to date and you never have to worry about the person seeing a file that's out of date. We also do support version history. I'm pretty sure Shiz mentioned this in her talk earlier, but any file that you share, there is going to be a version history that you can revert back to. So if we go to the file in the top left corner, There's this version history option where you can see all the previous versions of your file. And you can always revert back to that version. So you can see here there were a number of edits that were made today. If I click on 1 of them and then click make a copy of this version, I can revert back to any point in time. So you never have to be worried about someone joining as a collaborator and ruining your figure because you can always go back to that previous state. One of the other benefits is in context feedback. I'm gonna talk about commenting next and some updates we've made.

But when you share in buyer render, you can get in context feedback. So If I was to add a comment or leave a comment, I could pinpoint the specific area that I want to leave a comment on. So the person understands that feedback rather than having it in an email where you're just listing out those points. It is a good way to get feedback that you understand and that there's less miscommunication.

So 1 of the last points I'm going to go through today is live commenting. So I have a collaborator on the other end who's going to start dropping comments. You can see this comment just appeared here in the top right corner with that red dot, and we just see another one beside live commenting. Previously with comments, you had to rely on refreshing the page to see those comments in real time. Now if 2 people are on the figure at the same time, you see those comments appear instantly, and you can address the comments in the moment. 

And then the last item I was going to talk about is the slides feature. So Francesca highlighted this a little bit with the slides feature and being able to make a presentation. This is what I did today as well. I made a presentation. But another way that we see the slides feature being used is to make multiple versions of a figure. We have heard that versions are very important when creating a figure and being able to make the comparison against different versions.

So 1 option you could look at is when you create your original version of a file, and share with collaborators, you can have them duplicate your file there and then make their own version or their own iteration So they don't have to edit your particular file, but maybe I created version 1, the second collaborator created version 2, And then we have the third collaborator who created version 3.

We can compare all of those versions to pick which one we think is best but we're still using the same core elements.

We're just kind of changing the layout or maybe it's some colors you want to change, that you want to make comparisons against. Great. Well, that's all I have today. Thank you so much for your time.

Due to continuous improvements in BioRender, the application may appear slightly different in some of our videos.
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