Assigning document access using the Permissions tab | VDRPro

  • Updated

In this article you will learn how to configure who can see documents and define what they can do with documents using the Permissions tab.

I want to

  • Define who can see which documents
  • Change and revoke permissions
  • Protect documents, restrict printing and secure downloads

About this task

  • The Permissions tab is available in most contract types.
  • Only users with Manager and Publisher+ roles can see and operate the Permissions tab.
  • Permissions can only be applied to groups, never to individual users. For information on how to create groups and add users, see Adding a group to an exchange.

Permissions and protection

In Intralinks VDRPro, permissions determine whether a file is visible to the participant groups, while protection encrypts the file to prevent participants from sharing or keeping them beyond the duration of the project.

By default,  Manager and Publisher+ roles have irrevocable rights to see and control files and folders. Every other user needs permission to view them.

Permission options

  • No Access - Files are invisible
  • See - Files are visible and accessible
  • Control - Users with the Publisher role will be allowed to access, update and delete the files

Protection options

  • Protected - Encryption is applied to PDF, Excel, Word and PowerPoint files. Users who download an encrypted file will be prompted to authenticate with their Intralinks credentials every time they attempt to open it. If permission is revoked on the VDR, the downloaded copy will no longer open. Printed copies of the file will contain a confidentiality watermark identifying the user and access timestamp.
  • Protected/No print - Adds an additional security layer that prevents the protected files from being printed.

Important information

  • Only Excel, Word, Power Point and PDF files can be protected.
  • Permissions are applied to files, not folders. That is why the configuration disappears once changes are applied. Expand the folders down to the file level to review the newly applied permissions.
  • Newly added files will not inherit any of the previously applied permissions. When you upload new files, you are given the option to set permissions from the upload screen. Alternatively, you can use the permissions tab.
  • If you want to set default permissions on the folder level for all files, current and future, contact our Support team requesting the configuration change.

Layout overview


  • Permission grid - The larger area outlined in purple is where you will match groups and folders to define permission and protection levels.
  • Directory tree filter - The section outlined in pink allows you to filter out folders that you do not want to work on. Select a specific folder in this section to only see its contents in the permission grid.

    Tip: Click on the down arrow to collapse the section to maximize your view of the grid.

  • Group selection - You can choose which groups you want to work on. Click Select Group to add or remove groups from the grid.
  • Commands area - The following commands are grouped in the area highlighted in yellow:
    • Reset - Use this option to remove permissions that you staged (drafted, but not saved). 
    • Import - This is helpful in projects that require complex combinations of permissions and protection on multiple folder levels by exporting the full matrix to Excel. 
    • Report/Export - This menu contains some permission-related reports. See Reviewing current permissions for details.
    • Apply - This is the final step in the configuration. Use this option to review, confirm and apply your changes.
    • Refresh - If there are other users making changes to permissions at the same time as you are, click Refresh to make sure that you are working with the most current configuration.
    • Copy Group - This option allows you to replicate a complex configuration from one group onto another group.


Staging and applying permissions

You can stage your permissions directly in the UI grid or use an import file to stage permissions in bulk.

Select permissions in the grid

In the permission grid, folders and files are shown in rows. Groups are shown in columns. The intersection of a group with a folder is a cell.

Stage the permissions

  1. Select the folder and group combinations that you want to edit. 
  2. Right-click anywhere in the blue area to open the menu from which you will select the permission and protection settings. 
    Note: The dark shade of yellow in the cells indicates that the permissions are only staged and have not taken effect.


Apply the permissions

  1. Click Apply in the commands area.
  2. Select Apply Changes (no review). The alerts screen will load.
  3. Select which groups you wish to notify about new documents being available and click Apply at the bottom right. If you do not wish to notify anyone, select Apply and Skip Alerts.


Import permissions in bulk

Before you import permissions, you download an Excel spreadsheet that contains the exchange’s current permission settings. This spreadsheet will contain the permissions for all groups that have permissions applied. It does not include staged permissions, only applied permissions. You can then edit the spreadsheet and import the spreadsheet back into the exchange.

  1. Click Import.
  2. To download the exchange’s current permission settings, click Download.
  3. Edit the permissions by editing the New Permissions column for each group. The Current Permissions column shows the current setting.

    You cannot edit any of the other columns.

  4. In the Import Permissions dialog box, click Browse.
  5. Browse to the spreadsheet and click Open.
  6. Click Import.

    A dialog box is displayed indicating that you should not close this message while permissions are being imported. Click open a new browser window to continue working in your exchange while permissions are being imported.

  7. A message is displayed when the import is finished. Click Review & Apply.

    If the import fails an error message is displayed. Download the file again to view and fix the errors, then import the file.

    The imported permissions are staged and highlighted in the grid. To make sure that the permissions were correctly staged, you can compare the Selected Group report to the imported file. Generate the Selected Group report by selecting Selected Group Report from the Report/Export menu.

  8. Click Apply, then select Apply Changes (No Review) or Review & Apply by Group. For more details about these options, see the following sections.

Applying staged permissions

When you have finished staging changes, you can either review the changes and apply them, or apply the changes without reviewing them. It is recommended that you review the changes for accuracy before applying them and making them visible to permissioned users.

If you apply the changes without reviewing them, you have the option to send an email alert to selected groups, however, there is no further option to review and confirm the changes before applying them.

Important! If multiple exchange members are responsible for setting permissions, the review process should not be skipped, because all staged changes will be applied, regardless of who made them. Also, if you previously staged changes without applying them, they will be applied as well. If you are in doubt, review changes before applying them.

Applying staged changes without reviewing them first

  1. Click Apply and select Apply Changes (No Review).
  2. (Optional.) In the Message Details section, review the subject and enter a note that will appear on the email alert.
  3. Select the groups that will receive the alert.
  4. To send alerts and apply all staged changes, click Apply.

    To apply all staged changes without sending alerts, click Apply and Skip Alerts.

A message appears to let you know that your changes are being applied and that you can continue to set permissions for other groups. You cannot make changes to any groups for which changes are being applied until the changes are completed. Alerts are sent after the new permissions are applied.

Reviewing and applying staged changes

  1. Click Apply and select Review & Apply by Group.
  2. On the Review by Group and apply changes screen, review, one group at a time, the permissions that you and other managers have staged for documents. If a change is needed for the currently selected group, click the document row, click Edit Permission and select the permission to apply.
  3. When you are finished reviewing the permissions for the selected group, click Approve. A check mark appears next to the group you just reviewed, and the next group is highlighted.

    If you do not want to apply changes to a group, do not click Approve for that group. Click on the next group you want to review. Staged changes for groups that are skipped are retained, and you can return to the Permissions screen to make any needed changes.

  4. Repeat the review process for each group.
  5. When you have reviewed or skipped all the groups with staged permission changes, click Next.
  6. (Optional.) To send email alerts notifying exchange members that new documents are available to them, review the subject and enter a note, then select the groups that will receive alerts.
  7. To send alerts and apply staged changes, click Apply.

    To apply staged changes without sending alerts, click Apply and Skip Alerts.

A message appears to let you know that your changes are being applied and that you can continue to set permissions for other groups. You cannot make changes to any groups for which changes are being applied until the changes are completed.

Once the process is complete, the email alerts are sent and members of the affected groups see the effects of the permission changes. Depending upon the number of changes made, it may take some time to apply the changes. You can monitor the progress of your updates by click the notifications icon notification_icon.png at the top of the Permissions screen.

Removing all staged permissions

You can remove all staged changes and redisplay the permissions that are currently applied. Any changes that you and other managers have staged are removed, and the currently applied permissions remain in effect.

Important! Use care when removing all staged changes. You may be removing changes that were staged by other exchange managers, along with those that you have staged.

  1. Display the Permissions screen.
  2. Click Reset. A message appears warning you that all changes made by you and other managers will be removed.
  3. Click Reset Pending Changes if you are sure you want to clear the changes.

Additional information

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