View Only Access
The following file formats are compatible with our document viewer: PDF, Word, Excel and Powerpoint.
When these files formats are uploaded to your account they will go through a rendering process to allow them to be viewed in the document viewer. The viewer allows users to scroll through the pages and view the document without downloading it to their computer. The rendering process takes, on average, one minute per document uploaded to complete. If you have files that are not available for view only after several hours, please contact ShareFile Support.
Password protected files and corrupted files will not render properly.
Set up view only access on a folder
- Access the folder
- Access the People on this Folder tab.
- On this menu, you may add new users to the folder or edit existing permissions. The permissions available on the folder include: View, Download, Download Alerts, Upload, Upload Alerts, Delete and Admin.
- Grant users the View permission and save changes.
View a document
Once a user has view only permissions they will now be able to log in, access the folder and click on the file name to view the files. The watermarking feature is enabled on the account by default and will display the email address of the user viewing the document. If the user also has download permissions set on the folder, they will need to click on the small magnifying glass icon in order to view the file, as clicking the name will prompt the document to download. Note: The file has not been rendered for view only until there is a paper icon over the magnifying glass. You will see a outline of an magnifying glass while the file is being processed. When the document viewer opens you will be able to scroll through the document.
Depending on document complexity and size, the time to render (as well as number of pages displayed) may vary. The rendering preview pane will not display more than 500 pages.
This feature requires Flash to be installed and therefore will not be available on mobile devices.
Re-queue a File
If a file did not successfully render for view-only, there will be a orange warning sign over the magnifying glass. If you select this icon, there will be a popup window which will allow you to re-queue the file for document rendering.
Sharing a View Only File
PDF and Word files uploaded to the File Box cannot be rendered, and therefore cannot be viewed by your recipient. In order to share a file as view-only from a VDR account, you must first upload the file to your account to begin the rendering process.
This feature places a watermark on the document so if a user is able to print or tries to distribute the document you can track which user it came from. If the user has download permissions, the watermark will not appear while viewing.
Setting the Watermark:
To set an account-wide default: Access Admin Settings > File Settings. You will find the Document Watermark setting under the Virtual Data Room settings on this page.
Folder-specific settings: Click into the folder and access the more Options drop-down menu beside the folder name, then click Advanced Folder Options. You will find three options under the Document Viewer Watermark section: Use account wide setting, Do not use a watermark for this folder, and Use another watermark (allows for custom text).
- User’s Email
- User’s First Name
- User’s Last Name
- User’s Company
- User’s IP address
- Current Date
- Current Time
You can select the New Line option from the list provided to create a new line of text to be displayed on the watermark. This line of text can include any of the above options as well as a custom message.
This feature can be enabled for the entire account or within a folder in the Virtual Data Room. Watermarked Downloads allow users with view-only access to download a PDF version of files with a custom watermark included. With this watermarked download feature, users with view-only access will be able to download a PDF version of the files with a custom watermark included.
This feature can be enabled for the account Enable Watermarked Downloads for View-Only at Admin Settings > Advanced Preferences > Virtual Data Room. By default, this feature is set to No, but you can change this by selecting Yes. Once selected, save your changes.
To enable this feature on the folder level, click into the folder and access the more Options drop-down menu beside the folder name, then click Advanced Folder Options. Set the desired option for Watermarked Download for View-only. Here, you can choose to use the Account-Wide Setting, Enable View only Watermarked Downloads and Disable View only Watermarked Downloads. Once you have chosen your preference, save your changes.
More than one file can be downloaded with watermark at one time, as well as whole folders.
Document Viewer Printing
When viewing files in the document viewer we do have the option to allow users to print the file. If you enable this option users would be able to see the Print icon to print out the file without being able to download and save it to their computer. This feature is disabled by default. You can enable the printing of View-Only documents at Admin Settings > Advanced Preferences > Virtual Data Room. The option to Enable Document Viewer Printing will be located under the Virtual Data Room section of the page. You can select the Yes option under this setting to allow users to print documents they have View-Only rights on.
There is also a folder preference so this feature can be enabled on a folder by folder basis. To enable this feature on a specific folder you will click into the folder and on the sidebar there will be a link for Edit Folder Options.Note: If you have watermarking enabled for your account, these documents will also be watermarked for users that do not have download rights.
Question and Answer
The Question and Answer feature provides an outlet for both employees and client users to be able to ask questions relating to information in specific folders. The administrators on the folder can then answer the questions and decide which ones should be public for all users to view. Once this feature is enabled on your account both employees and clients will see a link inside each folder in the sidebar for Folder Q&A.
Ask a Question – When the client clicks on the link, they will be brought to a page where they can view any public questions and ask a question of their own. To ask a question, click on the button for Ask a question. This will open a pop up window with the text box for the user to type in their question and then click Submit. Any questions submitted will be automatically emailed to all administrators on the folder.
Answer a Question – Click on Folder Q&A in the More Options drop-down menu. To answer a question, navigate to the Unanswered tab and then click on the title of the question. Answer the question and decide if the question should be made public to all users.
Note: The following character limits apply to text fields:
- Questions – 400 Characters
- Answers – 1500 Character
Data Room Index
You can generate a Data Room Index on a root-folder level. This report will generate a list of all files and folders within this root level folder and include an index. The index feature will assign a number to all files and folders within a root level folder so that administrators can organize and keep track of their files and subfolders.
In order to create a Data Room Index, you must:
- Have the “VDR Analytics Page” permission
- Admin permission on the root-level folder
To generate a Data Room Index:
- Access the root-level folder (either a root-level Shared Folder or your My Files and Folders location)
- Access the More Options drop-down menu beside the folder name link
- Click Data Room Index
- A popup window will appear with a PDF listing of all files and subfolders within the folder.
All files and subfolders will be assigned a number. For example, Subfolder 1 will be assigned a number of  and all files within this subfolder will be assigned numbers in this order: [1.1], [1.2] and so on. Files within the folder will then be assigned ,  and so on. This Data Room Index can be saved and printed so that the administrator can keep track of all the information within each root-level folder.
With Click Trails, an account administrator can see all of the steps that an individual has taken within the Virtual Data Room from the time that they login until the time they logout. In order to use Click Trails, you must:
- Have the “VDR Analytics Page” permission
The Virtual Data Room Click Trails feature can be found at:
- Admin Settings > Advanced Preferences > Company Account Info > Click Trails
By selecting this option, you will be taken to a page that will list your users, along with a location and session start time. There will also be a link to View Session on the right. Above this View Session link, there is a dropdown you can set to view Click Trails for a specific period of time, including 7 days, 14 days, 30 days or a specific month dating back to when you first opened your account.
Once you have clicked the link to View Session for a specific user, you will be taken to another page which will list that individual’s ShareFile session for that period of time from the time that they logged in until the time that they logged out. If you select the individual’s name from the original list, you will be taken to a list for all of their sessions during a specific period of time.
This report allows you to view statistics on any folder in your account. Statistics include a graph of downloads/views per day, most viewed documents (including the number of views), most active users, longest viewed documents (including the length of time) and recent searches. To access this report, navigate to the folder and click VDR Analytics under the More Options drop-down menu beside the folder name.
Clicking on this link will bring up a snapshot of activity on the folder. Using the drop down menu at the top you can select to view analytics for the last: 7 days, 14 days, this month, 30 days, or a specific month dating back to when you first opened your account. Other options include a graph of downloads/views per day, most viewed documents (including the number of views), most active users, longest viewed documents (including the length of time) and recent searches.
Clicking on a specific users name will bring you to the click trails reporting, which tracks every link that the user clicked on while in the ShareFile account along with date and time so you can see how long they viewed a particular folder or files.