Advanced Permissions Editor

This article is for:

  • Classic File Types

The Advanced Permissions Editor visually displays permissions for all users and groups for a project, document or supporting document. This allows you to efficiently set permissions for multiple users and groups.

Viewing Document Permissions

The Advanced Permissions Editor can be accessed by right-clicking on a project or document in Home and choosing Permissions from the drop-down options or by choosing the Permissions tab in the Project Properties, Document Properties, or Section Properties dialog boxes.

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Then choose the Advanced Permissions button.

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The Advanced Permissions Editor opens in its own browser tab or window, with the active document and users presented in a matrix format. Groups and users are shown across the top of the matrix, with groups shown in bold text in the left-hand column. The document and its sections appear expanded in an outline format at the left.

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A. User group

B. Individual user

C. Document title

D. Section

E. Permissions matrix

If you are an account administrator, you can open the Advanced Permissions Editor from the Wdesk account administration area to modify permissions for multiple documents. Follow the same procedures that are described in this article for a single document.

Adding Users to the Permissions Matrix

When you open the Advanced Permissions Editor for the first time, your groups and any users who have explicit permissions set for them will appear in the matrix by default.

Click the plus sign at the upper-right of the user columns. In the Add Users or Groups dialog box, type a letter that the user’s name contains, and in the list of names that appears, select the user you want to add. Do this for any remaining users, and then click Add.

TIP: You can determine who has explicit or inherited permissions in the Document Properties dialog box. On the Permissions tab, the Source column specifies explicit permissions (A) or shows the group from which a user’s permissions are inherited (B, Temp Editors, in the example below).

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Removing Users

To remove a user, click the user’s name, and then click the X that appears at the top of the column.

If you remove a user accidentally, you can add the user back to the matrix during the same editing session without losing the permissions that were set when you removed the user. If you have to add the user the next time you sign in to Wdesk, the permissions will be reverted to the last saved set.

Modifying Permissions

The Advanced Permissions Editor provides sophisticated permissions customization options. You can build permissions sets that you can save for reuse later. You can grant permissions to one or more users for the document or specific sections. Or you can grant permissions to a group so that users in that group inherit the permissions.

There are a number of ways to modify permissions in the Advanced Permissions Editor matrix. The information below includes the steps for using a mouse. You can also use the corresponding keyboard shortcuts shown in the legend in the Advanced Permissions Editor. For example, to grant edit permission, select the appropriate cell, row, or column, and then type the letter "e".

If you want to quickly grant the same permissions to all users for the entire document, select the document title row at the top of the matrix, right-click, and choose the permission level. The entire matrix shows the permission you selected, except for cells for which you granted a permission directly.

To grant a user permission at the document level, click the cell to cycle through the available access levels at the top row of that user’s column. The new permission setting shows for all sections for that user, unless you edited specific cells directly.

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To grant a specific section permission directly to a user, click the cell at the intersection of that section and user, and cycle through to the access level you want. If you want to apply the same permission level to all users in a particular section, select the section name to highlight the row, and then right-click and choose the permission level. This sets permissions on that row explicitly, so that users will not inherit changes you make in groups they are members of or at the document level.

To apply one section’s permissions to other sections, select the section with permissions set as you want them, click the arrow, and then choose Copy Row from the drop-down menu. Then select the section to which you want to apply the copied permissions, click the arrow, and then choose Paste Over Row.

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To clear explicit permissions so that users inherit permissions from the document or group level, follow these steps: to clear one cell at a time, select the cell, right-click it, and choose Clear Selected. To clear explicit permissions for an entire section, select the section, click the down arrow that appears, and from the menu, choose Clear Row.

To determine whether a cell’s permission is granted, or where it is being inherited from, simply mouse over the cell to display information.

Saving Changes

After you modify permissions, you can click Save changes to save them. Here are a couple of notes about saving changes.

  • The Advanced Permissions Editor session is tied to your Wdesk session. If your session times out, you can still work in an open permissions editor window, but you will not be able to save any changes. Therefore, save changes occasionally while you are working.

  • When you save changes, modifications to permissions are saved, and the matrix view reverts to its default behavior, displaying only users who have permissions set explicitly.

  • To modify other users’ permissions, you will need to add them to the view, even if you added them earlier but did not make changes to their permissions.

Determining Group Membership

While you modify permissions, you can find visual cues in the matrix that help you determine effective permissions. One type of cue lets you know whether a user is a member of a group and vice-versa. If a user is a member of a group, granting a permission to a group can effectively grant it to that particular user.

  • Click a user’s name at the top of the column. A pale blue background appears on the names of the groups the user is a member of.

  • The following image shows that David is a member of the All Users group.

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Click a group name at the top of the column. A pale blue background appears on the names of the users who belong to that group. The next image shows that the All Users group includes the individual users shown. Users who are not displayed in the matrix may also belong to the same group.

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Saving Permissions Sets

Permissions sets are a collection of permissions granted to a document or sections, which you can save as a set. You then can apply the collection of permissions to other appropriate documents, sections, and users.

In the Advanced Permissions Editor you can save permissions sets that you configure on a document or section row, as well as apply sets that you saved previously.

NOTE: You can also save permissions sets from the Permissions tab of the Document Properties dialog box. These sets become available in the Advanced Permissions Editor.

IMPORTANT: If you decide to discard your permissions changes, the permissions matrix will revert to its original state.

To save a permissions set:

  1. Configure permissions on a row (document or section) in a way that you want to save it for other sections in the same document or future documents.

  2. Select the document or section name, click the arrow that appears, and then choose Save row as permissions set.

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  3. Name the set, and then click Save as permissions set.

To apply a permissions set that you saved previously:

  1. Select the row you want to apply it to, click the arrow that appears, and then choose Set row to permissions set.

  2. In the Set Select dialog box, select the set you want to apply, and then click Select Set.

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Understanding Permissions Inheritance

Permissions can be inherited from the document level or from the group level. It’s easy to determine from visual cues how the permission is set for any particular cell in the matrix. However, for a user who is a member of one or more groups, the order of precedence is as follows: If you grant permission to a user on a specific section (a single cell in the matrix), that setting will remain in effect until you change the cell directly or clear it so that it inherits from the group or document.

If you do not grant permission to an individual user on a specific section, permissions are inherited. The order of inheritance is as follows:

  • The highest permission set on a section for a user’s group.

  • User’s permission granted on the document. In other words, if you set the permission on the top row for the individual user.

  • The highest permission set on the document for a user’s group.

Determining the Source of Permissions

The Advanced Permissions Editor visual cues can also tell you where exactly a user’s permissions are being set.

  • A gray triangle in the upper-right corner of a cell indicates that the permission was granted directly on that cell.

  • If a cell does not show the gray triangle, the permission shown is being inherited from a group or document.

  • Mouse over any cell to display information about the current permissions on that cell. If it’s inherited, the information will indicate where the inheritance is coming from.

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This can be useful particularly when you set both document and group level permissions. If a user’s permission shows inherited without indicating from where, it means it’s inherited from that user’s document (top row) permissions.