Laserfiche - Options Best Practices

Laserfiche Options – Best Practices

As we implement systems across Heifer International, there are often best practices for options within software/systems to ensure the most effective use of our resources.  This document will cover all the Options settings within Laserfiche – noting which options need to be configured a certain way in order to integrate most effectively across Heifer’s various systems and software currently being used.  Other options will be explained that have no best practices assigned, as they are strictly personal preferences and do not affect system functionality.


To access options, login to Laserfiche at using your Heifer ID and Password.  In the upper right hand corner, click on HEIFERNET\ (your username), click on Options.



When you click on Options a new browser window will open: 


From the Options sidebar on the left, you can select one of the sub categories to change option settings.


General Options

These are the default settings in the General Options as shown below:

The default options need to be changed on this tab.  In the General options, the default settings need to be changed as follows:

  1. Entry Copy – should be checked – this default is fine.
  2. Generate Pages –
    1. Preserve PDF annotations on Laserfiche pages should NOT be checked. If this is checked none of the Laserfiche functionality of annotation can be used – it is preferable that the .pdf be brought into Laserfiche as a .tif then annotated in the Laserfiche system and exported as a .pdf if needed. (Shared externally)
    2. Generate monochrome pages – The default is unchecked.

 Save Changes once selections have been made.



New Document



This screenshot shows the system’s New Document defaults; however, there are some changes that should be made – we will go through each section individually.


Import Documents

Some of the choices in this section are repetitious of the changes made in the General Options section – so we need to make sure we reflect the same practices in this section.



  1. Always show import dialog - should be checked.
  2. Generate searchable text when importing documents – This option may vary per user.
    1. This option should be checked, unless you are a bulk import user.
    2. If you are a bulk import user – uncheck this option because it will slow your work down considerably – as it prompts the system to OCR every page scanned.
  3. Retain file extensions in electronic document names - should be checked – THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. (see detailed explanation at botton of article)
    1. If left unchecked, Laserfiche will view two files with the same name but different file types as identical documents.
    2. If one user uses extensions and another does not – it becomes two different files and does not create versions.
  4. For PDF Files
    1. Keep original PDF files - UNCHECK
    2. Preserve PDF annotations on Laserfiche pages - UNCHECK
    3. Import monochrome images – User’s choice


File Conversion

Entering file extensions into this field allows those types of files to be opened as a Laserfiche page within Laserfiche.  If the extension is not entered here it will open in the user’s default image viewing software (i.e. windows viewer).



Import Email

This section applies a default template to any email that is being imported.



Some departments will be saving their emails in Laserfiche with a template called E-Mail – Import.  This allows the user to save fields that can be searched at a later date that are email specific.  Note: If you are planning to use an email template to bulk import email (from an archive or folder on your computer or in a network drive) emails MUST be the only type of file being imported at that time – or the import will stop each time a different file is up for import.


Import Default

This section lets you choose if you want to have a default template assigned to all files you import into Laserfiche.  For most users, the default template is named after the department they work within.  Some departments have multiple templates – in that case you would choose the template that you would work with the most often (you have the option to change it every time you import a file).



  1. Default template – choose your department or the template you use the most (saves you time)
  2. Default volume – leave it as set.
  3. Default scanning name – this allows you to choose a standard naming system for multiple files being scanned in at one time. As it is set right now the standard name would be “Untitled”
  4. Count Token value – this is the “count” of the files you are scanning in bulk – so if you were scanning in single page documents with the above settings your files would be named:
    1. Untitled 001
    2. Untitled 002
    3. Untitled 003
    4. Etc…

Import Profiles

An import profile allows you to change the settings you are using according to the profile that you choose.  If you would like to have one setting for bulk imports and then another for daily work – you can add different profiles here. An example is shown here – this is a more advanced option that will be covered in more detail in Importing Files.








This section’s options apply only when you are downloading a file from the Laserfiche Repository.  All of these options are user preference – so you can set these to whatever option you personally prefer.


Redactions are items/text that have been blocked so that the viewer cannot see the information “redacted” from the file.  Some users may have the permission level to see through redactions (security levels set by departments/positions in Heifer).  This option will show the redactions, but you will be able to see through them if you have the permissions to do so.


Annotations are comments/sticky notes/highlights/stamps etc… that can be added to a Laserfiche document.  Again all of these options are defaulted as shown below – but can be changed according to the user’s preferences.



Download Email

You can choose whether you want to include attachments that are within an email when you download the email.  Then choose if you would rather see the attachments as files or links – remember if you send links the receiver must have access to Heifer International’s Laserfiche repository or they will not be able to open the links.


Optional Watermarks

If the document doesn’t currently have a watermark – you have the option to download it with a watermark if you choose.  You can add one of the two already created or create your own by clicking on the Add link at the bottom left.

Remember to save any changes you have made      



THIS SECTION IS VERY IMPORTANT TO ENSURE YOU HAVE DEFAULT SETTINGS SET BY HEIFER’S BEST PRACTICES.  If you do not have “Download electronic file” as your default it is very possible that you will not be able to view all files.  If you see this error:


Your settings are not set correctly – you need to change your default behavior for opening an electronic file to “Download electronic file”. 

If your settings are set correctly, when you click on a file to open it you will see this pop-up:

Note that if you click on the edit button – the document is “checked out”.  This means that more than one person cannot be editing the file at the same time, and prevents users from overwriting each other’s work.

Also note that if you click on the View button you cannot make changes and save the file with versioning – it will require you to save it with a new name because you did not check it out.

You can choose how you would like to open your PDF files as this does not have any effect on how you see them (very similar).

Audio and Video


Browser Columns

If you want your columns to always appear the same, the default will work fine for you.



Folder Tree

If you always want to see the path to the current folder, you will want to check this box since it is not the default.


Remember to save any changes you have made.


Search Options

This is where you can fine tune your search options as you like them.



You can set how you want to see the results of your search in this grouping.


Remember to save any changes you have made.                     



If you have changed your settings and decide that you do not like them, you can reset the settings here.  Remember to go back and change the “MUST” settings for best practices if you do this.

 Detailed explanation:


In the past by default, retaining document extensions was turned off.  It is best practice for this to be turned on.  The Laserfiche team has changed the default to have extensions turned on; so unless changed by the user, they will be turned on from this point forward.

Below is a comparison of how four files would look with the option on and off.

With Extensions Turned On:

Documents with the same name ARE recognized by the extension as different file types and the names can all be the same.

With Extensions Turned Off:

Documents with the same name ARE NOT recognized as a different file types so they cannot have the same name.





If you want to capture versioning; the documents will have to have versioning turned on - no matter who is saving a version of the document.  Here are some scenarios if Versioning is turned on/off. 


With Extensions Turned On:  One document; 4 versions.  All versions are word (.docx) documents.

As the file is save (edits could have been made by various people or one person), Laserfiche keeps a version.  Each time it is saved a new version is created.  Note that each version tells you the date it was created, who created it (made the last edits), what their comments were for that version, and what part of the file was changed (the file/metadata). You can check the box next to a version to view it.





With Extensions Turned Off: One document – 4 versions.  Each version is a different document type (.docx, .pdf, .pptx, .xlsx)

Note that, even though the file types are different, Laserfiche doesn’t recognize that there are any differences between the files because there are no extensions.  Because it cannot see any differences between the files – it creates a new version with the file type of the current file being saved.  See below that the file started as a Word Doc, then became a PDF in version 2, next it became a Power Point in version 3, and finally the 4th version is an Excel file.  (The only way to know that these are different files is by the comments that were added – which wouldn’t normally state what type of file a person was saving; it was added for this purpose.)



Any questions or concerns -

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