KB User's Guide - Documents Tab - Document Sharing: the Use and Request Buttons

This document will discuss how to use the features found in the Use Documents from Other Groups screen. Documents include all external documents from other sites as well as the internal documents owned by groups for which you have internal KB access. Viewing and/or using existing documentation can be an informative reference when creating brand new documents and especially for new KB sites looking for relevant content to adopt.

Use Documents from Other Groups

To access the Use Documents from Other Groups page, go to the Documents tab and click on the Use Docs from... link at the very top of the left navigation bar.

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Upon clicking on the Use docs from... button, you will be taken to a screen called Use Documents from Other Groups. The image below shows the filters you may use to narrow your search.

This is a summary of the Search filters:

Once you have the Search filters set as desired, you can begin browsing the list of matching documents. For each document, you will be presented with one of two different options in the Action column: Use or Request.

The Use Button: Access to Documents Shared by other KB Groups

Clicking on the Use button allows you to publish a document directly to your internal KB site. It only appears for documents where the owning group has assigned a topic to the document that has the Public share setting enabled. To learn how the Public share function is enabled/disabled, please refer to Adding Topics: Public Share.

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Once you click on the Use button, the document will display in edit mode. Most of the fields and settings are grayed out and subsequently are not editable. However, there are several features you can use to customize the document for your audience, which you can read about here.

The Request Button: Submitting a Request to Share a KB document

These documents do not have topics with the "Public share" setting enabled, therefore, it is necessary to send a direct request to the owning group to have the document published externally. This can be easily done by clicking on the Request button.

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Clicking on the Request button will lead to a pop-up window with the Document Sharing Request Form. This form includes the document ID number and the name of the owning KB group, the Title of the document, the Owner's name and email address, the Requester's name and email address. You may write the document owner some additional information about your request in the field provided, if you wish. Click on the Request share button. Once the request is sent, the pop-up window will disappear and you may continue searching through documents shared with your KB group.

Document Owner Receives Request

Once the Document Sharing Request Form is submitted, the document owner and all parties in the Cc and Bcc fields will receive an email. The request will also appear under the Share Requests link in the owning group's Documents tab > Shared Requests link in the KB Admin Tools. The document owner will then click on the Take action link at the far right. The result of the action will be evident to you via email and also via the KB Admin Tools.


The Document Owner can leave a note for the Requester and either Approve or Decline the request. If the share request is approved, the document will appear when the Requester clicks on the Use docs from... link and searches for the specific document ID number(s).

The Requester, upon receiving approval, may open the document owned by another group in edit mode. Most of the fields and settings are grayed out and subsequently are not editable. However, there are several features you can use to customize the document for your audience, which you can read about in the next section.

What You Can Edit

When you are editing another group's document, the following features can be used, as they only affect the document when viewed in your group's KB:

Finally, when you first open the document in edit mode, the document will initially have the status of Inactive. Please note that, while the document has the status of Inactive in your own KB site, it may be active in other KB sites. After you make the appropriate edits, you may update the status of the document as per the workflow and best practices of your KB group. Click on the Submit button to save your changes.

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See Also: