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The Consultant’s Corner: Connecting the Dots with Laserfiche’s Microsoft Office Integration

Welcome to this month’s issue of the Consultant’s Corner. In this issue we’ll be speaking with Kyle Knebel, a Cities Digital Consultant, System Architect, and Trainer, about the Laserfiche Microsoft Office Integration. Kyle will discuss the advantages of using the Microsoft Office Integration, as well as address a variety of questions regarding its use.

The Laserfiche Microsoft Office Integration allows users to access a variety of Laserfiche features while working in Microsoft Word, Excel, Outlook, and PowerPoint. The integration enables users to send, edit, attach and save office files to Laserfiche directly from the Microsoft application. Below Kyle provides further insight into how this integration can save you time and help you become even more efficient throughout your workday.

Who has access to the Microsoft Office Integration, is it an add-on?

One of the first questions many may ask regarding the integration, Kyle explains, “Any Laserfiche user who has the Windows Client or Web Client can use the MS Office Integration. The Windows client contains the Office integration as part of the default installation.

The web client is supported on Internet Explorer 11 or later, Microsoft Edge, Firefox, Safari for iOS, and Chrome. The MS Office Integration installs as a browser Plug-in. Web Client users will need to install the Office Integration Add-On as an ‘Extension’ in their browser. Users of the Web Client will usually see a pop-up message prompting them to download the plug-in when they attempt to open an Office document.”

What are the most advantageous features of the MS Office Integration?

Using the MS Office Integration can make working with these documents in Laserfiche easier. Kyle describes these beneficial features:

  1. Save Directly to Laserfiche - “The primary advantage is the ability to easily save an MS Word document, Excel spreadsheet, Outlook email, or PowerPoint presentation directly into Laserfiche while working with that file. For example, with an MS Word document open, you could click on the Laserfiche tab on the ribbon bar, then choose to save the file to a folder in your Laserfiche repository and even apply field values on the document. All without leaving the MS Word application, the same applies to Excel, Outlook, etc.”

  2. Import Directly to Laserfiche – “Another significant advantage is to be able to import emails or their attachments from MS Outlook. For example, with an open email message, you can click on the Laserfiche tab on the ribbon bar, then choose to send the email to a Laserfiche folder, or if it has an attachment, send the attachment only into Laserfiche.”

  3. Use Metadata as Tokens - “Additionally, the office integration allows for the use of Laserfiche document metadata as token values inside the edited Office document. One can insert metadata as text in a Word document, or as a value in a cell in MS Excel.”

  4. Edit Directly from Web Access – “Users can select an office document Excel, PowerPoint, or Word from within Web Access and then optionally check out the document to begin editing immediately or view in read-only mode.

Can you explain how you could use the indexing features of Laserfiche from within the various office products to initiate workflows?

According to Kyle, “Since the MS Office integration allows a user to update metadata from within an Office document, if there is a workflow that monitors changes to the metadata on that document, it would trigger the workflow.”

How can users archive emails from Outlook using the integration?

Archiving emails is convenient, Kyle shares, “When viewing an email in the Outlook application, users can click on the Laserfiche tab. The Laserfiche tab will provide several options, including:

  • Save to Laserfiche

  • Save to ‘New Folder’

  • Save to Default folder (If the user is assigned a default Repository folder)

  • Save Attachments to Laserfiche”

Users can also map the metadata such as the sender, recipient, date, time, subject from the email to populate a specified template so that when the emails are archived the information is available for easy searching within the repository.

Can you explain how the versioning and check-in/check-out features work with the Microsoft Office Integration?

Yes, these features allow users to collaborate more efficiently using Laserfiche. Kyle says, “Versioning and Check out/Check-In are part of the Laserfiche client and work in conjunction with the Office integration. If you are editing an existing Office document opened from Laserfiche, you can use the Office Integration to save the document as a new document or a new version. Any existing document can be saved back to Laserfiche as a new version. Also, if not already checked out, a user can ‘Check out’ the document for offline use while editing the document. When done editing, the user can ‘Check-In’ the document from the Laserfiche tab.”

What are recommended best practices when using the MS Office Suite Integration?

There are a couple of best practices to note, Kyle explains.

  • Install Plug-in - “Installation of the browser plug-in requires local administrator rights to install, therefore sometimes end-users will need to rely upon their IT support staff to install the software. The IT staff can access the plug-in via the following URL http://{server}/laserfiche/OfficePlugin, where {server} is the Web Client’s server.

  • Checkout Document - When editing office documents from Laserfiche, it is critical to check out the document first to ensure changes get saved, and other users cannot make changes at the same time.”

Are there any caveats that users should be aware of when using the integration?

“For users with a Chrome browser using Web Access 9.2 or older, the browser will need an additional Laserfiche Web Access Plug-in Detector extension. (see KB 1013534 on the Laserfiche Support site for more information). Also, Web Scanning and Office Integration are not available on Safari for iOS,” says Kyle.

Can you share an example of a creative way that an organization is increasing efficiency from implementing the MS Office Integration with Laserfiche?

At Cities Digital, the MS Office integration is used regularly in the marketing and development departments for collaborating on documentation. Word documents can go through many reviews and revisions before they are complete. Tracking metadata allows for workflow notifications to staff when documentation is ready for review or approved. Upon completion, an additional workflow is triggered allowing for document assembly to include adding a standard table of contents, appendix and reference page.

The Office Integration with Laserfiche promotes a versatile solution, allowing businesses to benefit from increased functionality and efficiency. While also helping organizations adhere to document compliance and security requirements tracking documents securely in Laserfiche.

If you have any questions regarding the Laserfiche Microsoft Integration, be sure to contact the Cities Digital Consulting Team for further assistance.

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