Entries (Documents, Folders, and Shortcuts)

Documents, folders, and shortcuts are collectively referred to as "entries" in Laserfiche. In general, if something in Laserfiche refers to an "entry," it means a document, a folder, or a shortcut. Entries are the content that most people think of when they think about what is stored in their repository. Much of the time when working in a Laserfiche repository, you will be working with entries in one way or another.


Documents are the basic building block of a Laserfiche repository. A document is a way of storing information, but the type of information can vary greatly from document to document. For instance, some documents may consist of scanned pages, others may be electronic files such as PDFs or Word documents, and still others may have neither pages nor electronic files but contain only metadata. All of these are documents, since the document is simply a way of storing and organizing information, regardless of the type of information being stored.

All types of documents can be stored in folders, secured, moved, copied, renamed, exported, and worked with in various ways. In addition, all types of metadata can be applied to all document types, and all documents can be part of a business process. However, the type of information stored in a document will determine how that document can be viewed and opened in Laserfiche.

There are four types of documents: imaged documents, electronic documents, text-only documents, and zero-page, or "empty," documents. Learn how to add content to Laserfiche.

Imaged Documents

An imaged document has image pages but not an electronic file component. For instance, a scanned document would be an imaged document. However, a document containing a Word file would not be an imaged document, even if it also had image pages generated via Snapshot. A document is only an imaged document if it has no electronic file component. (However, an imaged document can have text associated with it.)

Most imaged documents are created by scanning paper records, but they can also be created by importing image files or using Laserfiche Snapshot. Since imaged documents contain image pages, you can use all available Laserfiche annotations on them. You can also OCR them to generate searchable text.

Imaged documents open in the Laserfiche document viewer by default.

Electronic Documents

An electronic document has an electronic file component. Any file that you can save in Windows can also be stored in the repository as an electronic document.  For instance, you could save a PDF, a Word document, or an .mp3 music file in Laserfiche. All three would be electronic documents.

Electronic documents may also have image pages. You can generate pages from PDFs or use Snapshot to create image pages of any electronic file type that can be printed. Even if an electronic document has image pages, however, it is still an electronic document.

You can generate text from electronic documents to make them searchable. Laserfiche annotations cannot be applied directly to electronic documents, but they can be applied to any image pages you have generated from that document, and you can use text annotations on the text portion if you have generated text

Electronic documents open in their native applications by default.  (For instance, the native application of a Word document is Microsoft Word, while the native application of an .mp3 music file is whatever audio program you have configured to play .mp3s.)  You can also open an electronic document in the Laserfiche document viewer to view its text and metadata. (Since PDFs can be viewed directly in the document viewer, they open in the document viewer by default.)

Text-Only Documents

A text-only document consists of only text pages and has neither image pages nor an electronic file. Most text-only documents are created by importing plain text (.txt) files. If image pages or electronic files are added to text-only documents, they cease to be text-only documents and become image pages (in the former case) or electronic documents (in the latter).

Text annotations, such as highlights, redactions, strikethrough, and underline, can be applied to text-only documents, but image-based annotations such as sticky notes or the freehand tool cannot.

Text-only documents open in the Laserfiche document viewer by default.

Empty Documents

An empty document is a document that has no image pages, no electronic file, and no text. Empty documents are generally used to represent information that cannot be stored directly in Laserfiche (such as physical objects, files that are not available for scanning, or files too unclear or damaged to scan). Even if the document or object itself cannot be added to Laserfiche, metadata can be stored in the empty document to represent the missing information. In some cases an empty document may be used as a placeholder for content that will be added later, since image pages and electronic files can be added to documents after they have been created. (If an image page or electronic file is added to an empty document, it ceases to be an empty document.)

Empty documents do not support any annotations, as they do not have image or text pages on which to place annotations. However, like all document types, you can set metadata and run business processes on empty documents.

By default, empty documents open to the Metadata dialog box, since they do not have any other contents to display in the Laserfiche document viewer. However, you can choose to open them in the document viewer as well.


A folder is a way of storing and organizing documents in Laserfiche. As in Windows, you can create folders to contain documents, and you can create sub-folders in those folders, and so on. This allows you to customize your repository so that you can find documents you need quickly.

Like documents, folders can be stored within other folders, secured, moved, copied, renamed, exported, and worked with in various ways. The field, template, tag, and document relationship metadata types can also be used with folders.


A shortcut is a pointer to a document or folder elsewhere in the repository. A shortcut does not have contents of its own; when you click on a shortcut, the document or folder to which it points will open.

If you open a shortcut and modify its metadata or pages, you are actually modifying the metadata or pages of the document to which it points. However, shortcuts can still be secured, moved, copied, and renamed.