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Document Creation Options and Best Practices
Document Creation Options and Best Practices

Explore the different document creation options and review recommendations from our experts

Crysta Huszai avatar
Written by Crysta Huszai
Updated over a week ago

Qualio provides the flexibility to manage documents in many ways depending on their type and use case. But sometimes, having so many options can be confusing or difficult to know where to start. In this article we’ve detailed your document creation options and our recommendations based on common use cases and document/attachment types. To give you the complete picture, we’ve also listed the pros and cons and user experience for each of the following options:

Document Options Decision Tree

Depending on the type of document you’re creating, some options will be more suitable than others. Use the decision tree table below with our best practice recommendations, then consult the additional details below for screenshots and user experience to fully understand the document lifecycle of each option.

Option 1: Recreate the document using Qualio Editor

Using Qualio’s built-in editor lets you create, format, and collaborate on documents in one place. Native Qualio documents are recommended for types of documents such as Procedures, Work Instructions, Policies, or your Quality Manual.

Creating your documents in Qualio allows for the highest level of control over changes to your documents, a real-time suggestion mode, and traceability of your drafts with Qualio’s audit trail.

Option 1: Common Examples, Pros & Cons

Common Examples

  • SOPs

  • Work Instructions

  • Test methods

  • Editable with collaboration directly in Qualio


  • Full editor capabilities (smartlinks, images, attachments, etc.)

  • Suggesting mode for collaboration

  • Consistent structure for all documents of a specific type


  • Complex formatting that can be done in tools such as Word is unavailable

Document Owner User Experience
(Quality or Normal)

The Quality Manager is requesting that a procedure on how to use Qualio be created so employees can be trained on it. The administrator of Qualio creates a new document using the in-app editor and includes hyperlinks to relevant Help Center articles.

Basic User Experience

The user accesses their new training from their Dashboard, reviews the SOP and associated links, and completes their training.

Option 2: Upload original format

This is a great option when managing legacy records, branded content, or heavily formatted documents such as batch records or technical documents. Typically, these documents will not be undergoing many revisions and can be considered “static.”

Alternatively, this is an option for documents that will require editing, but using a tool such as Word for editing and collaboration. In this case, these documents may be heavily formatted and are unable to be translated properly into the built-in Qualio editor.

Note to new customers: In addition to the options listed below, new customers have access to the Migrations Manager to bulk upload documents. Talk to your Customer Onboarding Manager about which document templates will use Option 2 - Upload original format and the impacts to your documents.

Option 2: Common Examples, Pros & Cons

Common Examples

  • Batch records and legacy records

  • PDFs or documents sent to patients, doctors, third parties, suppliers, etc.

  • Training and quizzes created in Word or Powerpoint

  • Branded content, user guides, brochures

  • Heavily formatted technical documents like Design and Dev Docs

  • NOTE: Future enhancements (late 2024) will allow Upload Format Documents to convert to a Qualio Document.


  • Original document formatting is maintained and viewable in Qualio

  • No formatting required during initial migration

  • When exported, a Qualio header is applied with ID, title, version


  • Only one attachment per document

  • Cannot be edited with Qualio editor (ability to convert to Qualio document will come in late 2024)

  • Headers/Footers in the uploaded file will have to be removed from the source file to prevent duplicate headers/footers.

Document Owner User Experience
(Quality or Normal)

A PowerPoint for GMP training has been created by the Quality team. Rather than convert this into a written document, the document owner can upload the PowerPoint file using the Upload option.

The document owner can also add a training assessment to the new Qualio document. The document owner will assign trainees prior to sending for approval.

Basic User Experience

Once the document is approved, trainees will be able to read the PowerPoint presentation directly in Qualio (no need to download the file). Once they’ve read the document, they’ll complete their training.

Upload Format Document Lifecycle

What does the process look like for updating documents using the Upload Format option? View the diagram below for a visual expression of the document lifecycle.

Best Practice for Upload Format documents: During document creation, add context to the Change Control tab of where the file came from, its history, etc.

Option 2: Upload Format FAQ

  • What is the default download permission if a document is added using the Migration Manager using the Upload Format (Option 2)?

    • The document will default to the permission set in the template it is assigned to.

  • Is the content within documents that use Upload Format (option 2) searchable in Qualio?

    • If there is textual content that can be extracted and indexed from a file then, and the file is NOT encrypted or password protected, then yes, it will be indexed along with the document it belongs to and will therefore be searchable. In other words: images will not be searchable because they are not textual. PDFs will be searchable if the PDF was generated using “Print to PDF”. But if the PDF is a scanned image, then no, it will not be searchable.

Option 3: Bulk Import Documents

This option allows Quality and Normal users to upload up to 50 documents simultaneously into the Upload Format (see option 2 above). This option is ideal for importing documents of the same type quickly, which could then be converted into editable Qualio documents when you're ready to make any changes.

Common Examples, Pros & Cons

Common Examples

  • All common examples from Option 2 are applicable.

  • Any historical documents that you'd like to bring into Qualio post-onboarding.


  • The Migration Manager tool is not needed to bring in < 50 documents quickly on your own.

  • During Onboarding, you can work in parallel with your Onboarding Manager to upload documents that don't need to be formatted while focusing on the high-priority documents in the Migrations Manager.

  • If the OneDrive integration is enabled, you can import directly from your OneDrive folder.


  • See Option 2 Cons

  • Document names cannot be adjusted during the import

  • Ownership of the documents cannot be adjusted during import (the person uploading documents will automatically be assigned ownership)

  • You can only upload documents using one template type at a time

Option 4: Add the image(s) or attachment(s) within a document using the insert options on the toolbar

With this option, you’ll use the Qualio Editor toolbar to insert images or links within your Qualio Document. This option is ideal when the image or attachment needs to be combined with other content that can be placed throughout the document sections or even added to an “Attachments” section along with other attachments.

This option is also ideal for complex documents that can’t be recreated in the Qualio editor. This could include extremely wide documents and spreadsheets with calculations embedded within them, or heavily formatted documents that need to be downloaded to interact with.

Best Practice: We often see documents with standalone attachments use templates with two sections - one section for the description of what’s attached (and smartlinks to the associated procedure), then the uploaded attachment for download.

Option 4: Common Examples, Pros & Cons

Common Examples

  • An image for Work Instructions with interface / screenshot

  • Images that can easily be viewed within the confines of a Qualio Document

  • An image to demonstrate what good/bad looks like

  • LAB results worksheet


  • Extra wide spreadsheet that requires landscape view


  • Combine images with text content to provide viewers a comprehensive document

  • Add multiple attachments to a single document

  • Original document formatting is maintained


  • Text within images is not searchable

  • Attachments will not have Qualio header/footer when downloaded

  • Attachment content cannot be edited with Qualio editor (ability to convert to Qualio document will come later)

  • Attachment will need to be downloaded for accurate preview

Example 1: Document Owner User Experience
(Quality or Normal)

The document owner edits a draft and adds supplemental material directly within sections at appropriate locations. For example, in a Work Instruction for using a new piece of equipment in the lab, pictures and diagrams can be added for each step to guide the techs.

Example 1: Basic User Experience

Using the example above, the Lab Tech would search for the appropriate Work Instruction in the Library and follow step-by-step instructions and visuals to complete their testing with the new piece of equipment.

Example 2: Document Owner User Experience
(Quality or Normal)

Using a Worksheet template, the document owner will describe the associated procedure (including smartlinks) that require the worksheet. The worksheet in its original format will be attached to be downloaded once the document is approved.

Example 2: Basic User Experience

The Lab Tech searches for the document in the Library and downloads the attached worksheet to complete. Once completed, the worksheet is sent to the Lab Manager to upload into Qualio as a completed record.

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