The process of creating a CrossLink is analogous to uploading a new file to your Vault. The key difference is that instead of selecting a file from the local file system, you browse and select a source document from another Vault in the same domain.

You can create CrossLinks in one of three ways:

  • From the Create menu in the menu bar
  • By converting an existing content placeholder to a CrossLink
  • By creating a CrossLink directly in a binder

The CrossLink option is available from the Create menu in the menu bar, the All Actions menu in a binder, and the Doc Info page for an existing content placeholder.

To create a new CrossLink document:

  1. On the Create CrossLink (Step 1) page, click Choose.
  2. In the Choose Source Documents dialog, select one or more source documents. One CrossLink is created for each selection. See information about choosing source documents below.
  3. Click Close. Selected documents are listed in the Create CrossLink (Step 2) page. If you want to CrossLink an existing CrossLink, select the X icon beside the CrossLink: No filter to show CrossLinks in the list of selectable documents.
  4. Select a document type using the document type selector.
  5. Click Next.
  6. Fill in document fields. Fields highlighted in yellow are required. If you’re creating multiple CrossLinks, you’ll need to populate fields for each.
  7. In the Source Document Details section, Vault defaults the Source Binding Rule, but you can update this. See details about binding rules below.
  8. Click Save to add the CrossLink to your Library. There may be a short delay before you see the thumbnail and rendition.

How to Choose Source Documents

You can add one or more source documents in one or more Vaults in this step. Each selected source document becomes an individual CrossLink. You may select any document, placeholder, or planned document which you have permission to view in all Vaults which you have been assigned access. Binders and unclassified documents cannot be used as source documents for CrossLinks and will not be displayed.

To choose a source document:

  1. Use Source Vault Selector picklist in the upper-left of the window to choose from other Vaults in the domain.
  2. Click into the search field to search for source documents.
  3. Use the Filters to apply additional search criteria. Active filters appear above the document list. From there, you can remove them individually or clear all selected filters.
  4. Select one or more documents by clicking the green plus (+) icon for each.
  5. Click Close. The selected documents appear on the Create CrossLink page.

Source Binding Rules

CrossLinks can be statically bound to a specific version of the source document or dynamically bound to the latest version or latest steady state version of the source document. In the case of a CrossLinked CrossLink, the CrossLinked CrossLink is not bound to the original document in the primary Vault. Additionally, it is possible that the source binding rule between the primary and secondary Vaults is different from the one between the secondary and tertiary Vaults. Therefore, updates to the document in the primary Vault may or may not propagate to the CrossLinked CrossLink.

Specific Document Version (Static Binding)

Vault updates the CrossLink document only if a user specifically edits the version of the source document that is bound. It’s not possible to modify the viewable rendition on a past version, so your content should not change, but it is possible to edit document fields on a past version, so the Source Document data in your CrossLink document could change.

With this binding rule, Vault will not modify your CrossLink if users create newer versions of the source document.

Latest Version

The CrossLink is automatically updated with the latest version of the source document (dynamic binding). This includes all workflow state changes: Draft, In Review, In Approval, Approved, etc.

Latest Steady State Version (Default)

The CrossLink is automatically updated only when the source document reaches a steady state version: Approved, Approved for Use, etc.

When creating a CrossLink with dynamic binding, you may choose any version of the source document. Vault automatically binds the CrossLink to the latest version or latest steady state version.

Changing Binding Rules

Binding rules cannot be changed from static to dynamic when the CrossLink is in a steady state. To change the binding to dynamic when the CrossLink is in a steady state, you must create a new draft of the CrossLink. The steady state retains the static binding.

To change the binding rules from dynamic to static, you must move the document into a lifecycle state on which your Admin has configured the Set CrossLink binding to explicit version entry action.

Field Defaulting

To streamline initial data entry when creating a CrossLink, editable field values for the CrossLink are defaulted from the corresponding fields on the source document when the following conditions are met:

  • The source document field names and types exactly match those of the CrossLink
  • The source document field is active and visible to the user adding the CrossLink. This takes into account field-level security and field dependency rules.
  • The CrossLink document field is editable by the user creating the CrossLink, i.e., there are no field overrides or field dependency rules that make the field hidden or read-only.

Document Lifecycles

CrossLink documents follow their own lifecycles and workflows, not those of the source document. A new lifecycle entry action is available to support specific binding for CrossLinks as part of a lifecycle, e.g., set binding to a specific version. As a best practice, this action should be applied when the CrossLink is moved to a steady state version, to ensure the source content does not continue to change.


One common use for CrossLinks is to create reference documents in one Vault, a PromoMats Vault, for example, that re-uses content from another Vault, such as a Clinical Study Report from eTMF. In this scenario, it is desirable to create anchors in the CrossLink document that can be associated with link annotations in Promotional Pieces or other documents in the CrossLink Vault.

CrossLink documents only allow annotations and anchors if they are statically bound to their source document. Dynamically bound CrossLinks do not allow annotation and if a statically bound CrossLink is switched to dynamic binding, its annotations will be removed.

Also note that the annotations and anchors in source documents are not copied over with the viewable rendition when creating a CrossLink.

Overlays & Signature Pages

By default, Vault automatically copies over any overlays or signature pages applied to the source document when you create a CrossLink. Depending on your Admin’s configuration, your Vault may exclude overlays, signature pages, or both when you create CrossLinks or when they are updated. When you download a CrossLink’s viewable rendition, Vault applies any overlays or signature pages defined in the CrossLink document’s Vault, not the source document’s Vault.

Archiving Documents

When a user archives a CrossLink document, Vault automatically sets version binding to Specific Document Version (Static Binding) to prevent any further changes to the archived document. Learn more about document archiving.

Most actions on CrossLink documents follow those of regular documents with some exceptions.

The following document actions have CrossLink-specific behavior:

  • Create Draft: Creates a new minor version of the CrossLink, e.g., 0.1 > 0.2. Users are allowed to increment the CrossLink version only. Learn more about versioning documents.
  • Resync with Source: Manually synchronize the CrossLink with its source document.

Even though a CrossLink is its own document in your Vault and has its own lifecycle, many actions are not available because the content actually exists in another Vault. The following actions are not allowed:

  • Make a Copy
  • Check Out / Check In
  • Upload New Version
  • Manage Renditions
  • Archive
Type Permission Label Controls
Security Profile Application: CrossLink: Create CrossLink Ability to create new CrossLinks.
Document Role (on the CrossLink document) Edit Document Ability to use the Resync with Source action from the CrossLink document. Ability to use the Create Draft action on the CrossLink document.
Document Role (on the source document) View Content Ability to use a document to create a CrossLink document.