Once you log into Ziflow, you will see the Proofs List. From there, click on the Create Proof button in the upper right corner.

Proceed with the following steps to submit your first proof:

  1. What to review?

  2. Proof briefing information

  3. Stage configuration

  4. Proof settings


1. What to review

  1. Simply browse your files or drag and drop them into the What to review field. Or,

  2. Upload a web page by entering the URL into the Review a website field. You can choose between Take a snapshot or View live content.

As you drag and drop or browse your files, you will see:

  1. Proof name - by default, the proof name will be the same as the file name of the file you upload. If you upload more than one file, the proof name will be shown as Multiple files.

  2. Folder - the folder icon in the upper left corner allows you to either choose an existing folder or create a new one and select it as a destination for your proof. For more detailed information. Please see our folders functionality article.

  3. Progress bar - this appears as the file(s) are uploaded. All files will be listed in numerical order so you can quickly reference what's been added to your review cycle.

  4. Trash icon - this can be used to delete uploaded files.

  5. Combine into a single proof - if you are on the Business or Enterprise editions, you will see this option. You instruct Ziflow to bundle all the files into a single proof by selecting this setting. In doing so, your reviewers will receive only one notification for all the files, and the review cycle will be based upon all the files being reviewed as a collective. When you combine files into one proof, you can drag and drop them to change their display order in the newly created proof.

Please note:

  • Different file types (static, audio, and video files) cannot be combined into a single proof. If the proof creator attempts to upload static and video files into one proof, they will see an error message.

  • Non-static file types (video, audio, or Rich Media files) cannot be combined into a single proof.

Once you finish this step, simply scroll down to the next one.


2. Brief

Provide additional information about the asset. The brief will be available to all invited reviewers in the Ziflow Viewer.

With the brief field, proof creators may provide additional information and attachments to reviewers invited to the asset. This is an easy and effective way of making sure that all people invited to the proof have access to proofing guidelines before they start collaborating on a project.


Added brief information will be visible for reviewers in Ziflow Viewer, at the top of the comment box.


3. Configure Stages

Now you are ready to configure your stages and add reviewers. By default, Ziflow creates Stage 1 and automatically assigns ownership to the proof creator (you can change the proof owner later if needed).

Ziflow understands that you may need two or more stages (review groups) reviewing one file (e.g., copywriters check the text, and the legal team checks compliance). The stages can run simultaneously or successively. For this purpose, Ziflow allows you to create multiple review stages.

If your Workflow usually has the same scenario, or you have teams for which the flow is always the same, you can use the Workflow Templates feature.

One of the best features of the Enterprise edition is Sequential & Parallel Workflows. This feature simplifies the review and approval process by eliminating steps that otherwise would need to be done manually.

The screenshot below outlines the stage options:

  1. Stage name - click on "Stage 1" to edit the name (e.g., "Internal Review").

  2. Reviewers - in this section, you add users to the review stage. Here you can set up their proofing permissions and define their notification preferences. If they are registered users in your Ziflow account, begin typing their name, and the system will populate their email address. If you want to invite someone who is not a registered user in your account, enter a valid email address and click the + button. *Please note that guest reviewers (without a Ziflow account) cannot be granted Manage permissions. For more information, see our Proof permissions article.

  3. Notification preferences - this setting allows you to choose the frequency of email notifications for each reviewer. The options are all comments and decisions, replies to my comments, decisions, final decision, hourly digest, daily digest, or none. Please note that notifications will maintain the same for the reviewer added to the multiple stages (if you change a reviewer's notifications settings in one stage, the system will match them for the same throughout the stages for this reviewer).

  4. Skip on new version (Enterprise edition only) - this setting allows skipping a stage when a new proof version is added. This way, you can speed up the decision process and eliminate stages that do not need to be repeated in the recent proof version.

  5. Trigger (Enterprise edition only) - select how and when you want the stage to start.

  6. Set a deadline - this setting allows you to set a deadline for your reviewers. By default, once a proof has reached its deadline, an auto-reminder goes out to reviewers who have not taken action on the proof. You can also manually send out reminders from the proof summary page. The Enterprise edition allows you to create auto-reminders to trigger before and after the deadline has been reached.

  7. Lock stage (Enterprise edition only) - choose if or when the stage should be locked: never, manually, or when all decisions are made.

  8. Final Status Calculation - here, you can define the final status calculation for each stage. If you choose All decisions, every reviewer with decision-making permissions will need to submit a decision for the proof to reach an approved status. If you select Only one decision required, the first reviewer to decide on the proof will make that decision on behalf of every reviewer with decision permissions. The option Decision made by.. allows you to pick a primary decision-maker from the reviewers in that stage.

  9. Allow comments (Enterprise edition only) - decide what comments can be added to the proof. Read more about private vs. public comments in this article. If someone from a stage submits a private comment, it will only be visible to the reviewers in that specific stage.

  10. New proof/version - if you uncheck this option, the new proof/version notification will not be sent.

  11. Custom invitation message - if you need to add additional information about a proof/project, you have the option to customize the email invitation.


4. Proof Settings

The last step of the proof creation process is the configuration of proof settings.

  1. Proof Owner Setting - the proof creator may transfer ownership to another user.

  2. Proof Security - the Proof Security Setting allows customers to share proofs securely, not only with registered users but guests as well. This functionality ensures that only designated reviewers can access proofs. After selecting reviewers, determine whether or not they need to authenticate to access the proof.

    There are three security settings to choose from if you are on a Basic, Starter, or Business edition and four settings if you're on Enterprise.

    1. Users & Guests (Authentication not required)

    2. Users & Guests (Authentication required) - Enterprise edition only

    3. Users only (Authentication not required)

    4. Users (Authentication required)

    When authentication is required, Ziflow will:
    - generate a unique token and email it to the guest reviewer
    - ask users to log in before accessing the proof


    Please see our Proof Security Settings article for more information.

  3. Minor version - in many cases, creative assets need to be reviewed internally before being shared with external team members or clients. Most online proofing applications will label versions using the standard pattern V1, V2, V3.

    Depending on your workflow, this may not be ideal - by the time a proof is shared externally, you could be sharing what is now known as V3. It could confuse external reviewers and raise questions about what happened to V1 and V2. Enable this setting to make the proof a minor version (e.g., V0.1, V0.2, V0.3, etc.).

  4. Lock the proof when all decisions are made - once a decision is made, proofs or stages can be locked to prevent reviewers from taking any further actions (like adding comments or decisions). The only people able to unlock it are proof owners and managers. They also can manually lock the proof at any point. More detailed info can be found in the Manually lock & unlock proofs article.

  5. Allow download of the original file - if this feature is on, reviewers can download the proof's original file. A download icon is visible inside the Proof Viewer and on the Proof Details page.

    Please note: multiple files inside a proof will be downloaded as a zip file.

  6. Suppress proof created/failed email - proof creators may not want to receive an email informing them that a new proof is created/failed since they are making the proof. For that reason, Ziflow gives them the ability to opt-out of that email notification.

Summary

Once the proof settings are configured, click the Create button. If something is set up incorrectly, you will see the following pop-up message. Ziflow will identify the problem area by placing a red exclamation mark next to the stage that requires attention.

After the proof is processed, reviewers will get an email notification informing them that they have new proof to review.

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