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Understand user types (MT4)

Written by James Valent
Director of Support at MindTouch
This page applies to:MindTouch 4 and MindTouch TCS


This article outlines the different types of users within MindTouch, and their various functions. As you get started with your MindTouch site, it's important to understand to what extent each user type can contribute to your community. This article is relevant for technical writerssupport agentssubject matter experts, content managers, and site owners.

Getting Started

There are several elements to take into consideration when working with the different user types in MindTouch. For instance, Pro Members have various roles and abilities, while Community Members do not. In addition, you can apply roles for Pro Members and groups at the Control Panel level, while also applying more granular roles to users at the page level. To understand how all these elements work together, let's first define the various types of users and their abilities.

User Types

There are two types of users within MindTouch: Community Members (typically your customers, prospects, partners), and Pro Members (your employees, subject matter experts, and contributors).

Community Members

Community Members are never your employees; these are your end-users or customers. This class of user has the following privileges:

  • Log in
  • View pages
  • View comments
  • Create comments
  • Rate pages

Community Members are essentially your customers who are able to read and provide feedback around your documentation. Community Members do not have different role types. Employees of your company cannot be Community members. 

A Community Member can be changed to a Pro Member within the Control Panel, but can never be boosted to have Author rights at the page level. Only Pro Members can be boosted to have higher role levels.

Pro Members

A Pro Member is an employee of your company or a Subject Matter Expert that is granted additional privileges. Pro Members have these rights:

  • Log in
  • View pages
  • Create comments
  • Rate pages
  • Subscribe to pages
  • View the Attachments tab
  • Create pages
  • Edit pages
  • Delete pages
  • Change page permissions
  • Administer users
  • Apply unsafe content in the editor

Pro Members are also known as seated users, and are your employees or users requiring additional privileges than those granted Community Members. These users have the same abilities as Community Members, but can also author and contribute to your documentation. Let's learn about the various roles a Pro Member can have. Even Pro Members can be restricted as to what content they can edit and see. 

Pro Member Roles

Role Ability
  • Log in
Draft Distributor
  • View
  • Comment
  • Subscribe to pages
  • Create, edit, delete drafts

Admin Considerations

  • If the user is given the Admin role through their user or group membership at the Control Panel level, then they have the ability to see everything and no one can restrict them from any pages on the site.
  • If the Admin role is granted at the page level, then the user/group gets Admin abilities within those pages only. This ultimately allows them to add/execute unsafe content in the editor, and view reports within user guides, though it will NOT grant them access to the Control Panel. 
  • To obtain access to the Control Panel, and user must have the Admin role applied at the user or group level directly within the Control Panel.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are Anonymous Users?

Anonymous users refers to any user visiting a MindTouch site who is not logged in. Within the Control Panel, you will see a user named "Anonymous" which cannot be modified. This user is utilized by the system whenever someone is visiting your site without having logged in.

How Do Roles Work When a User is a Part of a Group?

When applying a role in the Control Panel, you have the option to set the role both for a user as well as a group. If a user is a part of a group, MindTouch will grant the user the highest of the two roles across the entire site. See the following examples below:

User Role Group Role Resulting Site-Wide Role
Viewer Author Author
Author Viewer Author
Viewer Admin


Important: Setting site-wide roles is possible only within the Control Panel. If a user is granted a role at a page level, that affects that page only. For more details on understanding the various levels of site privacy, please see our documentation on understanding privacy in MindTouch.

Can Community Members Be Boosted to Pro Member Roles As Needed?

No. MindTouch always looks at the underlying user type when granting a user access. If the user is set as a Community Member in the Control Panel, and granted "Author" access at the page level, the highest ability for that user is still viewing, rating, and leaving comments.

Control Panel Setting

Page Level Setting

Community Members will never have access to edit or create any pages within MindTouch. If you need a user to create or edit pages in only specific sections of MindTouch, consider creating them as a Pro Member with the Viewer role.

User types can be changed by editing a user in the Control Panel, so you can change a user to either a Community Member or Pro Member across the site at a later point in time.

What is the Purpose of the Viewer Role for Pro Members?

Since Community Members cannot be boosted to Pro Member roles at the page level, the Viewer role allows a Pro Member to have limited editing rights in a site, and then later boosted to a higher role at the page level as needed. The most common use case for this role would be if you had a user who you would like to create and edit content in a specific section of a site.

In this case, you would create them as a Pro Member with the Viewer role in the Control Panel. Then, on a specific page you would boost their role to an Author or Editor as needed.

This ensures they can edit that specific section, while still only being able to view pages that are Public or Semi-Public.

How Are Roles Handled at the Page Restriction Level?

When understanding how different user types and roles affect a user's abilities, there are several levels of access to consider. For details on site privacy and special considerations please review our documentation on understanding privacy in MindTouch.

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