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I have the same situation; many different groups with different rights to see different objects in the vault at different states - whheewww. Here is what I do for my read only users: We currently have two main workflows for Engineering drawings - CAD Initial Load workflow and Production workflow. Files from the Initial Load have to go thru a checking state before they can be moved to the Production workflow so it was decided that read only users would be able to view anything in the Initiated state in the Initial load workflow (for now) and anything in the Released state in the Production workflow.
For this reason this is how I currently have the rights set up for the read only users group: The Read only users have rights to 'Read file contents' and 'show working versions' for specific folders. I then set the states rights in the Initiated state in the Initial load workflow and the Released state in the Production workflow to 'Read File Contents'. This allows them to only view files that have gone thru those states. You may have to set states to ignore rights in previous states for your particular situation but this seems to work o.k. for us.
- Good Luck