Track versions of a file in a SharePoint library

You can track versions of a file that you check out from a document library on a Windows SharePoint Services 3.0 site or a Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 site, if the library has versioning turned on.

 Note   Although you can complete most of these procedures from within your SharePoint library, this article focuses on what you can do from within your 2007 Microsoft Office system program. For more information about performing these procedures from within your SharePoint library, refer to the links in the See Also section.

In this article


Working with major and minor versions

When versioning is turned on in a SharePoint library, previous versions of a file are stored in the library so that you can see information about previous versions, view previous versions, and even replace a current version with an older one, all without leaving your 2007 Office release program. Tracking the versions of your file in a SharePoint library enables you to better manage content as it is revised. Versioning is especially helpful when several people work together to create a file or when the file goes through several stages of development and review, because you can compare the changes made among different versions.

To work with versions of a file that is stored in a SharePoint library, you must first open the file from a SharePoint library that has versioning turned on. After you open the file from the library, additional Server options, including versioning options, appear under the Microsoft Office Button.

A library with versioning turned on can be set up to track only major versions of files, or it can be set up to track both major and minor versions.

These are the main advantages to tracking both major and minor versions:

  • People can easily see when significant changes are made to a file.
  • Your library can be set up so that only specific people can view minor versions, so that you can work on a draft without allowing all users of the library to view it.

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Turn on versioning in a library

To keep previous versions of files, you first need to turn on versioning from inside your SharePoint library.

 Note   To enable versioning, you must have permission to design a list or library.

  1. On your SharePoint site, open the library for which you want to turn on versioning.

On the Settings menu Settings menu, click the settings for the type of library that you are opening.

For example, in a document library, click Document Library Settings.

  1. Under General Settings, click Versioning settings.
  1. Under Document Version History, select the type of versioning that you want:
    • To track only major versions, click Create major versions.
    • To track both major and minor versions, click Create major and minor (draft) versions.
  2. Click OK.

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Save a file as a major or minor version

The following procedure begins with checking out the file from a library, because you choose to save a file as either a major or minor version at the time that you check it into a library. If your library tracks major and minor versions, and you make changes to a file without checking it out from the library, when you save the file, it is automatically saved as a minor version. If you check out the file first, you have the opportunity to choose which type of version that you want to save the file as, and you can provide comments about the version.

  1. In the library, click the name of the document to open it in your 2007 Office release program.
  2. To check out the file, click the Microsoft Office ButtonButton image, click Server, and then click Check Out.

Word documents often open in Full Screen view by default. If this is the case for your document, you must click Close to switch to Print Layout view before you can complete this step.

  1. Edit your file.
  2. To check in the file, click the Microsoft Office ButtonButton image, click Server, and then click Check In.
  3. If you are prompted to check in a major or minor version, click Minor version if you made a minor change or Major version if you made a major change.
    • A major version, which you can think of as a published file, is visible to anyone with permission to read the file.
    • A minor version, which you can think of as a draft, may be visible only to people who have permission to edit the file.

 Note   Who can view drafts depends on the settings in the Draft Item Security section of the Versioning settings in your library's Document Library Settings.

  1. Add version comments if you want to, and then click OK.

 Note   If your library is set up to require approval before a version is published, other users of the library will not be able to view the file until it is approved. You may also be presented with a workflow form after you select how you want to check in your file. For more information about who can view drafts and about workflow forms, refer to the links in the See Also section.

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View the properties of a previous version of a file

While you are viewing or editing a file in your 2007 Office release program, you can view the properties (metadata) of previous versions of the file. The properties include information about when the file was changed and who changed it. In libraries, the version history can also contain comments that people made about their changes.

 Note   This procedure applies only to files that are in libraries that have versioning turned on.

  1. With the file open in your 2007 Office release program, click the Microsoft Office ButtonButton image, click Server, and then click View Version History.

The Versions saved for file name dialog box shows a list of all of the previous versions of the file, along with information such as version numbers, when each version was modified, who made the changes, and any comments that were included.

 Tip   To see an entire comment, in the Comments column, click the comment to open the Check In Comments dialog box.

 Note   If your library is set up to allow major and minor versions, the No. column in the Versions saved for file name dialog box uses numbering to show which are major and which are minor versions. Major versions are designated by whole numbers and minor versions are designated by decimal numbers.

 Note   You can also view version history from within your library. For more information, refer to the links in the See Also section.

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View a previous version of a file

While you are viewing or editing a file in your 2007 Office release program, you can view a previous version of the file without overwriting your current version. For .aspx files, you can view only details about the changes that were made to the files, and not the actual pages that the files create.

 Note   This procedure applies only to files that are in libraries that have versioning turned on.

  1. Click the Microsoft Office ButtonButton image, click Server, and then click View Version History.
  2. In the Versions saved for file name dialog box, click the previous version that you want to view, and then click Open.

 Note   You can also view a previous version from within your library. For more information, refer to links in the See Also section.

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Restore a previous version of a file

Did you make a mistake in a current version? Or perhaps you need to restore part of a file that you deleted. While you are viewing or editing a file in your 2007 Office release program, you can easily replace your current version with a previous version. Your current version then becomes part of the version history.

 Note   This procedure applies only to files that are in libraries that have versioning turned on.

  1. Click the Microsoft Office ButtonButton image, click Server, and then click View Version History.
  2. In the Versions saved for file name dialog box, click the previous version that you want to restore, and then click Restore.

 Note   You can also replace a current file with a previous version from within your library. For more information, refer to the links in the See Also section.

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Applies to:
Excel 2007, PowerPoint 2007, Word 2007