About document and picture library versioning

Document versioning allows you to keep multiple versions of a document. If a change needs to be reversed, you can restore the previous version and continue working. When versioning is turned on, a Version History command is added to the drop-down list that users see when they click the arrow next to a document name (and the toolbar) in the Edit Properties page for the document. The Version History command is also available in client applications that are compatible with Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services, such as Microsoft Office Word 2003, Microsoft Office Excel 2003, and Microsoft Office PowerPoint 2003. When the user clicks Version History, a list of the previous versions of the document appears. The user can open an old version, restore a version (replacing the current version), or delete an old version.


  • When a file is deleted from a library, all previous versions are deleted as well.
  • Versions can be created for all file types except HTML files that contain images or embedded objects. If you want to create versions as HTML, you must use the MHTML format (often saved as .mht) when saving to this Web site. This also applies to those files on the Web site that you check out and modify.

When versioning is enabled, versions are automatically created whenever a user updates a document in a document library (document library: A folder where a collection of files is stored and the files often use the same template. Each file in a library is associated with user-defined information that is displayed in the content listing for that library.). Versions are created in the following situations:

  • When a user checks out a file, makes changes, and checks the file back in.
  • When a user opens a file, makes changes, and then saves the file for the first time.

 Note   If the user saves the file again, without closing the file, a new version is not created. If the user closes the application he or she is using to edit the file, and then opens it and saves the file again, another version is created.

  • When a user restores an old version of a file (and does not check it out).
  • When a user uploads a file that already exists, in which case the current file becomes an old version.

Members of the Administrator and Web Designer site groups (site group: A custom security group that applies to a specific Web site. Users are assigned to site groups to grant them rights on a SharePoint site.) for a site can determine whether document versioning is enabled for a particular document library. To enable document versioning, you use the settings page for that document library.

Applies to:
Deployment Center 2003, Windows Sharepoint Services 2.0