SharePoint – Library Versioning

Library

SharePoint libraries are a great way to store documents, especially when there are multiple versions of the same document. In a shared drive, documents are labeled many times with v1, v2, v3…, but this can make it harder to find what you are looking for. In some cases, the documents are saved in a number of different places, which makes it hard to know which versions is really the latest and greatest version.

There was a time where this was the only way to store documents, but that is no longer the case.

SharePoint allows you to store multiple versions of the same document on top of each other. Any time a document is opened in a library, it is always the latest version, and it is easy to locate earlier versions, as they all live in the same spot.

There are three ways to save document versions in SharePoint. The first is not allowing multiple versions at all. This means that every time you save the same document to the library, it overwrites the last one. Obviously, this is not best practice, as older versions are lost when they are overwritten.

The other two options are setup to save Major versions, or Major/Minor versions.

To setup versioning, or ensure versioning is setup in your library, follow these steps:

  1. Navigate to the library you want to check.
  2. Click on the Library.
  3. Go to the Settings group, and click on Library Settings.
  4. Once in the setting area, click the Versioning Settings link in the General Settings section. 
  5. Pick your setting, and then scroll to the bottom and click OK.

Creating Major versions allows a person to keep older versions, but every time a new version of the document is saved, it is available to anyone with access to it. Major/Minor versioning allows the editor to save changes without making the changes immediately available (Minor Versions). Once the Minor changes are complete, the editor can save the document as a Major version, which allows everyone with access to see it.

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