Versioning Settings in SharePoint 2010 - dummies

Versioning Settings in SharePoint 2010

The Versioning Settings area in SharePoint 2010 contains probably some of the most sought after settings in any library or list. Versioning settings cover most of the document management or content management choices. So your new document/content management mantra is approval, versioning, and check out. By default, Approval, Versioning, or Check Out requirement settings are not turned on in a team site.

If you want to have these options enabled when your sites are configured, consider using a publishing site instead.

Before selecting these options, make sure you know the business processes of your team. If documents are thoroughly vetted and approved outside the SharePoint process, you may not want or need Approval settings or Check Out enforced. If your documents are images, you may or may not want to apply versioning if the versions don’t matter to you and you would not need to revert to an older version.

Consider using multiple document libraries and apply different settings based on need. For example, if you have 100 documents in a library and really only need versioning and approval on 5 of those documents, perhaps they can be placed in a library with extra configuration.

Versioning can be one of the most misunderstood features of SharePoint document management. Versioning is a helpful protection mechanism because you can revert to a previous version of the document, if necessary.

Versions in SharePoint are copies of the same document at different intervals during editing. If you require users to view different versions of a document, maybe for choosing between the two, you need to include a designation in the name (such as v1.0 in the earlier example) or an additional Metadata column.

Follow these steps to apply or modify Versioning settings:

  1. Click the Versioning Settings link in the Library/List Settings Page.

    The sections of the Versioning Settings page include Content Approval, Document Version History, Draft Item Security, and Require Check Out (libraries only).

  2. Choose whether to require item approval in the Content Approval section by selecting the Yes or No radio button.

    If you selected Yes in answer to “Require content approval for submitted items” then individuals with the Approve Items permissions can always see draft items.

    Items that aren’t approved yet aren’t visible to site members or visitors. You can designate who you want to view drafts in the Draft Item Security section.

  3. In the Document Version History section, select a radio button to indicate whether to use No Versioning, Create Major Versions, Create Major and Minor (Draft) Versions, and (optional) specify the Number of Versions to keep by selecting the appropriate check box and entering a number.

    The default for a list/library is No Versioning. You can select Major Versions (1.0, 2.0. 3.0, and so on) or Major and Minor Versions (1.0, 1.2. 1.3, 2.0, and so on). Selecting either of the last two options enables you to designate a limit for the number of versions of each type by entering a number up to 10,000.

  4. Choose who can see draft items by selecting a Draft Item Security radio button in the Draft Item Security section.

    This section is disabled unless you allow for minor (draft) versions of your documents or list items. Here are the three options for who can see draft items — Any User Who Can Read Items, Only Users Who Can Edit Items, or Only Users Who Can Approve (and the Author).

  5. Determine whether to require check out for users editing documents by selecting the Yes or No radio button.

    Although it can sometimes be a hassle, requiring check out is another good safety mechanism that makes sure the other users don’t see a document in mid-modification, or have multiple users editing at the same time (last save wins).

    Consider adding the Checked Out To column to your views so that users can quickly see who has an item checked out.

  6. Click OK or Cancel.

    If you click OK, your Versioning settings are applied. Go try them out!