Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
If you were to go to back to the version history of the document you’ve been working with,
you should be familiar with each version, including the most current major version you just
checked in and the original version of the document with which you started. Versions are
useful; just remember that you can restore an older version to the current version position, but that
doing so doesn’t delete the version that was replaced. That version won’t be deleted unless you
manually do it.
To delete a version, simply go to the version history of the document, and select Delete from
the version’s drop-down menu. You’ll then be prompted with a warning that the version will be
sent to the SharePoint end-user Recycle Bin. Click OK, and the version will be deleted. In fact,
using the links at the top of the Version History page, you can even delete all minor versions or
all versions altogether (except the most current, which can’t be deleted from this page).
VERSION LIMITS
Just a word about those limits you set for the maximum number of major and minor versions kept for
items in a library. They are not as exact as you might hope. Version history focuses on the major
versions and will generally keep only the limit you imposed, plus one (the most recent major version).
If you reach beyond that one-over limit, the oldest minor and major versions will be deleted.
As for minor versions, you might think that the second setting for limiting versions directly limits
draft versions. It doesn’t. Major versions can have up to 511 draft versions apiece. What the draft
limitation does is limit the number of major versions that will be allowed to have drafts. Go over
that number, and the oldest major version will lose its drafts.
At this point, you’ve gotten an idea of how versions work, what major (publish) and minor
(draft) versions are, and how to manage them. However, the real usefulness of minor versions
can be seen when content approval is enabled. Let’s take a look at how content approval works
and why minor versions are referred to as drafts.
Using Content Approval
Content approval means that new items or new versions of items in a list or library require
approval before they can be seen by everyone able to view a list (depending on how it’s set up).
With a normal list, after content approval is enabled, new items start out with the status of
pending. Then a person with the right to approve list or library items can decide to either approve
or reject an item and add comments to explain their decision. If an item is approved, it can be
viewed by everyone who can read list or library items. If an item is rejected, it remains pending
and can be seen only by the administrator, someone who can approve items, and the creator of
the item. This means that new items go through the simple process of pending approval and
then being either approved and therefore visible to all or rejected and therefore continuing not
to be visible to all.
If you use content approval in conjunction with versions in a library, then drafts can come
into play (if you enable them). No longer does content approval have just the approval levels of
Pending, Rejected, and Approved; in a library with versioning, it has Draft, Pending, Rejected,
and Approved.
 
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