Configure Sharepoint 2003 to store versions of your documents


My relationship with Sharepoint is a love/hate
story. I’ve been using it since its original incarnation as the
“departmental server” many years ago (trivia: and it was built on the Exchange store), but not heavily until the last year or two with SPS 2003. The first six months I [was forced to] use it, I hated it.
I just didn’t get the UI, I thought it was clunky and difficult to use,
and the navigation model didn’t feel intuitive. Then at some point I
started to grok the workflow and the quirks (a must for any app under
heavy use on my desktop – grokking the quirks of Outlook certainly
makes it easier to use. Perhaps I should pitch to O’Reilly that I start
a new line of Grok The Quirks books), I found some excellent addins
that made work & bean counting easier to do, and now I am a huge
fan of Sharepoint.



I still do have some gripes, however… one of which is that Sharepoint
doesn’t appear to
default to using document versioning for the stock doc libraries.
(disclaimer: I speak as an end-user and not an administrator, so I’m
not sure if this is an admin configurable option or not). This
has caused many a headache for myself and a few other people I know as
well as caused some to think that sharepoint didn’t even support versioning which is absolutely not true.



Fortunately, it’s quite simple to turn it on for an individual document
library:

  1. Open the doc library
  2. Select “Modify settings and columns” on the left
  3. Select “Change general settings”
  4. Flip “Document versions” to Yes and save changes

Once it’s enabled, you can access the versions by going to the doc
library, hovering over the document link and waiting for the menu arrow
to show up. You can then go to Version History on that menu.

Comments (2)

  1. Steven says:

    Hi Kclemon,

    I want to customize the context menu in Outlook in my app. ie, disnable some buildin menu items when user select email or contact item. I can do this in Main menu but not in context menu. It seems buildin items in context menu are readonly. Could you give me some clue ? Thanks.

    Regards,

    Steven

  2. I’m not an expert, but I did see this reference: http://www.outlookcode.com/codedetail.aspx?id=314. I thought I had heard a while back that context menus weren’t customizable though, I suspect there’s more to the story.