How to use quick parts to insert a dynamically updated version number into your Microsoft Word documents.

One of SharePoint’s biggest selling points is version control and version history, and yet it remains largely under-utilised in most SharePoint environments.

SharePoint, when configured correctly, will keep track of the version number for you, and allow you to publish important documents (e.g. policies, templates, and handbooks) safe in the knowledge that even while you are updating and editing those documents in the background, users will only ever see the most up to date published version. Enhanced version control also removes the all too familiar and much despised “Employee Handbook _v2_approved_16072017” style document naming system.

Many articles have been written on the topic of versioning in a SharePoint document library, but what if you need to send that document as an attachment to someone who doesn’t have access to the library? Or print a copy off for a new employee to sign?

In that case you’ll want to mark the document in some way to show that the pages the user is looking at are from a specific version. With a few bits of configuration that you can do yourself, (if you have Full Control permissions on the document library), you can quickly and easily set up for Word to automatically insert the document’s version number into the document itself.

Here’s how:

1. Configure the document library:

  1. Open the Document Library that you are going to use, click on the cog and choose Library Settings
  2. Choose Versioning Settings from the first column and make sure that the library is creating major or major and minor versions and click OK

3. Now choose “Information Management Policy Settings”. If the library you are using has multiple Content Types, you will see a list of them, so select “Document”. If the library has only one Content Type, you can skip this step.

4. Check the ‘Enable Labels’

5. In the Label Format box type: {Version}

6. Click Refresh to see your new Version label. It should look something like this: {_UIVersionString}

7. Click OK

2. Add the Version Label in a Word Document

  1. Once this is done, return to the document library and open an existing or start a new document. Click to Edit in Word (Note this will not work in the browser experience of Word)
  2. In the document, click where you want the version number to appear
  3. Add a quick part by clicking on Insert > Quick Parts > Document Property > Label. The label you created in the library will appear {_UIVersionString}
  4. Save the document (this will increase the version number by 1)
  5. Close the document and reopen it to see the current version number.

There you have it.

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Sharon Sumner

Author Sharon Sumner

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