I have a library with Version-ing enabled. Check out is not enforced.

How do I add version comments from within Office (IE, Excel)?

I want to do this without having to manually check out the document via SharePoint before hand(this is my current work around).
Ideally, I'd like to be able to checkout the document from within Office.
I don't want to make checkout required for the whole library.

(edit: SharePoint 2013 and Office 2013)

3 Answers 3


updated from comments at the suggestion of topic starter:

if forced "Check out" functionality is off then you cannot fill the "Version comments" field.

Why can't You create 'multiple line of text' field named "Description", with "Append existing text" checkbox, and put comments there? enter image description here

  • Well, the Versioning capabilities seem like the natural place for version/change notes. Then you can see all of them and switch between versions. But, should I take it from your answer that what I want to do can't be configured?
    – Alex
    Jan 7, 2015 at 14:08
  • Hi! As I understand, You don't want to turn on forced "Check out" functionality, but without it You cannot fill the "Version comments" field. So I proposed to fill another field.. Imho if "Client integration" for web app in Central admin is 'On' and "Office Sharepoint compatibility components"(or something) on client are installed, there should be standard functionality to change sharepoint fields from within office.
    – Gennady G
    Jan 8, 2015 at 12:27
  • It appears under the ribbon, like in this picture thesharepointblog.net/Lists/Posts/Attachments/15/… But it is more extensive question how to turn it on, IE addons could block it or it will not work by https by example
    – Gennady G
    Jan 8, 2015 at 12:28
  • 1
    Ah, ok. I guess the answer I was looking for was, if forced "Check out" functionality is off then you cannot fill the "Version comments" field. , Your workaround is a nice bonus. (can I suggest you add the bold part to the top of your answer? )
    – Alex
    Jan 8, 2015 at 20:45

enter image description hereAdd a column to the "Document" Site Content Type:
For the site "Document" content type, add a new column (e.g. "Late Version Comments:"), select multiple lines of text, make it NOT required. Then when you open up the versioning option for a file, pull down the document version's item menu, select "View", then select "Edit". The "Late Version Comments:" field is there for your commenting pleasure. The comments will appear under the Filename in the version window. enter image description here


I get that the answer is "You can't do that". But... THAT'S STUPID!

Typical Microsoft - can't seem to think things through properly.

Here's the scenario

a) Users do not want to use "check out/check in", because that only allows one person to be editing the document at one time.

b) Users do want to use versioning to keep track of what changes were made and record other pertinent information, for example, "This is the version that we used for the Dry Run" or to record version numbers "V1.0", or whatever other things you would normally want to use versioning for.

And the answer we are given is: Create a new field and use that to record version information? Huh? Microsoft, why go to all the trouble to create a feature like versioning, which could be very useful, but then BREAK IT.


  • This is not the forum to complain, but rather ask for help solving your problem or try to help others. Try to formulate your answer in some other way to not receive more downvotes. Sep 4, 2018 at 16:43

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