I have a published document in an Approved status and need to make changes to it. However, I still want the approved published document visible in the library with still an approved status, but also have the same document that I will need to work on that will be availble but with a status of In Progress. I want to maintain the versioning as one collective document.

2 Answers 2


Have you enabled minor versioning on the document library?

Minor versions will allow you to have drafts of the document and only editors/approvers can see the draft versions (this setting can be changed).


The approved document will still be visible to users. If the version is less than v1.0 normal users will not be able to see the file, as it has no approved version.

Sharepoint limits the users that can see the documents that are in draft or pending status - it uses Permissions to do this. If you are new to this, the easiest way is to test the system with a couple of colleagues, use the OOTB user groups as much as you can.

For your test there are 3 roles - one of you will be the person that makes a new draft, this person must have at least CONTRIBUTE permissions. Another user will have only READ permissions. Since you are the SP Admin, you can be the approver, I'm assuming therefore that you have FULL CONTROL (which includes the approve permission) otherwise you'll need to be in the APPROVERS group.


  • Who can see a draft/pending document.

Depending on the Document Library settings, normally a user with READ permissions would not see draft versions or versions of files going through the approval process - this is known as Draft Item Security. Depending on the draft item security, only approvers or users with FULL CONTROL and the user that made the new draft version can see the draft.

  • See what a user with FULL CONTROL or APPROVE can see compared to a user with CONTRIBUTE or READ permissions, the former groups see a lot more detail - as you see in the picture below. Note the view name - once content approval is enabled on your document library, Sharepoint automatically adds this view.

overview picture

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