I am currently trying to setup versioning for a document library. The aim is to use both Major and Minor versions which indicate the level of change:

  • A minor version will be a small terminology edit
  • A major version will indicate a content change.

If the major version is changed it will need to go through a formal change request process (a manual process outside of SharePoint) but in both cases the changes need to be approved by another user.

I'm having some difficulty setting this up, as I can only use minor versions as drafts and once they are approved then get pushed to a new major version. Whereas I want to approve the draft but keep the current version of the document.

Can anyone shed some light on what I'm doing wrong?

Edit: The document library settings are:

  • Content Approval turned on
  • Version history set to major and Minor

I'm using SharePoint 2010 on Microsoft Online.

  • OOB Versioning will not help you in this case... That's how the OOB Versioning works! Think of a custom solution.. :) Nov 22, 2012 at 20:49

2 Answers 2


See Working with Major and Minor versions in sharepoint for more details on this. to start off with.

The basics of this comes down to SharePoint doesn't know how many changes there to the document.

The only way around this is to use a manual versioning solution OR create something that tracks changes to documents, and according to rules automatically set a version field.

The company I work for tracks changes to webparts this way, automatically in hidden lists on our deployments. The theory would be the same just for documents.


What you have described is a custom workflow. The out-of-the-box content publishing approval workflow uses the major version to track the published versions.

You will need to disable content approval and create a custom workflow as Arsalan says in his comment.

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