We would like to store a set of PDF documents in a SharePoint library under major/minor revision control. I understand how the major/minor versioning system in SharePoint works, but our problem is that we would like to match the version with what is stated on the document.

We don't need custom version numbers; we are happy to use Microsoft's scheme. Unfortunately, as I understand it, the draft version that is approved becomes the next major version. So if we upload a series of drafts with "0.1", "0.2", etc. literally printed on the document and then finally approve version "0.4", it will become version 1.0 and say "0.4" on the document.

Perhaps I'm not understanding the process. How do we ensure that the printed rev on the document matches Microsoft's major/minor scheme if the version number of the final approved document changes in the system upon approval?

EDIT - It has been suggested that we simply create a "physical version" column to store the rev level of the physical document. We would like very much to retain the automated assignment of version numbers inherent in SP if possible.

2 Answers 2


It's seems as though you can track the versions using another custom column that will track to physical version vs the SharePoint version. The physical version is the version you care to show, so you can hide the SharePoint version from the default view. Whenever another draft is made, just enter in the physical version.

You care about two things, keeping a backup of your drafts/versions, and staying on sync with the physical version. This solves both. Just make a new custom column and add it to the default view.

New custom column - "Physical Version"

  • I like this approach except for one "gotcha": it is not automated. We like that SP manages rev levels automatically. We'd rather not manually assign them if it is avoidable.
    – burfl
    Commented Dec 4, 2012 at 18:31

I have a similar requirement and use @Mike's solution. It's the most foolproof method, especially when it comes to fixing typos found in Approved revisions.

If you're insistent, a workaround might be to match your physical versioning system to SP's versioning system - that is, make your "approve-ready" PDF contain the next major revision number on paper and Approve that revision.

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