Add the SharePoint Version Number to a Word Document

Was that document you were looking for titled “2010-2011_final_complete-rev1-4.docx” or ‘2010-2011_complete-ready_ver141.docx”? Don’t keep making the mistake of relying on the file name of a document to know which version is the latest. Especially if you are keeping your documents in SharePoint. Sharepoint has a great versioning system built right in and now you can have it add the SharePoint generated version number right into the text of your document. Pretty handy, huh?


The Problem

So You have your new Company Policy Manual, or your new Login Procedures document, or whatever. You’ve seen the power of Microsoft SharePoint when it comes to managing document versioning and you can’t wait to get started. But wait, you know that this document will not exist solely in SharePoint. It will be printed, faxed, emailed, scanned, converted to PDF and so forth. So you are going to want to have the document version (or “Rev” as some folks call it) printed on the document somewhere. The problem comes when trying to keep that bit of text synced up with the SharePoint version number.

The Solution

For those of you who have worked with SharePoint metadata in Word, you have probably discovered that you can use the Quick Parts button to inject document properties, including some SharePoint columns. However, columns that are modified by the system such as calculated columns and Version are not available. So what to do?
SharePoint 2010, you can use Information Management Policies. This is where you can set things like document retention policies, Audit polices and so forth. One feature that will help us is the Label feature. By enabling a Label, we can expose a string of text as a document property. This particular string of text can include the version number.

Enable Labels in SharePoint

  1. Login to SharePoint and navigate to the Document Library, you would like to enable.
  2. Make sure versioning is turned on. If it’s not, turn it on now.
  3. Click on “Library” link to open the Library ribbon and select Library Settings:
  4. In the “Permissions and Management” section, select “Information management policy settings”:
  5. Select “Document” from the Content Types Section:
  6. Click the checkbox to enable Labels and type in the {Version} “Label format” field:
  7. Click the “OK” button to save

Using the Label in a Word Document

  1. First we need to have the document in the library, so if you haven’t uploaded your document, go ahead and do that now.
  2. Click the Document Title to download the document
  3. Place your cursor anywhere on the page (including in a header or footer) that you want to display the version number.
  4. Click on the “Insert” heading on the ribbon and select “Quick Parts > Document Property”. The “Label” property should now be available. Click it to insert it on the page:
  5. You may seem some funny text there until you save the file (and check it in if your Doc. Lib. settings requires). Once you open it back up from SharePoint, it should display the normal version number.

Hope this helps! Please leave me some comments if it did. Thanks for reading! 🙂


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Legacy Comments - Closed

  1. Steve says:

    Great job! Very helpful

  2. jim says:

    this was exactly what i was looking for – thanks!

  3. Demetrius says:

    Worked great. I have a question on this topic. Have you figured out a way to only show the major version as 1,2,3 instead of .0?

  4. AlecJD says:

    Worked a treat. Easiest instructions i've found online. Cheers.

  5. Ruth says:

    Yes it works and means printed docs show the correct version so users cannot forget to change! It was a little alarming to see the strange text on adding the lable to the document but it correct after check in and re-open as you suggested. Useful thankyou

  6. avinash says:

    Thanks man it helped

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