I didn’t know you could do that!!! – Embedding the version number into a document footer (Office 2007 Only)

I love SharePoint. The constant “Gee, I didn’t know you could do that” moments that only come at 2AM in the morning.

This one is compliments of a Demo preparation, one question in the demo script in particular asks about document policies. So I open it up and make sure the Disposal Policy is set for the demo… then I have a look at the other ones, and the “Label” one catches my eye.

I recently had a client come and ask me if they could embed the current version number of the document in the document footer so that when they printed it, everyone would know which version they were looking at. I said at the time that it would require a small amount of development (which was correct if you are stuck using Office 2003 like they are) – but if you have the unadulterated joy of ribbonly goodness that is in Office 2007, then Oh! Happy Days! – you can just add a label from the Information policy and make sure that it includes the variable placeholder {Version}.


Then you open the document, insert the Label QuickPart and save.


When you re-open the document, voila! The footer contains your version number! Thanks Brian for your detailed guide – http://bryansgeekspeak.blogspot.com/2009/03/moss-2007-show-sharepoint-version.html – which my cloudy brain needed to make this work (I never closed and reopened the document – Just thought it would pick up the version number immediately).

Naturally, this is more effective when you have versioning switched on – so remember to enable it on the document library. And if this is something you want to have in all documents, make a mandatory site policy that is applied across all Document Libraries.



[UPDATE 12-Mar-2010] – You may need to add the "Version" field to the Document Library or Content type you are trying to configure before you can successfully add it. Same goes for the "Last Modified" date, etc.

[UPDATE 21st September 2010] – The item gets added as an image. This is important because once the image "prefix" is created (in the example above, this would appear as "Confidential – Version #") the only thing that updates is the number itself. So if you update the prefix (by removing Confidential for example) any document with the version embedded in it will continue to display the old prefix. This might seem a bit silly, but the core purpose of this area of the tool is to insert barcodes – and you don’t want those changing willy-nilly otherwise your document tracking system goes out the window!


About Brad Saide

I'm a SharePoint consultant. I'm also slowly going bald, seem to have a permanent spare tyre around my waist and enjoy socialising with friends over a beer or 10. The last 2 may possibly be related. Started working with SharePoint when the first version was in limited beta release (participated in the Technology Adoption Program while at Woolworths) and have been committed to the adoption of the technology as a business enabler ever since.
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