View Previous Excel Spreadsheet Version in SharePoint Online without Restoring

%3CLINGO-SUB%20id%3D%22lingo-sub-211747%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3EView%20Previous%20Excel%20Spreadsheet%20Version%20in%20SharePoint%20Online%20without%20Restoring%3C%2FLINGO-SUB%3E%3CLINGO-BODY%20id%3D%22lingo-body-211747%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3E%3CP%3EDue%20to%20the%20new%20AutoSave%20option%20in%20Excel%20(which%20I've%20turned%20off%20by%20default)%20my%20colleagues%20are%20inadvertently%20making%20changes%20to%20Excel%20spreadsheets%20that%20they're%20essentially%20only%20trying%20to%20review.%26nbsp%3B%20My%20guess%20(from%20speaking%20with%20them)%20is%20that%20they're%20just%20enabling%20certain%20table%20filters%20or%20slicers%20in%20the%20data%2C%20or%26nbsp%3B%20perhaps%20resorting%20records%20as%20they%20review%20certain%20spreadsheets.%26nbsp%3B%20However%2C%20I%20can't%20really%20be%20sure%20that%20no%20data%20has%20changed%20and%20that%20has%20me%20concerned.%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EUltimately%2C%20I%20want%20to%20compare%20their%20version%20with%20the%20previous%20version%20to%20review%20what%20has%20changed.%26nbsp%3B%20While%20Microsoft%20Word%20for%20Office%20365%20has%20great%20mechanisms%20for%20doing%20this%2C%20understandably%20spreadsheets%20are%20a%20different%20beast%20and%20that%20sort%20of%20web-based%20comparison%20doesn't%20seem%20to%20be%20available%20yet.%26nbsp%3B%20What%20I'd%20like%20to%20be%20able%20to%20do%20is%20take%20the%20previous%20version%20(download%20it%20if%20I%20have%20to)%20and%20compare%20it%20against%20the%20current%20version.%26nbsp%3B%20And%20in%20the%20long-term%20I've%20reduced%20the%20permissions%20for%20the%20document%20library%20folder%20so%20more%20people%20have%20just%20%22View%22%20permissions%20but%20no%20%22Edit%22%20permissions.%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EHere%20is%20a%20image%20of%20screenshots%20that%20shows%20what%20I'm%20running%20into.%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3E%3CA%20href%3D%22https%3A%2F%2Fwww.screencast.com%2Ft%2F1bT6y33C0t%22%20target%3D%22_blank%22%20rel%3D%22nofollow%20noopener%20noreferrer%22%3Ehttps%3A%2F%2Fwww.screencast.com%2Ft%2F1bT6y33C0t%3C%2FA%3E%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3EAny%20help%20for%20a%20better%20workflow%20or%20suggestions%20on%20what%20we%20should%20be%20doing%20would%20be%20appreciated.%26nbsp%3B%20This%20is%20pricing%20documentation%20and%20while%20I%20want%20people%20to%20quickly%20review%20it%2C%20I%20don't%20want%20any%20edits%20to%20be%20made%20unless%20they're%20reviewed%20by%20multiple%20people%20and%20approved.%3C%2FP%3E%3C%2FLINGO-BODY%3E%3CLINGO-LABS%20id%3D%22lingo-labs-211747%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3E%3CLINGO-LABEL%3ERequests%3C%2FLINGO-LABEL%3E%3CLINGO-LABEL%3ESharing%20%26amp%3B%20Publishing%3C%2FLINGO-LABEL%3E%3C%2FLINGO-LABS%3E%3CLINGO-SUB%20id%3D%22lingo-sub-241701%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3ERe%3A%20View%20Previous%20Excel%20Spreadsheet%20Version%20in%20SharePoint%20Online%20without%20Restoring%3C%2FLINGO-SUB%3E%3CLINGO-BODY%20id%3D%22lingo-body-241701%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3EThanks%20Jan%20for%20trying%20to%20help%20me%20solve%20this%3B%20that's%20kinda%20what%20I%20figured.%20I%20really%20wish%20there%20was%20an%20option%20for%20this.%20Comparing%20two%20different%20versions%20of%20a%20spreadsheet%20in%20a%20document%20library%20seems%20like%20it%20would%20be%20a%20common%20need%20across%20customers.%3C%2FLINGO-BODY%3E%3CLINGO-SUB%20id%3D%22lingo-sub-241699%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3ERe%3A%20View%20Previous%20Excel%20Spreadsheet%20Version%20in%20SharePoint%20Online%20without%20Restoring%3C%2FLINGO-SUB%3E%3CLINGO-BODY%20id%3D%22lingo-body-241699%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3E%3CP%3EBob%2C%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%20Yes%2C%20I%20have%20considered%20that.%26nbsp%3B%20Unfortunately%20these%20files%20exist%20in%20a%20larger%20document%20library%20and%20because%20requiring%20a%20checkout%20is%20for%20the%20whole%20document%20library%2C%20it%20would%20affect%20everyone's%20files%2C%20which%20is%20not%20what%20we%20want.%26nbsp%3B%20Had%20I%20had%20the%20foresight%20to%20know%20this%2C%20I%20would've%20created%20a%20separate%20document%20library%20for%20just%20these%20files%20but%20as%20is%20the%20case%20with%20a%20lot%20of%20these%20types%20of%20things%2C%20it%20was%20a%20situation%20where%20a%20person%20(in%20this%20case%2C%20myself)%20inherited%20what%20was%20already%20there%20and%20the%20needs%2Fdemands%20of%20the%20project%20have%20increased%20over%20time.%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%3C%2FP%3E%3CP%3E%26nbsp%3B%20While%20I%20wish%20I%20could%20just%20move%20these%20files%20to%20a%20new%20document%20library%2C%20I%20don't%20think%20that%20option%20(of%20maintaining%20the%20versions%2Fhistory%20of%20the%20files%20while%20moving%20them%20to%20a%20new%20place)%20is%20available%20yet.%3C%2FP%3E%3C%2FLINGO-BODY%3E%3CLINGO-SUB%20id%3D%22lingo-sub-236813%22%20slang%3D%22en-US%22%3ERe%3A%20View%20Previous%20Excel%20Spreadsheet%20Version%20in%20SharePoint%20Online%20without%20Restoring%3C%2FLINGO-SUB%3E%3CLINGO-BODY%20id%3D%22lingo-body-2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Occasional Contributor

Due to the new AutoSave option in Excel (which I've turned off by default) my colleagues are inadvertently making changes to Excel spreadsheets that they're essentially only trying to review.  My guess (from speaking with them) is that they're just enabling certain table filters or slicers in the data, or  perhaps resorting records as they review certain spreadsheets.  However, I can't really be sure that no data has changed and that has me concerned.

 

Ultimately, I want to compare their version with the previous version to review what has changed.  While Microsoft Word for Office 365 has great mechanisms for doing this, understandably spreadsheets are a different beast and that sort of web-based comparison doesn't seem to be available yet.  What I'd like to be able to do is take the previous version (download it if I have to) and compare it against the current version.  And in the long-term I've reduced the permissions for the document library folder so more people have just "View" permissions but no "Edit" permissions.

 

Here is a image of screenshots that shows what I'm running into.

https://www.screencast.com/t/1bT6y33C0t

 

Any help for a better workflow or suggestions on what we should be doing would be appreciated.  This is pricing documentation and while I want people to quickly review it, I don't want any edits to be made unless they're reviewed by multiple people and approved.

9 Replies
ONe way to achieve getting both the current version and restoring an old copy without loosing the current is to first copy the current version (click three dots next to file, select Copy to)

Jan,

 

  I don't see how that will work because when I do a "Copy to" it doesn't copy the version history as well.  So a Copy To only gives me the latest copy and I don't want to revert the original to the previous version (for comparison) because I may want to keep the latest version.

But you've just created a copy of the original version so the copy *is* the original version is it not?

I'm not sure what you're saying.  If I make a copy of the spreadsheet (which already has multiple versions saved for it) it's the latest version of that spreadsheet.  So if you mean by "original" that it is (before I create the copy) the only file for that spreadsheet in the system (once again with it's many versions) than yes.  But it's not the original version in that the spreadsheet has had multiple versions saved for it.

 

So, if within that spreadsheet there are multiple versions, I can't compare two versions of the same spreadsheet because to do that (as far as I'm aware) I need to first revert to a previous version (which I'm not yet sure I want to do) just to compare two versions of the same sheet to one another.

I see your problem. Making a copy and then reverting the original to an older version (so you can comparre the two) destroys your version history for the copy of the original. So if you decide to not keep the older version but prefer the latest version you have a problem. I don't know how to resolve this right now I'm afraid.

Have you tried setting the library to require checkout.  That way, they can still open the file, but if they want to open it for editing, they have to check it out.  You would also have to educate the users on when to click "Check Out" at the top of the screen, but it might work for you.

Bob,

 

  Yes, I have considered that.  Unfortunately these files exist in a larger document library and because requiring a checkout is for the whole document library, it would affect everyone's files, which is not what we want.  Had I had the foresight to know this, I would've created a separate document library for just these files but as is the case with a lot of these types of things, it was a situation where a person (in this case, myself) inherited what was already there and the needs/demands of the project have increased over time.

 

  While I wish I could just move these files to a new document library, I don't think that option (of maintaining the versions/history of the files while moving them to a new place) is available yet.

Thanks Jan for trying to help me solve this; that's kinda what I figured. I really wish there was an option for this. Comparing two different versions of a spreadsheet in a document library seems like it would be a common need across customers.
A little late to the party but as I had similar problem and found only this solution I think I'll say how I managed to get the old version (without messing up the version history of the original one). There is an option on SharePoint to use it in "Classic Experience" mode. In this mode you can access version history and actually download the old version by using 'save as' or 'open in new tab' option (really similar how it's described in this really old thread: https://sharepoint.stackexchange.com/questions/29008/how-do-i-view-the-older-version-of-the-document...).