Need to get customer to use latest version of a document.

Copper Contributor

I often receive feedback from customers based on documents that have subsequently revised.



customer: there is a mistake on page 7 fix it right away!!  

company: if you download the current document version, you will see it was corrected three weeks ago :) 


I can see how to prevent downloads after an expiry date, but I want the already downloaded document to expire or alert the customer. Is there perhaps a macro that can check the document version against the version on the SharePoint server? 




5 Replies


Use versioning with Word.

To use versioning in Word, you need to store your documents in either OneDrive or in a SharePoint Library.

When documents are stored online, you can turn on AutoSave to automatically save as your work. You can also share documents by inviting someone to the library, or providing a link rather than sending a discrete copy of the document. Lastly, you can work with others to co-author a document at the same time.

For more information on saving to OneDrive or SharePoint, coauthoring, or using AutoSave, see:

OneDrive and SharePoint

Coauthoring and AutoSave


I would be happy to know if I could help.



I know I don't know anything (Socrates)


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Thank you for the reply, I know how to version a file I am working on, but need something else - I am sorry I was not completely clear - the customer insists on downloading documents and then complains that when they are out of date. Is there any way that a downloaded document can check to see if it has been superseded ? (Or at least force a re-download periodically)?

Hello @stevegroomSRO ,

there is the option of checking versions under File → Info.


However, from experience, the only way to make sure customers/clients use the latest version is a document management system made available (accessible) to customers/clients.


Also a possible workaround: put version number in header/footer, make compare between the original and edited version and send the redline to the clients - it shows which versions were compared. In such case clients will work with the compare only.


But unless you have an integrated system which locks previous versions and gives an alert that "you are opening an old version, would you like to open the latest one?" you are stuck with human misbehaviour, relying on common sense only.


Edit: SharePoint automatically opens the latest version, right? How come your clients open older versions?

@Lenka_Kerumova Customer insists on downloading and keeping a local copy. This is why I was hoping for some sort of built into the document mechanism. A self destruct mechanism would probably suffice - I was wondering if a certificate could be use to access a doc and then to issue short lived ones... 

Hello, understood.
I think that unless some VB guru steps in, the current options Word itself offers have nothing that would solve this issue in one go.