What is document version control?

Learn how document version control works and how it can help you keep track of your files.

We all know how beneficial tracking changes within one document can be. Document version control lets you do the same across multiple drafts of the same document. Let’s take a closer look at document versioning and why you might benefit from using it.

Document version control helps businesses.

Document version control, or documentation revision control, is an essential part of document management. A document version control system manages different document drafts and tracks which is the most current version.

Why do we need it?

Document versioning helps contributors know that they’re working on the latest draft. This is particularly important when writing or creating complex documents, like contracts or agreements. Version control prevents people from introducing mistakes by accidentally using an old draft or overwriting changes that someone else made.

Plus, it helps managers track document status and maintain an audit trail. A document version control system records who made changes, how and when they did it, and whether anyone approved the changes.

Tips to better document versioning.

You could save every document draft as a separate file to keep track of changes — but saving each manually is both time-consuming and mistake-prone. It’s better to use a software system that automates your version control. How these systems work depends on your software choice, but most offer some version control functions.

Adobe Acrobat, for example, features version control for PDF documents. It tracks all changes and edits by each user and allows you to roll the document back to a previous version. You can also limit file access to certain users, making document tracking easier. Acrobat online services also save all file versions to the cloud, so you can easily work with PDFs online.

Discover other ways Acrobat can help you convert, edit, and share PDFs.