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I handle document control for my mechanical engineering company and need a better method to keep track of submitted drawings & business documents.

Right now I just use an Excel sheet with about 20 columns and recording each individual file's associated project, vendor, customer, drawing title (different than file name sometimes), revision, etc. This has become very monotonous when I submit up to 50 drawings at one time - I have already hand-typed about 1000 lines on my spreadsheet in the last 6 months.

All of that work, and I still do not have built-in file hyperlinks or report-generation which are huge problems now. Not to mention Excel's search capability is comparable to manually scanning a column for the string I'm looking for.

I have toyed with a few open-source doc control options, file cataloging, MS Access w/ forms & reporting... Everything takes more time to learn than just typing the data manually, and Excel seems a better option to copy/paste fields than something like editing a file's metadata for each PDF individually.

Any way out of this mess?

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up vote 2 down vote accepted

Other then going for a full Document Management System like FileHold or Alfresco. There are version tracking products out there like TortoiseSVN and GIT. the version tracking software is free and can be combined with a intelligent folder structure to give you a majority of what you seem to be looking for.

Hope this helps

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