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We have a user here who uses Word 2003 and Excel 2003 as his primary tools. He needs to keep different versions of his files over the time so he can rollback to a previous version at any time. Currently, every time he feels like a new version is needed, he uses "Save as..." and creates a copy of the document. He wants to get rid of all these files and wants to keep a single file, but he wants access to the history of his documents.

The initial request was to install a version control system (like SVN) on the user's machine and create a reposity for him on our server, but that involves coaching and supporting him if problems arise. We would like him to be as autonomous as possible without too much intervention on our side.

Then I read about Word having a version manager built-in, which allows to save multiple versions of the same document, and go back to any version at any time you wish. Eureka! The problem was solved, but then I opened up Excel to check if the same functionality exists and I was very disappointed when I clicked the File menu and did not find the Versions element.

I wanted to know if there is such a feature in Excel 2003 ? Or maybe in a newer version ?

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2 Answers 2

There is no such feature that is built in.

You might as well teach him to use save-as (F12) as opposed to save.

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this is already what the user is doing. He wanted another solution to manage versions rather than having to keep multiple copies of the same documents –  marco-fiset Jan 20 '12 at 19:18
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Our XLTools Version Control Add-In for Excel does exactly what you needed (works with Excel 2007 and higher). It allows you to enable Version History for particular workbook, so all future revisions would be automatically keeped for you. You can also add comments for each revision of the workbook, so you and your collegues can get more sense about the changes later when you review the history.

Add-In requires no special server or anything else. It seamlessly integrated into excel and saves all version history locally on your drive or in a shared folder (if you work with the same document together with your colleagues via shared folder).

For more information, please visit our website: http://xltools.net/excel-version-control

When you click "Save" in Excel, XLTools will ask you to enter some comments (you can also disable it if you do not need any comments):

enter image description here

Later when you need to see the history you can simply view all revisions, open/save particular revision of the workbook or compare different versions of worksheets: enter image description here

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From your website: To install XLTools add-in Windows XP SP1 or higher and MS Excel 2007 or higher must be installed on client’s computer. The OP specifically asks for an Excel 2003 solution. You should edit your answer to make the limitation clear. –  Andi Mohr Jun 25 at 16:47
marco-fiset asked: I wanted to know if there is such a feature in Excel 2003 ? Or maybe in a newer version?. But your point is right and I have updated my answer. Thank you! –  Peter Liapin Jun 25 at 17:56
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