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November 2, 2010

Google Docs Adds Version History for Uploaded Files

Here's a feature that will come in handy when Google Docs adds support for syncing: version history for files. Until now, Google offered this feature for the documents that could be edited in Google Docs, but not for PDFs and other files.

"Previously, each time you updated a file, you would have to upload the new version as a new file with a new URL, re-share it, and put in the correct folders again. When you select the Add or manage versions option on any file, you can upload new versions of a file, download previous versions, and delete older versions."

Unfortunately, this only works when you manually add a new version of a file. If you upload a file that has the same name as an existing file, Google Docs doesn't add a new version and you'll end up with two files. Dropbox is smarter and it automatically updates the existing file. Another issue is that you can't preview the versions of a PDF file in Google Docs, since the only option is to download the files.


  1. Google's approach has its benefits. There may be times when you *don't* want a file to overwrite another with the same name. I know my digital camera has at times reverted back its numbering sequence to factory default, so if I upload my videos to a folder in Google Docs, for example, I wouldn't want a newer video with the same name to clobber the older different video.

  2. Does Google Docs upcoming syncing means something similar that Dropbox does? It would be really great.
    I thought that syncing feature means synchronization between Google Docs and MS Office or some other tools. As I do remember, Google bought DocVerse.

  3. @Adam:

    Well, I think an "Overwrite current file(s) if..." checkbox in the upload dialog would solve that.

  4. Well, it'd be nice if it actually gave you the "add or manage versions" option like it says it should. I've right-clicked the file and looked under the "more options" button, but there's no such option. I guess I still have to use the old method of uploading a new file and then deleting the old one.


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