How to Version Control Document in LibreOffice Writer

If you’re working on a document that needs to be saved in different versions (e.g. 1st draft, 2nd draft, 3rd draft) to track the changes, you can use LibreOffice’s built-in version controlling feature. It helps you save multiple versions of a document within the same file, and give you the ability to compare the changes in different versions side by side.

Version controlling feature of LibreOffice is much easier than saving changes of a document as separate files or using an external versioning software. With LibreOffice, you can easily view and compare earlier versions of your document at any time.

LibreOffice’s version controlling feature works much like Google’s doc, where Google docs allows user to save version both automatically and manually. However, it’s more simpler to save a version in LibreOffice anytime during the entire writing process.

Enabling Version Control In LibreOffice

To save the current state of a document as a version, head to File > Versions > Save New Version .

When you click on the Save New Version a new dialog window will pop up. Here you could give it a comment for future reference or leave it blank if you want. Then, hit OK.

Just a heads up, once you’ve given a comment to a version, you can not change it later. So, before you hit save, double check that everything looks good.

Save Versions Automatically

Other than saving versions manually, you can always enable the automatic saving of changes as versions each time you close the document.

Managing Document Versions

After you’ve saved changes in different versions, you might want to review earlier versions either to see the changes or compare them with the current state of the document.

In addition to those, you have some basic version management options. Such as,

  • Close – closes the version dialog.
  • Open – opens the selected version in a new read-only window.
  • Show – shows the entire comment for the selected version.
  • Delete – deletes the selected version.
  • Compare – compares the changes between different versions.

Tips: If you save a copy of a document by choosing File > Save As, then files containing version information won’t be carried over to the new file.

Review Earlier Version Of a Document

To review an earlier version of a document, click on Open and LibreOffice will load the selected document version in a new window. By default, the document will be in Read only mode, meaning you can’t edit or modify anything in the document.

However, LibreOffice does give you the ability to edit the document if you really want to, but it’s not a good idea to edit versions once they’ve been saved as it can lead to confusion and difficulty when tracking changes.

Wrapping Up

LibreOffice’s version controlling feature can be really helpful if you’re working on a document that requires you to maintain track of document changes in versions for future reference. If you have any questions or need help understanding the tutorial, feel free to leave a comment below. I’ll be happy to assist you.

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Shiba Prasad
Shiba Prasad

I’m the creator behind, and Professionally, I’m a freelance technical writer who shares a passion for open source technologies. Learn more, or follow me here → Instagram, Linkedin, Medium

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