Tuesday Take-Away: Version Control with Google Drive

Google Drive, an integrated component of Google Apps, helps you use Google Apps as a secure file service.  With this capability, you benefit from the revision control built into Google Docs.

Revision Control when Uploading via the Web Interface

When you upload files from the main Google Drive screen, every upload is treated as a separate file, even if the name and source of the file are identical to a previously uploaded file.

To upload a new version of an existing file:

  • Right click on the file name
  • Select Manage Revisions … from the menu
  • Click on Upload New Revision

Revision Control with the Google Drive Sync

If you are running Google Drive on your desktop, every time you save a file, Drive will sync the new revision to Google Docs storage automatically.

Important Retention Rules

By default, Google keeps prior revisions for 30 days and limits the number of revisions to 100.    This means that:

  • Documents that have not been modified for more than 30 days will only have the most recent version available.
  • Auto save features can user up your 100 revision limit quickly.

As an extreme example, if MS Word is set to auto save every 3 minutes and you are editing a document all day, you will only have revisions for the most resent 5 hours.

You can elect to prevent auto deletion for specific revisions by using the same Manage Revisions screen as noted above.  Doing so, however, increases the amount of storage used for the file.

 

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