How to View and Restore History in Google Docs?

Keeping version history of any file or document is so damn necessary when it comes to reverting changes. Whether it is a coding file, document with well written content or any iterations that created the illustrator image.

Git and Gitlab portals came into existence with this fundamental discipline of version history.

Now is the trend of sharing documents over drives and working together on them. Version history has become important for Google Docs as well.

The content which undergoes a number of iterations, generates a history of changes. Many times, it becomes a challenge in reverting back the changes to previous ones and starting to edit the document from thereon.

Traditionally, MS Word documents were saved locally with different file names and then compared against the file versions. The manual method of maintaining versions was error prone and not giving the accurate results.

There was another problem of files getting corrupted in the process of iterating contents.

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Google Docs History

Google Docs has made keeping the history so simple that the user does not have to do anything. It keeps auto saving the changes and shows the user when the last change was saved.

The user does not have to click a single action to enable history or keep the history. Each document that is being created on Google Drive and shared with other users working on the document preserves the changes.

The user working on the document does not have to worry about the history of changes. 

How to view history Google Docs

  1. Open the document and start writing content.
  2. If the writer is working on sharing a document, the content will be updated frequently.
  3. Next to the help menu, “Last edit was seconds or minutes ago” text is shown.
Google doc showing Last edit was seconds or minutes ago
  1. Click the text highlighted with blue border. Right side pane shall be shown with the list of versions.
View all previous versions of Google doc
  1. By observing the history, it shows the changes date wise and the username who made the edits.
  2. Expand the list of edits using the right arrow located prior to date.
  3. To view changes, click the date item and the edits shall be shown with the green highlights.
select Google doc previous version to restore
  1. The user can restore these changes by clicking the Restore this version button.
  2. If the user wants to create a copy of this version in a separate document, that is also possible.
    • Open the context menu against 13 March, 16:17 by clicking a 3-vertical dots icon. 
Select Restore this version to restore google doc old version
  • The Make a copy is what the user needs to choose to create a separate copy of the document.
  • Name this version is also useful to view logical changes made in the document.

Create Quality Content using History

Viewing history makes it possible to create best quality content with a number of iterations. It is often experienced that the more content iterations you do, the content quality gets better and version history is of the help creating the best content.

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