Forcing Check Out in SharePoint Document Libraries

Jan Tielens continues to provide us with YASR from his blog, this time is about the forcing check out in Document Libraries.

Document Libraries in SharePoint are great for doing document management. Once of they key concepts in document management is the ability to check out documents while editing the document. This will prevent other users from making changes at the same time. Check out functionality is available out-of-the-box in SharePoint 2003 Document Libraries. The only problem is that users are not forced to check out a document when making changes. There is however a workaround, but it involves editing the ows.js JavaScript file. (for more information see the MSD2D tip).

In SharePoint 2007 by default a Document Library doesn’t force checking out the document either. When you click on a document, you’ll get a pop-up asking if you want to open the document in read-only mode, or if you want to make changes.

But the good news is that you can make the check-out required before being able to edit a document. It’s very easy to do so, just navigate to the versioning settings page of the document library and set Require Check Out property to Yes.

When a user now clicks on a document, another pop-up will show where can be specified to open the document in read-only mode or to check out and edit. When the user chooses to edit the document, optionally he can specify to make the document available offline.

From the dropdown attached to a document, the user can also choose to edit in Word …

… which will bring the following pop up. So; forced check out: yet another SharePoint relief!

You can find this article here.

Computer developer/consultant from Portugal. You can find me at

Posted in Sharepoint, Sharepoint

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