Below is the transcript of the above video where you will learn more about viewing a document’s version history in Google sheets.

MELANIE FOXCROFT:  Hello Maarten. I believe you’ve got some interesting tips to show us in Google sheets.

MAARTEN KRUGER:  Hi Melanie. Yes, something that’s quite important when you’re working with spreadsheets is an audit trail of changes that were made.  Now, something that is quite powerful and useful in Google sheets is the ability to see all the changes that were made from the first time that the specific spreadsheet was created up to the current time. So, one of the ways in which you can basically, see the changes that we’ve made is in any spreadsheet is you can just go to file and you scroll down to version history and then you can basically see the full version history over here.  So, if you take a look here, we can see that this experimental spreadsheet we created yesterday and we just did some experiments and some different people changed it. So, you can see that there’s basically, a full history was created on the 29th  then on the 29th at 15:05 some changes were made and it basically… you can see the full detail of the individual changes over here but it sorts of groups them together so it doesn’t become too overwhelming because when you’re changing a spreadsheet you might be working on hundreds of  cells and last you want to do is 100 rows, you know, just for changes that happen in a few minutes.  So, yeah, so this is the full history of changes. So, the really nice thing is if  you want to restore a specific version – so if you want to restore the spreadsheet to the way it was at  this specific date time, all you have to do is basically click on “restore this version”. It will just prompt  you. So, your current document will revert to the version on that date and just click on “restore” and  now it’s back the way it was. So, now let’s say you made a mistake and say ‘”Oh, shucks, I actually didn’t  want to choose that one. I chose the wrong one.” And you want to go back to the way it was before  we reverted back. Then you can just go back to “version history” so you go to “file, version history,  see the version history” and so this is now what we changed so I say okay, I want to go back to the way it was before. You can see that was restored from April 29th.


MAARTEN KRUGER:  Yeah, so let’s say we want to go back and say, “Okay, I want to go back to the way…” And you can see  a preview on the left hand here of what it’s going to look like when you restore.  

MELANIE FOXCROFT:  And I can see it also highlights all of the changes that you previously made. 

MAARTEN KRUGER:  Yes, in that colour that’s not blue! 


MAARTEN KRUGER:  Teal… that’s the colour! I’m so glad I can get your opinion on what the colour is.  All right. I only know blue, red and green.  All right, here we go. So, now we’re back. So, you can see it’s such a safe way to go  backwards and forwards. No matter what you do, you can almost not, you know, lose information.  And just something that I spotted that I haven’t mentioned. I know we discussed this earlier and  I didn’t actually mention it to you, is in your version history in Google sheets, what you can also do is you can actually give a name to a specific version to make it stand out. So, let’s say this was a very important one or let’s call this the “golden version”  so, there was like a “very important version” so this is our “golden version”. So, if I go  back now and I make another change. Let’s say I add another sales lead – let’s add you over here. I know I’m not selling to you but anyway, so let’s go there we add another lead and we go to “version  history” and let’s just see the history over there.  You can see there’s our “golden version” so I don’t  have to go through hundreds of versions to find something that was sort of important at one stage. 

MELANIE FOXCROFT:  Maarten, I also saw in that drop down menu that you can make a copy?

MAARTEN KRUGER:  Oh yes, thanks for reminding me of that. So, yeah, let’s say we go on, pass our “Golden version”       and now I want to make a separate spreadsheet that – I don’t want to change this one, I’m happy with the version here – but I want to make a separate sheet that’s basically a copy of the “golden version”.  So, all I have to do is I go here and I say I can either “restore this version”, I can say “make a copy”.  Now, what this is going to do is it’s actually creating a copy of  the spreadsheet the way it was at that stage but it’s a separate spreadsheet.  So, this is quite useful if you want to give the spreadsheet to somebody else that  was maybe at a different stage, So, there you go. 

MELANIE FOXCROFT:  Thank you, Maarten. It was a fantastic lesson that we’ve learned today again about the version history in Google sheets and I hope you’re going to share more lessons with us in Google sheets.

MAARTEN KRUGER:  Thanks Melanie, pleasure!

Interview done by Melanie Foxcroft from MF Consulting.


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