How to include the SharePoint version in a Word document

I’m currently working with our client’s legal department to build a case and document management solution based on SharePoint 2010.

Most of our requirements will be solved with plain OOB functionality. However, we were quite surprised to figure out that there is no easy way to add the SharePoint version number to our Word documents. When printing a document, it would be very helpful to have the version number printed on the footer, to know which version it is.

There are two workarounds for this, that I know about:

Solution 1: Use label information management policy

Add a label information management policy on the library as described in this thread. Unfortunatley, there are a few issues with this solution.

First of all it requires SharePoint Server, since information management policies are not included in SharePoint Foundation.

Secondly, it requires quite a few manual steps that most end users won’t feel to comfortable with.

Also, it seems that adding an information management policy breaks the ‘Save as site template’ functionality. We’re waiting for Microsoft support to clarify if this is a bug or expected behavior.

Solution 2: Create an event receiver

The second options is to create an event receiver that copies the version number to an additional SharePoint text column. The additional column is then available to add as a quick part in Word.

This solution doesn’t require a server license, but it does require some custom code.

Fortunately, there is a handy CodePlex solution for this. The best thing with the SharePoint 2010 version is that it’s available as a sandboxed solution. So it’s really easy to install and get up and running.

This is probably the best solution until Microsoft fixes this limitation.

Finally, I would say that this is more of a Word issue than a SharePoint issue. The information about the SharePoint version number is indeed available in Word, so there is no reason why it can’t be available as a quick part.