17

When I load revision history in Google Docs, it does not change the URL. Is it possible to link to a history entry in Google Docs?

  • 2
    I don't see how. I think the best you can do is restore the revision you want, copy it to a new file, then go back to the original revision. – ale Dec 10 '13 at 23:37
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    This would be important i.e. in document audits. – akauppi Sep 19 '16 at 10:52
10

In Google Sheets (but not Docs) I was able to get a permalink for a particular from/to revision pair.

  1. While in the Google Sheet, enable your browser's developer tool
  2. In the Sheet, select File -> See Revision History
  3. Click on the appropriate Revision in the Revision History panel
  4. Review the developer tool "network" feature for a request that looks similar to this... docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1mbdW_BI1lsA1yQE35sTO1JYfHpGmJfqZVjiuU9jh-NA/revisions/show?sid=44116a28bf8fda09&rev=5&fromRev=2&gid=0

    • if you are feeling lucky, you can try changing the values of fromRev and rev to show the difference between other revisions.
    • this URL is sufficient to share as a permalink
  5. If you want to make the permalink page view a bit more userfriendly, make these changes.
    • change /revisions to /notify
    • change sid= to s= https:///docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1mbdW_BI1lsA1yQE35sTO1JYfHpGmJfqZVjiuU9jh-NA/notify/show?s=44116a28bf8fda09&rev=5&fromRev=2&gid=0

You can see a video of this process here.

  • Great find! Hopefully Google will realize how useful this is to the end user and make it easier to access. Accepted answer! – NobleUplift Nov 29 '16 at 21:58
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    Have you found a corresponding process that works for Docs? I've tried to do something similar and Chrome downloads a JSON document instead of loading the Google Doc in the viewport. – Matt McClure Jan 2 '18 at 16:19
7

It depends.

For files that were uploaded to Google Drive: yes, this is directly supported (as explained in the official help regarding file versions). Select the "Manage revisions" menu-item for the uploaded file, available either by right-clicking on it, or by selecting it and then expanding the "More" dropdown menu. A separate permalink will be available for each individual revision.

For files that were created in Google Drive (as a "Document", "Presentation", "Spreadsheet", ... etc.): this is not directly supported, because the individual items inside the "Revision history" do not have associated permalinks. However, as was mentioned in a previous comment, for any of the previous snapshots, you can temporarily restore to that version and copy it to a new file (whose name can include a version number or timestamp), with its own URL.

  • 2
    I don't like it, but it's a solution. Hopefully Google will let us link to revisions someday. – NobleUplift Apr 22 '14 at 22:37
  • I was looking for the same as @NobleUplift, I have an important document that I need to share links pointing to a given historical revision. Looks so basic and is not possible to do it. – rafa.ferreira Apr 1 '16 at 22:45
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    Google's official help document shows ways to download a specific revision, but I can't see how to obtain a URL to a specific revision of a file. I did see a way to get a "revision id" from the source code, but not sure how to translate that to a URL for the file at that revision. – Mike Eng Jul 26 '16 at 19:53
  • Very interesting point @MikeEng! – NobleUplift Sep 19 '16 at 22:31

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