Join Mark Abdelnour for an in-depth discussion in this video Overriding a user's checkout, part of SharePoint 2010 for Site Champions and Power Users.
In SharePoint, when users check out files, this means that no one else can edit the file until they check it in. End users are typically really concerned that should a file be checked out by a user and then that user disappear for an extended period. Say they win the lottery or go on a long vacation. How will anyone else access the file when they need it? As a champion or super user with extended powers and permissions, you'll have the ability to override a check out and ensure others can access the file when required.
The first question though is always the same. How do I know if a file is checked out to a user? We can see here in the shared document library, that there's a file here with a green arrow attached to this icon. It's always in the Type column where it shows a different formats of files, and you can see that this is a PowerPoint file. And if I hover over the green arrow a little bubble appears and it tells us that this is checked out to Mark Abdernorm. Now, that's me right now. As an another example, if I scroll down a littler further. If I hover over this file, it tells me that it's checked out to Lee Gagne.
Now, assuming Lee Gagne is now away,for lets say, a 3-week vacation and others now want to edit this file, it is checked out to him, meaning no one else can edit the file until he checks in. To override Lee Gagne's checkout, we simply select this little check box to the left of the file. And that highlights this entire row. The Office ribbon bar, which is this area along the top, lights up providing us with all sorts of functionality that's specific to this file that we now have selected.
The option we want to click on is the one entitled Check In. And now we see a Check In window. We have a Comments box. The Comments box allows us to tell Lee exactly, what we're doing in his absence. Here I'm going to type, Checked in the file since you were away. And then I'll go ahead and click OK. It's this next window where you can see that we have the override privilege. It names the document, then in the last sentence it says, do you want to override this check out now? Your everyday end user will not see this option.
In fact, when they click on the file, they'll immediately just get a read-only copy of that file. Instead, as a power user or a site champion, you are given this option to override the checkout. If I click OK, the file is now checked in and you'll notice that the file has my name attached as the modifier. It is important to note that ideally, this option is a last resort, since all edits made that were not saved by the original user will be lost. For example, should a user check out a file, make several edits then leave for vacation and then an override occurs, all their edits will be discarded, as the file returns to it's original pre-check out state.
I typically recommend that strict governance rules be developed with respect to this override feature, to ensure it's used wisely within your organization.
- Creating a document library
- Overriding checkouts
- Deleting and restoring files
- Setting and managing alerts
- Working with multiple files
- Editing and deleting columns in a list or library
- Setting permissions
- Adding and modifying web parts
- Creating popular views