Welcome to our free SharePoint Power User Training tutorial. This tutorial is based on Webucator's SharePoint 2016 Power User Training course.
Content approval can be used on both lists and libraries in a SharePoint site. With content approval enabled, you have additional options to control the visibility of items. Content approval is enabled through the list/library settings page.
Content can be approved manually through the context menu and toolbar of an item or it can be automated with workflows. SharePoint includes a workflow specifically for approving content.
The following walk-through will show you how to create a custom list and enable content approval for it.
The lists Draft Item Security setting determines who can view items that have not been approved. Since you left the setting at the default, only users who have the right to approve items and the creator of the item can see it.
Approved items are visible to all users with at least read permissions to the list.
In addition to manually setting content approval for items, SharePoint supports using workflows to approve items. For custom workflows, SharePoint provides the action Set Content Approval Status (custom workflows and actions are covered in the next lesson in this course). For SharePoint 2016 there is an out-of-box workflow for approving content.
The following walk-through will show you how to activate the Workflows site collection feature and assign an instance of the Approval - SharePoint 2010 workflow to the Approval Items list.
If you are able to see the document as this user, then either the user has more permissions than he or she should or the Draft Item Security setting is not set to Only users who can approve items. You can check the setting by revisiting the earlier step in this lab where you enabled Content Approval.
Activating the Workflows feature made the Approval - SharePoint 2010 workflow and the others you see in the list above available to be used with lists and libraries. If the Approval workflow does not appear in the list, then the Workflows feature has not been activated for the site collection.
Note that you can change the workflow settings before starting it, including who the task is assigned to as well as adding additional users or groups. These settings are the same as the ones you can configure when you add the workflow to the library. The setting you choose when you add it to the list or library become the default settings when you start the workflow.
When the workflow is first associated with a SharePoint list or library it looks for a suitable Tasks list to use and if it cannot find one it creates a new one. If you did the earlier walk-through than a tasks list would already exist and be used by this approval workflow. Note that when the workflow creates a new Tasks list it appends the name of the list or library to the word "Tasks".