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This article discusses the Content Approval feature in Microsoft Windows SharePoint Services, and contains information about the Approval Status of items that are contained in a list or in a document library after you enable the Content Approval feature for that list or document library.
The Content Approval feature permits you to create a list or a document library where items or files that are submitted by users are not visible to other site users until the items or the files are approved by a user (such as the site administrator) who belongs to a site group that has the Manage Lists right. If you enable the Content Approval feature, the following two views are added to the list or to the document library:
Approve/reject Items: Users who have the Manage Lists right can use this view to set the Approval Status of items that are posted to the list or the document library to Approved, Rejected, or Pending.
My submissions: Users can use this view to look up the Approval Status of items that they submitted to the list or the document library.
When you add a new item or when you modify an existing item in a list or a document library after you enable content approval for that list or document library, the item is marked as Pending. Pending items are only visible to the user who created or modified the item and to users with the Manage Lists right. Pending items are not visible to users until the item is approved. When an item is approved, it is marked as Approved and is visible to all users. When an item is rejected, it is marked as Rejected, and is returned to the user who created it.
Items that are submitted by site administrators or users who have the Manage Lists right are automatically approved. However, other administrators or users who have the Manage Lists right can still reject the items. Rejecting an item or a file does not delete it or prevent users from viewing it. Users can also view pending items. To help prevent users from viewing rejected or pending items, the submitter or a user who is a member of the Administrator site group or a site group that has the Manage Lists right must manually delete the items.
Enable Content Approval for a List or a Document Library
To enable content approval for a list or a document library in your Windows SharePoint Services site, follow these steps:
Connect to your Windows SharePoint Services site, and then locate the list or the document library that you want to enable content approval for.
In the Actions area, click Modify settings and columns.
In the General Settings area, click Change general settings.
On the List Settings page, in the Content Approval area, click Yes.
Approve or Reject an Item in a List of Document Library
To approve or reject an item in a list or document library, follow these steps:
Connect to your Windows SharePoint Services site, and then locate the list or the document library that contains the items that you want to approve or reject.
Click the down arrow next to the item that you want to approve or reject, and then click Approve/reject.
In the Approval Status area, click Approved, Rejected, or Pending, as appropriate to your situation.
In the Comment area, type a comment if you want to add a comment about why you approved or rejected the item or why you left the status as pending.
For more information about Windows SharePoint Services, visit the following Microsoft Web site: