SharePoint’s user interface can be misleading at times. So when asked how you view previous version of a document without having to make it the most recent version , you’d think you’d just click on “view” and boom, you’d see the earlier version… No. All you get is the Document Properties history.
Here is how it is done.
Viewing previous versions of Documents without restoring them.
1. In the version history list for the document in question, hover your mouse over the link in the modified column for the file you want to view.
2. Right click on the link and click on “save target as”
3. Download the file to your machine
4. Launch the file and once you happy you have the one you want, save it over the top of the file in its original location on SharePoint or restore that version through the SharePoint Version History Interface assuming you paid close attention to the version number you downloaded.