You can probably restrict publishing of those existing items by setting them to have an
Unaproved setting, by updating your workflow to set that status on items early in workflow.
Here is some additional background on why the Content Manager is allowing those existing items to be published. Some should of this should already be familiar. :-)
Existing Content Manager items go through the same versioning changes with or without workflow.
The items that are finished using "Save & Close" without workflow are checked in and had their major version updated, essentially telling the Content Manager they're official approved items that can be seen by others and especially published. Similarly, when items complete workflow they'll also get an updated major version.
During editing with or without workflow, as items are (just) saved they get an increment to the minor version. So an existing items with major version 1.0 will save its first edit as version 1.1. The next edit will change the minor version to 1.2 and so on. There's only one minor version, which is why workflow will warn about losing changes made by others if you choose to revert something in workflow.
Note that workflow will change the behavior of the "Save & Close" button. Rather than creating a major version, the button will attempt a check-in and instead increment the minor version.
While in Workflow, publishing is influenced by a few things:
- Collaborative workflow. If the Content Manager collaborative workflow setting is configured, workflow and other users can see the in-progress (or "dynamic") minor version of items. This is probably not what you want if you're trying to limit publishing of even the major versions. :-)
- Embargo workflow. If the Content Manager collaborative workflow setting is off, the system works in an embargo mode. This means users and workflow won't see the minor version of items, but they can have the ability to see the last major version. This is likely what the Content Manager is publishing in your case--since the major version was previously approved (in workflow or not), the logic is that it's okay to publish.
- Approval status. The workflow process definition has additional control on items through the Approval Status of the item. By default items have an
undefined status, which means workflow doesn't apply and the last major version of the items could be published.
You may want to look into changing the Approval Status of existing items to
Unapproved, either automatically in your main workflow or through a separate multi-item Bundle Workflow.