One of the great things about Google Docs is the ability to work on a document collaboratively. To aid that, collaborators can leave comments on the document, for others to action, either by just responding to the comment and by changing something on the document. Docs also allows you to make suggestions, so changes can be seen without removing the original text, etc. So, here we’ll look at two main areas:

  • Comments
    • Making
    • Editing
    • Deleting
    • Resolving
    • Responding
  • Notifications
  • Document modes: Editing, Suggesting, and Viewing


Leaving a comment

There are a couple of ways to leave a comment on your document.

Firstly, click on a line of text then go to the side of the page and you should see a little comment bubble.

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This will open a comment box for you to write in your comment.

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Then click “Comment”.

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This will leave a comment like the one below. Apart from the message, it also tells you who left the comment and when.

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Alternatively, you can click on “Comments” in the top right-hand corner of the page. Then click “Comment”.

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Editing a comment

To edit a comment, click on the 3 dots in the comment box. Then click “Edit”.

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Deleting a comment

To delete a comment without advising anyone, click on the comment box and the 3 dots. Then click “Delete”.

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Resolving a comment

If the comment has been actioned and no longer is necessary, you can get rid of it by clicking on “Resolve” in the comment box. This will send an email to the collaborators, stating that it is resolved.

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Responding to a comment

To reply to a comment, just click on the reply box and press “Reply”. This will be added underneath the comment.

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Comment notifications

When comments are added, edited or resolved you receive an email with the information. By default, you’ll receive emails from comments left by anyone. You can change this to only receive information on the comments you created or you can choose to turn this function off.

Click on “Comments” in the top right of the screen and click on “Notifications”.

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A menu will appear with the 3 options, All, Only yours, or None. Choose the one you want.

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Document modes: Editing, suggesting, viewing

By default, the document is in “Editing” mode, which means you can edit the document, but there are two other modes you can select. They are “suggesting” and “viewing”.


First, click on “Suggesting”. This mode allows you to edit the document but leaves a record of what has changed. E.g. if you delete a word, instead of deleting it, it marks it in a colour and strikes through the word, as if it has been crossed out.

This is useful if you are working on a document together with someone or a team and you want to show what you’ve changed.

Click on “Editing” and you will be presented with the 3 mode options.

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Click on “Suggesting”.

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If you delete a word, it will mark it with a line through it to show that you want to delete it. Plus, there are lines with little arrows above and below it to show where it starts and ends.

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On the side, similar to normal comments, a comment will appear detailing what you have deleted. Someone else reviewing the change can either accept or reject the suggestion, by clicking on the tick and the cross. Clicking on the tick will make the suggested change, e.g. delete the word, and clicking the cross will remove the suggestion and return the original text.

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It’s similar for added text. The added text is highlighted with the lines and arrows and a comment appears, this time saying what has been added.

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It also highlights formatting changes. For example, let’s change a word to bold.

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Sometimes you want to show the document but without the chance of editing it. From the same menu as before, click on “Viewing”.

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As you can see, all the edit options in the toolbar are not available now.

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Baz Roberts (Google+Flipboard / Twitter)