How to Chat on Google Docs Using Editor Chat Feature

187028 How to Chat on Google Docs Using Editor Chat Feature

Google Docs is an incredibly useful cloud-based document editing application that enables real-time collaboration between multiple users. One of the handiest collaboration features in Google Docs is the editor chat function which allows you to have conversations directly within a document while you’re editing it.

The editor chat means you can discuss changes, ask questions, or give feedback without having to switch between applications or open separate communication channels. It helps streamline the collaborative editing process.

In this step-by-step guide, we’ll show you everything you need to know about using the editor chat feature effectively in Google Docs.

An Overview of Editor Chat in Google Docs

The editor chat feature in Google Docs displays a chat box along the right side of the document you have open. All collaborators with access to the Doc can participate in chat conversations within this sidebar.

You can use it to:

  • Discuss changes in real-time as you’re editing
  • Ask questions or clarify details about parts of the document
  • Give feedback on content additions or revisions
  • Coordinate on formatting, structure, or other design issues

The chat is integrated right next to the text, so you can refer to specific sections easily as you communicate with collaborators.

Enabling the Editor Chat Sidebar

By default, the editor chat sidebar does not display in Google Docs. To turn on the chat feature:

  1. Open the Google Doc you want to chat within
  2. Click on the “View” tab in the Docs toolbar
  3. Select “Show chat”

Show chat option

This will display the editor chat sidebar along the right side of the document.

Now any collaborators also viewing the document at the same time will be able to chat within this sidebar.

Starting a Chat Conversation

Once the editor chat sidebar is enabled, starting a conversation is simple.

  1. Click your cursor anywhere in the text where you want to comment or ask a question
  2. In the chat sidebar, type your message into the “Comment” box at the bottom
  3. Hit enter or click the send icon (arrow) to post your chat

Starting a chat

Your message will now display in the sidebar, anchored to the paragraph where your cursor was located.

Anyone else currently viewing the document will see the chat appear in real-time.

You can repeat this process to continue a conversation string by replying in the chat sidebar.

Tagging Collaborators in Chats

When you want to direct a message at a specific person, you can tag them using the @ symbol just like in other apps such as Slack.

To tag someone:

  1. Type the @ symbol
  2. Start typing their name and select them from the dropdown list that appears
  3. Finish your message and send as normal

When you tag someone, they will receive a notification of your message even if they don’t currently have the Doc open. This can be useful for asking specific people questions or getting their input on something.

Tagging in Google Docs chat

Replying in Chats

Replying to a chat message helps keep conversation strings organized within the sidebar rather than having disjointed single comments.

To reply:

  1. Hover over the message and click the reply icon (arrow curving left)
  2. The message you’re replying to will be quoted with a vertical line next to it
  3. Type your reply below the quoted message
  4. Hit enter or send icon when done

Replying to a chat in Google Docs

Replies are indented, allowing you to follow chat flows easily even with long streams.

Resolving Chat Conversations

Once your discussion in a particular chat conversation is finished, it’s good practice to resolve the thread. This cleans up the sidebar and visually closes out resolved conversations.

To resolve a chat:

  1. Hover over the last message and click the resolve icon (checkmark)
  2. The chat thread will be marked as resolved and fade slightly to show it’s closed

If needed, you can still continue the thread by replying as normal even after resolving. But resolving helps you see at a glance which discussions are finished.

Resolving editor chats

Tagging Chats to Document Sections

The editor chat feature does a great job of anchoring conversations to the section of text your cursor was in when you started the chat. But you can be even more specific by manually tagging a chat to a heading or paragraph.

To tag a chat message:

  1. Highlight a section of text you want to tag
  2. Open the editor chat sidebar
  3. Click the tag icon above your message (quotation mark symbol)
  4. Click “Tag selection”

Now your chat comment will be visually anchored to that heading or paragraph, regardless of your cursor position at the time.

Viewing All Chats for a Document

If you need to step back and overview all chat conversations that have occurred within a Doc rather than just recent messages, you can view a complete chat history log.

To see all chats:

  1. Click on the editor chat pop-out icon in the sidebar (square with arrow)
  2. In the fullscreen chat window, click the icon to view chat history (clock symbol)

This will display a complete list of all chat conversations that have taken place, separated by date and time. You can scroll through to revisit past discussions.

Best Practices When Using Editor Chat

To help keep chats focused and productive, keep these best practices in mind:

  • Be concise – Don’t write long paragraphs in chats. Ask or comment on specific parts concisely.
  • Resolve finished conversations – Close out resolved threads to keep the sidebar clean.
  • @ tag people when you need specific input or responses from someone.
  • Reply to keep related messages grouped rather than starting disjointed strings.
  • Tag chats to relevant sections so context stays clear.

Using the integrated editor chat feature in Google Docs well requires some basic etiquette, but it can massively improve collaboration when used effectively.

Wrapping Up

The editor chat in Google Docs helps enable efficient real-time discussion, clarification, and feedback while collaborating on documents.

Rather than constantly switching between email, chat apps, comments, and the Doc itself, you can stay laser-focused and have contextual conversations right within the document you’re editing.

We hope this guide gave you a good overview of how to start taking advantage of this incredibly useful built-in chat functionality.

Now dive in, turn on chat in your next Google Doc, and start streamlining collaboration!

Let us know in the comments if you have any other tips or tricks for using editor chat effectively.

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