If you’re working on a Google Docs document with other people, then you don’t have to rely on third-party services to communicate. While you can add comments, another way to send messages is to use the built-in chat editor.
You can also use this feature in other Google products, including Google Sheets and Google Slides. The steps below will work across all three services.
As the name suggests, the chat editor can only be accessed by other Google Docs users if they can edit the document. If they can only view documents, they won’t be able to access this built-in chat system.
When two or more editors are editing a document, you will be able to see their profile icon in the top right corner, next to the “Share” button. For the profile icon is the “Show Chats” icon – you have to tap this to open the chat panel of the editor.
Clicking on the button will bring up the chat editor as a panel on the right. Panels allow real time communication between editors.
To start chatting, type a message in the “Type Here To Chat” box at the bottom of the panel, and press “Enter.”
The message will be sent to other active editors in the chat. If they don’t open the editor’s chat panel, a notification pop-up will appear under the “Show Chats” icon in the top right corner.
In the editor’s chat panel, the user’s message is linked to their full account name. When the editor leaves the chat or re-enters it (by closing the document and then returning to edit it later, for example), a notification appears in the chat panel.
Messages in the chat editor are stored locally. If you decide to close the document and come back later, the editor chat will be empty. You can prevent this by leaving the Google Docs document open. The chat message will remain saved until you close or refresh the page.
If you want to stop chatting and close the panel, press the “X” icon in the top right corner.
This will close the pane, although you will remain active in the chat until you close the document.
While editor chats are for communication between editors, you may prefer to ignore messages entirely. If you decide to ignore any messages, don’t worry – no receipts have been read using this system, so other editors won’t know when (or if) you’ve seen the message.