Suggesting Edits in a Google Doc

One of the major strengths of Google Docs is the ease of working together with associates, rather than editing documents and giving feedback by emailing people differing versions of the same document.

Sometimes, though, you’d rather allow people to make suggestions that you can accept or reject later, rather than have them edit the document directly. Google has now addressed that by allowing anyone with comment access to a document capable of making edit suggestions too.

Now, when reviewing a document, if you want to recommend some changes to the content you can now suggest edits to the document’s owner without actually editing the text.

Your suggestions won’t be incorporated until the document owner approves them.

To suggest an edit to a document, firstly In the top-right corner, make sure you have the document in Suggesting mode by using the drop-down (if you don’t see this option, you probably don’t have permission to present suggestions, and you’ll need to ask the document owner to grant them) :

Click image to enlarge

‘ Click image to enlarge

You can add explanation to your request using the text entry box provided. The document owner and other collaborators will be able to comment too:

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

To accept or reject the proposed edit, the owner can use the ‘tick’ and ‘cross’ options at the top of this little dialog.

To grant users permission to offer suggestions, click on the blue Share button, add the user’s email address and grant the user ‘can comment’ status from the drop down menu:

Click image to enlarge

Click image to enlarge

When you import a Microsoft Word document to Google Docs, any tracked changes the document had will be imported as suggested edits (though currently lacking the names of the users who made the changes; this is to be corrected soon). Conversely, any suggested edits in Google Docs that you export as Microsoft Word will become tracked changes.

UPDATE July 25th 2014: Google have today announced the inclusion of mapping tracked changes in .docx files to Suggested Edits in Docs and vice versa. So if you have a .docx file containing some tracked changes, those will appear as suggested edits in your Google Drive document.