Target Google Docs Comments Toward Specified Users

In various previous posts I’ve talked about the comment system built into Google Docs, and how it can help you to collaborate effectively with colleagues.  When you have a large group of people commenting in the same document, however, things can get a little out of hand.

One way to improve matters is to aim your comment(s) at a specific user or users. To do this, within the comment text use the + character followed (without a space between the two) by the email address of the intended recipient of the comment:

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Click image to enlarge

You can type a whole email address or, if (as in the figure above) the intended recipient is in your contacts, Docs will offer you a clickable list from which to select it. If the person you choose does not have the relevant share permissions, a popup dialog will inform you, and let you adjust the share settings if you want to.

A message will be sent to the email address in question alerting the owner about the comment.

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Click image to enlarge

Meanwhile, other collaborators can see within the document that the comment is directed at someone other than themselves, and maybe save themselves some time.

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Click image to enlarge