One of the benefits of Google’s suite of office software is the chatting tool which allow you to talk with people directly within a document, spreadsheet or presentation.
No need to go into another application – like email or instant messaging – to ask a question or seek clarification on a point. It can all happen quickly and easily in the same document.
This is also an advantage if you, as the owner, don’t want to allow people to comment on a document. The chat feature allows them to provide input without making amendments to the document, spreadsheet or presentation.
What you will need
Tools: A Google Account and access to a shared Google document
Time: 5 mins reading time
What you will learn
- How to start chatting with other people
- Who can see the chat
- How to export or save a chat
- What it means if you can’t chat with other people
How to start chatting with other people in a shared Google file
- On your computer, open a document, spreadsheet, or presentation. Chats only work on a computer, you can’t use it via the mobile applications.
- At the top right, click Chat . This feature won’t be available if you’re the only one in the file or if everyone else is an ‘anonymous animal’.
- Enter your message in the chat box.
- When you’re finished, at the top right of the chat window, click Close .
If the other users of the document do not have their chat window open, they will see a little red dot above the Chat icon indicating there’s a new message for them to read. Otherwise messages will appear in the chat window as they are typed.
Who can see the chat
The chat will automatically include everyone else who is logged into the document so be careful what you type!
However, people who are logged in as anonymous animals won’t be able to see or participate in the chat at all.
If someone closes the document, then they’ll automatically leave the chat. When they re-open the document they won’t see any messages that were sent after they closed the document.
To stop seeing the chat, you can close the chat window. When you re-open it you will see all chat messages that came in whilst the window was closed.
How to export or save a chat
There’s no way to export a chat. If you want to keep a record of what has been discussed, outside of the Google document, then you need to take regular screenshots of the chat window.
What it means if you can’t chat with other people
If you can’t see the chat icon then it means one of the following:
- You’re viewing the document as an anonymous animal. You’ll need to log in using your Google account to get access to the Chat function.
- You’re under 13 years of age. The Chat feature is automatically turned off for these users.
- You’re using G suite and your administrator has turned off the Chat feature.
- You’ve been invited to look at a document by someone who uses G suite but their administrator doesn’t allow users to chat with users outside of the domain.