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How to use editor chat in Google Docs

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When you’re working on a Google Docs with others, you don’t have to rely on a third-party provider to communicate. While you can add comments, you can also send messages using the built-in editor chat.

You can use this feature in other Google products, including Google Sheets and Google Slides. The following steps work for all three services.

CONNECTED: How to add comments in Google Docs

As the name suggests, other Google Docs users can only access editor chat if they can edit the document. If they can only view the document, they cannot access this built-in chat system.

When two or more editors are working on a document, their profile icons appear in the upper right corner next to the Share button. Profile icons include the View Chat icon. You have to tap on it to open the editor chat window.

In an open Google Docs document with multiple editors active, press the key

Clicking the button displays the editor chat as a control panel on the right. The panel enables real-time communication between editors.

To start chatting, type a message in the “Enter here to chat”

; box at the bottom of the control panel and press Enter.

To send a message in the Google Docs Editor chat, type a message in the box at the bottom of the panel and press Enter.

The message is sent to other active editors in chat. If the Editor Chat window isn’t open, a notification pop-up will appear under the View Chat icon in the upper right corner.

A new pop-up will appear in Google Docs with chat messages for editors

In the editor chat area, user messages are linked to their full account names. When an editor leaves or re-enters chat (e.g. by closing the document and then returning to edit later), a notification will appear in the chat area.

Sample notifications in the Google Docs editor chat in which an editor closes and re-opens a document.

Messages in the editor chat are saved locally. If you close the document and want to go back to it later, the editor chat will be empty. You can prevent this from happening by keeping the Google Docs document open. The chat messages are saved until you close or refresh the page.

To end the chat and close the control panel, press the “X” icon in the upper right corner.

To close the Google Docs Editor chat, press the cross icon in the top right corner.

This will close the panel, although you will remain active in the chat until you close the document.

While editor chat is intended for communication between editors, you may prefer to ignore messages entirely. Don’t worry if you want to ignore messages. With this system, read receipts are not displayed, so other editors will not know when (or if) you viewed a message.

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