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Unlike viewing the edit history of a Google Docs document, Google’s Track Changes feature (also called “Suggesting” mode) lets you see changes before that text becomes a permanent part of the document. Here’s how to use it.

Turn On “Suggesting” Mode

When you work in a Google Docs document, you’re in “Editing” mode by default. This means that all edits you make are permanent and recorded in the edit history. To track any changes you make to the document as suggestions only, you’ll need to switch over to “Suggesting” mode.

First, open the Google Docs document that you’d like to suggest edits to. In the top-right corner of the window, below the Share button, you’ll see a Pen icon. Click it to display a drop-down menu.

Change to Suggesting mode.

You’re now in Suggesting mode. Now, each edit you make will be tracked. A green strikethrough will appear through removed text and any new text added will be green. Text that already existed in the document will remain black.

A visual display of suggested edits.

Invite Other Users to Suggest Edits

If you need someone to review your document, you’re going to have to invite the editor to suggest edits. However, you’ll need to make sure you assign the proper permissions.

RELATED: How to Share Documents on Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides

First, click “File” in the header menu, and then select “Share” at the top of the drop-down menu.

The Share option in Google Docs.

In the Share With People window, add the email of the person you want to share the document with, click the down arrow next to the privilege assignment option, and then choose “Commenter” from the drop-down menu.

Send the document to an editor with Suggesting privileges.

The Commenter is able to make suggestions to the document without permanently removing any of the original text. However, an Editor can freely make changes without any of them being tracked and a Viewer can only view the text of the document.

Once you’re done, click “Send” to send out the document.

Accept or Reject Suggestions

If someone has made suggestions to your document, it’s up to you to accept or reject those changes. Doing so is simple. Each change made to a document is individually tracked, and you can view those details to the right of the window.

To accept a change, select the checkmark. To Reject a suggestion, click the X. Or, if you need additional context on the change, you can leave a comment.

Tracked changes in Google Docs.

That’s all there is to it.

Google Docs is a great tool for collaborating on documentation. However, if you’re more comfortable using Microsoft Word, you can also track changes there, too.

RELATED: Keeping Track of Changes Made to a Document

Profile Photo for Marshall Gunnell Marshall Gunnell
Marshall is a writer with experience in the data storage industry. He worked at Synology, and most recently as CMO and technical staff writer at StorageReview. He's currently an API/Software Technical Writer based in Tokyo, Japan, runs VGKAMI and ITEnterpriser, and spends what little free time he has learning Japanese.
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