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