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  • Writer's pictureDeborah Taylor

Fantastic Tips: How To Use Suggesting Mode In Google Docs


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When working with colleagues, proofreaders, or editors, the ability to offer suggestions without altering the original text is useful. Google Docs' Suggesting Mode provides a way to do precisely that. Following on from a previous blog post on Word's Track Changes feature (find that post here), this blog post will tell you how to use Suggesting Mode in Google Docs, offering you fabulous tips, and equipping you with the knowledge to collaborate seamlessly, offer suggestions, and engage in productive discussions.


Understanding Suggesting Mode

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Before we start, let's find out what Suggesting Mode is. Google Docs' Suggesting Mode, similar to Microsoft Word's Track Changes, is a feature that enables collaborators to propose changes to a document without directly altering the original content. When activated, every insertion, deletion, or formatting adjustment appears in green, allowing document owners to evaluate and accept or reject these suggestions individually.


1: Accessing Suggesting Mode in Google Docs

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When you open a Google Docs document, you can start Suggesting Mode in two ways. First, navigate to the 'Editing' icon in the upper-right corner, then select 'Suggesting' from the drop-down menu. Alternatively, press the shortcut 'Ctrl + Alt + Shift + I' (Windows) or 'Cmd + Option + Shift + I' (Mac) to toggle Suggesting Mode on and off. Once enabled, any changes you make will be presented as suggestions rather than direct modifications.



Screenshot of a Google Docs document with highlighted text reading 'This is where you will find the drop down menu'


2: Making Suggestions

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In Suggesting Mode, you can propose changes as if you were editing the document directly. Insertions will appear underlined and highlighted in green, while deletions will be struck through and presented in the same colour. Formatting modifications, such as bold or italic text, will also be visible to the document owner. This allows you to precisely communicate your suggestions while maintaining the original document's integrity.



Screenshot of a Google Docs document with highlighted text reading 'Insertions will appear underlined and highlighted in green, while deletions will be struck though''


**Tip 1: Clear and Specific Suggestions**


When making suggestions, ensure they are clear and specific. Clearly explain your thoughts behind each proposed change. This clarity helps the document owner understand your perspective, leading to quicker decisions.



3: Reviewing and Responding to Suggestions

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Once you've added your suggestions, the document owner can review and address each proposal individually. They can choose to accept or reject your suggestions, fostering a collaborative and team approach. To review suggestions, the document owner should click on the suggested change, which will then be highlighted in their chosen colour. By clicking the tick icon, they can accept your suggestion, incorporating it into the document. Conversely, the 'x' icon rejects the suggestion, maintaining the original text.



Screenshot of a Google Docs document with highlighted text reading 'The document owner/ author can accept or reject changes by clicking on the tick or the cross''


4: Engaging in Discussions

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In addition to suggesting changes, Google Docs allows collaborators to engage in discussions tied directly to specific suggestions. By highlighting a suggestion and clicking on the comment icon that appears, you can leave a comment addressing the change. This interactive feature enables productive conversations between collaborators, ensuring that suggestions are well-understood and discussed before finalising the document.


**Tip 2: Use Comment Threads for Discussions**


Engage in thoughtful discussions by using comment threads. Instead of overwhelming the document with comments, create a single thread for a topic. This streamlines communication and makes it easier for everyone involved to follow the conversation.



**Tip 3: Utilise the Suggested Edits Feature**


Google Docs allows you to view and address suggestions one by one using the 'Previous' and 'Next' buttons. This feature is particularly helpful when dealing with extensive suggestions, ensuring you don't miss any changes.



**Tip 4: Offer Alternatives, Not Just Corrections**


Alongside correcting errors, propose alternatives that improve the document's overall quality. This proactive approach showcases your expertise and adds value to the collaboration.



Screenshot of a Google Docs document with highlighted text reading 'Tip : Change notification settings to keep on top of changes''


**Tip 5: Enable Notifications for Real-Time Updates**


Stay in the loop by enabling notifications for changes and comments. This ensures that you're aware of updates as soon as they occur, enabling timely responses and discussions.




5: Resolving Comments and Finalising the Document

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As the document owner, it's essential to address comments left by collaborators. This can involve clarifying the intent behind a suggestion or discussing potential alternatives. To resolve a comment, reply to it, providing the necessary context or explaining your decision. Collaborators can continue the conversation until a consensus is reached, enhancing the quality of the final document.


**Tip 6: Use "Resolve" to Close Comment Threads**


Once a comment thread's discussion is complete, click the "Resolve" button. This action archives the thread, decluttering the document and keeping it focused on the current suggestions.



 

Google Docs' Suggesting Mode allows authors (both writers and business owners), proofreaders, and editors to enhance their document creation process by offering precise suggestions without altering the original text. By following the steps outlined in this guide, you can seamlessly navigate Suggesting Mode, contribute valuable input, and engage in productive discussions. Embrace the power of collaborative editing and raise the quality of your documents through Suggesting Mode in Google Docs. Google Docs' Suggesting Mode is more than a simple tool; it's a gateway to efficient and effective collaboration.

If you feel ready to collaborate with me on your project, get in touch and see if I can help. You can email me: the_blue_pencil@yahoo.co.uk or find me on Instagram, Facebook or LinkedIn, let's chat!

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