How to Edit with Google Docs

How to Edit with Google Docs
September 16, 2016 No Comments » For Authors, Writing Advice Stephanie Ayers

Google 7If you’ve been following along, you’ve discovered your Google goodies, learned how to use your Google Drive, and to navigate and share your Google Doc with anyone. Perhaps you’ve also figured out how to edit, suggest, and comment on other writers Google Docs by now, but if you haven’t, you will know by the end of this post.

You’ve received an email that someone has shared a document with you. You’ve clicked on the link provided in the post. It’s now an open tab on your screen. You know how to navigate your own work, but none of that applies here. You are editing, suggesting, and commenting, or perhaps just viewing. If you’re just viewing, relax. All you have to do is read…

The View Mode

This is pretty standard. You don’t have a lot of functioning to do anything but read, however, there is a “chat” mode available. You can add little comments to the writer as you read, as long as you remember that once they’ve closed the documents, all those notations disappear. You cannot save a chat, unfortunately.  You can, however, leave comments along the way. Here’s how that works:

  1. Highlight the text you want to comment on by holding down the left mouse button.
  2.  Right click. Select “comment.”
  3. Add your comment in the new box that pops up. When you’re finished, click Comment.
  4. Keep reading.

The view mode is that simple. When you’ve finished viewing, just close the document. All your comments will be added to an email the person who shared it with you receives. You should receive a notification if they comment back on anything.

The Suggesting Mode

This is our favorite way to edit. Much like Microsoft Word, it allows us to pinpoint necessary changes without actually making a change, yet also makes it easy for the author to accept the suggestions without too much work. Another great aspect of this is there’s always a space to make a comment to support your suggestion. We definitely take advantage of that. It’s a great learning tool that helps people write better down the road. Here’s how to make suggestions:

Google 6

  1. Ensure you’re in Suggesting mode and not Editing or View mode.
  2. Scroll over the text you want to suggest a change for. Type in the suggested change.
    In the above example, I found the word her used back to back, so I offered a suggestion to enhance readability. I highlighted the word her and typed in the. A green bar (or whatever color you are) indicates the suggestion, and her is marked through.
  3. A pop up appears showing your suggestion for the author to accept or reject.
  4. Use the reply box to support your suggestion. For my example, I would point out the overuse of her.
  5. Continue reading and proofing.

The Editing Mode

This is exactly what it says it is. You do everything same as you would to suggest, except when you type in the change, it stays that way. We highly recommend that you use the editing mode only when the author has given you full rights to change things as you see fit or for small things like typos, misplaced or improper punctuation, fragmented sentences, spacing issues, etc. Whatever changes you do make will not be tracked, so be very cautious and make plenty of use of that undo arrow if you choose to stay in editing mode.

In conclusion, you should know two things:

  1. As long as you are online, anything you create in Google Docs on any device is automatically saved in your Drive.
  2. You can work offline as well, and have your work saved to sync to your other devices when you go online. Make sure you save a back up copy if you work offline just to be safe.

[bctt tweet=”Make #editing a breeze with #GoogleDocs. @theauthorSAM #writingtips #amediting #write #ourwriteside” username=”OurWriteSide”]

And thus, I conclude my lessons on Google Drive, specifically Google Docs. Did I forget anything? Feel free to share in the comments. We’ll visit the rest of Google apps another day.


Stephanie Ayers A published author with a knack for twisted tales, Stephanie Ayers is the Executive Creative Director of OWS Ink, LLC, a community for writers and readers alike. She loves a good thriller, fairies, things that go bump in the night, and sappy stories. When she is not writing, she can be found in Creative Cloud designing book covers and promotional graphics for authors.

It's YOUR write side, too! Let's hear it!

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: