How to Track Changes in Google Docs

Use the Editing and Suggestions features like an expert

Person Working at Computer.

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Google Docs is a great way to collaborate with multiple partners on a written project. Depending on how many people are involved, you need to make sure changes made to the document are easy to identify or change. Knowing how the Editing Mode and Suggestion Mode work allows you and your team to track changes in Google Docs with ease.

How to Use Editing Mode in Google Docs

Editing Mode allows you and anyone with permission to edit the document directly. However, this means changes are made automatically and potentially become difficult to review. To avoid important data being lost or changed, the ability to lock down your entire document comes in very handy.

  1. Open your Google account and select Docs.

    Google account menu showing Docs.
  2. Select Share in the upper right corner.

    Google Doc sharing button.
  3. Select Advanced in lower right corner.

    Google Docs advanced options.
  4. To disable a specific person’s access, click Delete next to their name.

    Google Docs Sharing Settings
  5. To stop all editing select Disable options to download, print, and copy for commenters and viewers.

    Advanced Sharing Options

How to Use Suggestion Mode

When you're working with other people on the same document, it's useful to make a suggestion without altering the text itself. With Suggestion Mode, you can do this with ease and keep everyone creating the document in the loop. You can even leave color-coded comments so you and your colleagues can track the reasons for any implemented changes. If you own the document, you'll receive an email notifying you of any changes, which can be accepted or rejected.

  1. Open your Google account and select Docs.

  2. Select the Editing dropdown menu in the top right corner.

    Google Docs Editing Menu
  3. Select Suggesting to leave comments and allow suggestions to be reviewed

    Google Docs Suggesting Mode

How to Accept or Reject Suggested Edits

  1. Open your Google account and select Docs.

  2. On the ribbon, select Tools > Review suggested edits.

  3. In the upper right corner, a box will appear showing the suggested edits.

  4. To address individual edits or comments, choose one, then select either Accept or Reject.

Select Accept All or Reject All to address all suggested edits at once.

How to Use Comments

  1. Within a Google document, select the cell, text, line or block you'd like to comment on.

  2. From the ribbon, select Insert > Comment. Alternatively, select the Plus (+) on the right side of the document.

    Google Doc Comment Options
  3. Type your comment, then select Comment.

    Leave A Comment In Google Docs

Revision History

If you need to go back to an earlier version of a project, Revision history lets you do just that; any time changes were made to the document, a different version was saved.

You can view an earlier version of your document and see how any edits or suggestions were used. This can be especially useful for reviewing a project as it evolves, keeping track of a user’s individual contributions and as a reference for your thought processes.

  1. Open your Google account and select Docs.

    Open Google Docs
  2. From the ribbon, select File > Version history.

  3. Select the version you want to review by looking over the Version history timeline.

    Google Docs Version History
  4. To name an individual version, select the three vertical dots on the right of the version, then select Name this version.

    Change Version Name