Google Docs revolutionized the way people write, take notes, and collaborate on documents. Unlike its paid counterpart, Microsoft Word, Google Docs offers a free and extensive suite of apps. One standout feature of Google Docs is its chat functionality, which allows users to communicate and collaborate seamlessly within the document itself.
Why Use Google Docs Chat?
Imagine you’re working on a project with a colleague or friend. You’re both in the same document, but your thoughts aren’t aligning. Instead of using separate chat apps like Skype or Slack, you can chat directly in Google Docs. This eliminates the need to switch between multiple windows and saves valuable time.
Not only does chat make collaboration more efficient, but it also allows for easy highlighting and commenting on specific parts of the document. You can select words or phrases and add comments for others to read. Combined with live chat, this feature makes Google Docs an excellent tool for both communication and collaboration.
How to Chat in Google Docs
To start chatting in Google Docs, open a document with multiple collaborators. Simply click on the name of any person to open a chat window. From there, you can chat with the person in real-time without leaving the document.
Here are a few things you should know about Google Docs’ chat feature:
- The chat option is visible only when more than one person is active in the document.
- While you can chat in real-time, you cannot send or attach files through the chat feature.
- Even if you close the chat window, you will still receive messages in the background.
- A red dot near the chat bubble indicates unread messages, even if the chat window is closed.
- You remain part of the chat as long as you are part of the document itself.
- If the document is publicly shared, anyone with an email invite can participate in the chat.
- Chat messages are not saved, so you cannot export or reference them later.
- The chat feature is also available for mobile users.
- Users must be at least 13 years old to access the chat feature.
- The admin can disable the chat feature for GSuite users.
Using Speech to Text in Google Docs Chat
Another useful feature of Google Docs chat is speech to text. This feature allows you to use your voice to send messages and communicate with collaborators. It can be a valuable time-saver when your hands are busy with other tasks.
To enable speech to text in Google Docs chat:
- Open Google Docs in a browser and select the document you want to chat in.
- Ensure at least one collaborator is online.
- Go to the “Tools” menu and click on “Voice typing.”
- You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Shift+S to enable or disable this feature.
- Click on the microphone icon to start voice typing.
- You can set your preferred language and move the microphone popup as needed.
Note that speech to text is available only for laptop or desktop users and requires a working microphone.
Enhancing Collaboration with Google Docs Chat
Despite some limitations, Google Docs chat is an invaluable tool for collaboration. Real-time communication within the document eliminates errors and streamlines the collaborative process. Although you cannot share files directly through chat, the ability to highlight and comment on specific parts of the document enhances collaboration and productivity.
So why rely on separate chat apps when you can chat and collaborate seamlessly in Google Docs? Give it a try and experience the benefits of efficient and productive collaboration.