Google Docs Makes Collaborative Editing Easier For Word Users

At its I/O developer conference earlier this month, Google announced a major update to its suite of productivity apps, including Docs, Sheets and Slides. The main feature there was the integration of QuickOffice, which now makes editing native Microsoft Office documents online easier. Today, Google recapped some of those updates in a blog post, but it also threw in a new Google Docs feature that will make life quite a bit easier for many writers who want to make the switch from Word to Docs.

If you regularly use Office files with a number of people, you’ve probably come across its ability to track changes. Until now, those didn’t transfer all that well into Google Docs. To bring some of this functionality to Docs, Google previously announced the ability to suggest edits and starting today, Google will convert any tracked changes from Microsoft Word into these suggested edits. (1)

This may seem like a minor update at first, but tracked changes are a tool that many businesses rely on for their day-to-day document editing workflow. Google may have had its own version of this, but if it wants companies to switch to Docs, not being able to take this kind of editing history with them was likely a deal breaker for some. Now, it’s not just converting these, but because it is integrated with the new suggested edits, it’s now also easy to discuss these changes with your colleagues right in the document.

If you haven’t seen the suggested edit feature in action yet, just pull up a document in Docs, look for “View” in the menu bar and select “Suggesting” in the “Mode” menu. From there on out, all your edits will be suggestions. Everybody with “can comment” access to a document can now suggest these edits and everybody with “can edit” access will be able to accept or reject them.

You can find our more in-depth look at the changes in Drive Google announced earlier this year here.