How to Use Google Docs Chat: A Step-by-Step Guide

Google Docs chat is a nifty tool that allows you to communicate with collaborators in real-time while working on a shared document. It’s like passing notes in class, but without the fear of getting caught by the teacher. Here’s how you can use Google Docs chat: open a shared document, click on the ‘Show Chat’ icon in the top right corner, type your message, and hit enter. You’ll be able to see messages from others and respond accordingly, making collaboration a breeze.

Step by Step Tutorial on How to Use Google Docs Chat

Before we dive into the steps, let’s understand what they’ll help us accomplish. By following these steps, you’ll be able to open the chat feature in Google Docs, send messages to your collaborators, and effectively communicate while working on a document together.

Step 1: Open a shared Google Docs document

Open the Google Docs document you want to chat about.

To use the chat feature, you must be in a document that is shared with at least one other person. You won’t be able to chat if you’re the only one with access to the document.

Step 2: Click on the ‘Show Chat’ button

In the top right corner of the document, click on the speech bubble icon to open the chat sidebar.

When you click on this button, a chat sidebar will appear on the right side of the document. If you don’t see the speech bubble icon, it means no one else is currently viewing the document.

Step 3: Type your message in the chat box

Once the chat sidebar is open, click on the text box at the bottom, type your message, and then press enter to send it.

Remember, anything you type here can be seen by anyone who has access to the document. So, it’s best to keep the conversation relevant to the work at hand.

Step 4: View messages from others

Messages from your collaborators will appear in the chat sidebar. You can read and respond to them in real-time.

Keep an eye on the chat while you work. It’s a great way to get instant feedback or to clarify any points you’re unsure about.

After completing these steps, you and your collaborators should be able to communicate seamlessly while working on the document. This real-time chat feature ensures that everyone is on the same page and can greatly enhance productivity.

Tips for Using Google Docs Chat

  • Remember that Google Docs chat is not available in the mobile app version. You’ll need to use the desktop version to access the chat feature.
  • If you close the document, you won’t receive chat notifications. Make sure to keep the document open if you’re expecting messages.
  • The chat history is not saved when you close the document. If you need to keep a record of your conversations, make sure to copy and save them elsewhere.
  • You can tag a specific person in the chat by typing their email address. This is useful if you want to direct a message to a particular collaborator.
  • Use the chat feature to discuss edits, brainstorm ideas, or ask quick questions. It’s a great way to avoid cluttering the document with too many comments.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can I use Google Docs chat on my phone?

No, the chat feature is currently only available on the desktop version of Google Docs.

Is the chat history saved?

No, the chat history is not saved once you close the document. Be sure to copy and save important messages elsewhere.

Can I chat with someone who does not have editing access to the document?

No, only people who have access to the document can participate in the chat.

Can I turn off notifications for Google Docs chat?

While there isn’t a way to turn off chat notifications specifically, you can mute the document tab in your browser to stop receiving notifications.

How many people can participate in a Google Docs chat?

There is no limit to the number of participants in a Google Docs chat. However, the document itself can have up to 100 people with edit access.


  1. Open a shared Google Docs document
  2. Click on the ‘Show Chat’ button
  3. Type your message in the chat box
  4. View messages from others


Google Docs chat is a simple yet powerful tool that can transform the way we collaborate on documents. By following the steps outlined above, you’ll be able to chat with your teammates without ever having to leave the document. Just imagine the possibilities! Real-time feedback, instant clarifications, and brainstorming sessions, all happening while you navigate through your shared work effortlessly. As we continue to adapt to remote work and digital collaboration, tools like Google Docs chat will become increasingly valuable. So, go ahead, give it a try, and watch your productivity soar! Remember, communication is key, and with Google Docs chat, it’s just a click away.

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