Using Google Docs Suggesting Edits

When you are collaborating on a Google document, sometimes you just want to make a suggestion without actually changing the words. You can use the Suggesting mode to recommend changes to the document. On the right side of the toolbar, click Editing. A drop-down will appear with the option to select Suggesting mode. Anyone with “Comment” or "Edit" rights can enter text in Suggesting mode.

Note: If you do not see Editing, Suggesting or Viewing in the top right, you have view-only access to the document and should request access from the owner if you want to suggest edits.

When you are in Suggesting mode, the changes you make will be in a new color and surrounded by a bracket and deletions are shown with a strike-through. A comment will appear in the right margin. To provide additional information about your edit in the comment box, click Reply...

Anyone with editing rights on the document can accept or reject edits by clicking the checkmark or “x” buttons. Collaborators can also reply to the changes in the text box.

You can see all of the suggested edits that have been accepted or rejected in your document by clicking Comments in the top-right corner of the document.

What is the difference between Suggesting Edits and Commenting?
  • Use Comments when: you want to ask a question or make a note next to a specific section of existing text. 
    • Result: Editors can reply to your comment or click Resolve to close the comment.
  • Use Suggested edits when: you want to suggest new text to add or change in the document. 
    • Result: Editors can accept your suggestions to add it as final text or reject the suggestions to erase them.
In Viewing mode, suggestions and comments are hidden and the document displays as it will be printed. You can’t edit the document in Viewing mode.

If you download the Google document as a .docx file, suggestions will be shown as tracked changes in Word.


  1. Two colleagues and I used this method of suggesting changes for creating a JOE feature article that was just published last February. It works really well!


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