Top tricks for collaborating in the G-Suite | Apps

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Google often eclipses the competition with its collaborative features including of course seamless, real-time editing of files by multiple parties. But this is not all by any means; there are a number of ways you can work with others in the G-Suite.

Here are a few that you may have missed. 

Image: iStock
Image: iStock

Collaborate with chat

If you’ve worked collaboratively on a Google doc, then you know that you can communicate through comments or tracked changes, but you may have missed the chat function that allows you to bounce ideas off anyone simultaneously viewing the document. 

Tucked away in the top right-hand corner of the file, you’ll find a speech bubble icon to open a group chat with whoever has the file open, meaning you never need to even switch tabs to discuss edits.

Publish as a web page

As well as creating a shared, live document, you might choose to publish a document as a web page, with its own URL. This published web page will always have the most up to date content and be viewed by anyone with the URL.

There are a number of reasons why you might publish the file, instead of just sharing it among a select group of people.

First of all, it allows you to create an HTML version of a document that you can embed online, in blogs, Google sites and so on.

Secondly, it opens up your document to a large web audience, who will be able to see one version of a changing document.

Thirdly, it allows you to publish sections – individual sheets or cell selections – of a Google Sheet.

To publish a document, go to File > Publish to the web

If you want the published document to remain static, uncheck Automatically republish when changes are made. Otherwise, tick the box if you want to make the published document to be always ‘live’ and updated in real time.

You can also tick a box that requires viewers to log in to look at the file.

Publishing the file as a web page doesn’t mean that it will be in the public domain forever – you can stop publishing the file at any time by clicking File > Publish to the web > Stop publishing.

Crowdsource inspiration

If you want to take an idea or piece of work to the crowd, you can create a Google+ post, and adjust the audience that you’d like to see it. You can also create polls, gauging opinion on matters from the location of the next conference to which pub to head to after work.  

Share docs during a video meeting 

Remote working has become increasingly common, as has liaising with international offices. You probably know you can conduct video meetings through via Google Hangouts, but you may not know you can share docs, spreadsheets or powerpoint presentations through the service too.

To do so, simply open the file you want to share, and once your Google Hangouts meeting is underway, click ‘present’, then select from either entire screen or a window.

You can even edit the file with your guest in real time by first sharing the document with them and setting the status to allow editing.

Collaborate with Microsoft Office users 

As much as Google would love everyone to be a G-Suite devotee, they need to handle the reality, which is that much of the world still relies on Microsoft Office for all their business needs. To open up the channels of communication, Google allows you to convert a G-Suite file into a Microsoft file when you send it as an email attachment to someone outside the Google ecosystem. 

You simply select File > Email as Attachment and then under Attach As select between Microsoft WordMicrosoft Excel, or Microsoft PowerPoint.

They can then edit the document in Office then return it to you. 

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