Topics Map > Software Guides > Google Docs

Google Docs: Sharing & Collaborating

This article covers instructions for using the web version of Google Docs. Be aware that other versions, such as the mobile app, will vary in functionality.

Docs can be shared with other people, which is a powerful way to collaborate. Anyone with access to the document can see edits as they happen in real-time and multiple users can edit simultaneously. Be aware that a Google account is required in order to collaborate in Google Docs, which all PLU members have access to through their ePass.

To share a Google Doc with other users:
  1. In the document, click the Share button to the top-right. A new window will appear.

  2. In the Add people or groups field, enter the names or email addresses of the desired invitees.

  3. Click the drop-down to the right to assign privileges. 
  • Viewer: can view the Doc, but cant add comments or make changes.
  • Commenter: can view and add comments, but cant make changes.
  • Editor: can view, comment, and make changes.
Alternatively, Google Docs can be shared within Google Drive without opening (see Google Drive: Sharing Files & Folders for more details).

When other users have the Doc opened, their profile icons will appear to the top-right with a colored highlight around it. Their text cursor, which will match the color of their profile icon highlight, will also appear in the Doc. 

Doc Modes

Docs can be accessed in three modes: Editing, Suggesting, and Viewing (described below). Be aware that available Doc modes depend on the permission level. For example, if a user has view-only permission, they wont be able to use Editing or Suggesting mode.

To change the doc mode, click the drop-down to the top-right and select an option:
  • Editing: full control over editing the document, including adding/deleting text. This is the standard and default mode for document owners.
  • Suggesting: collaborators can use this mode to propose changes to a document instead of directly making edits. Suggestions will appear in different colors to indicate the user that added them. The document owner and other collaborators can review, accept/reject  edits, and comment on the suggestions.
  • Viewing: use this mode to preview how the document will look upon download/print.


Google Docs can be downloaded and saved to your computer as a file (Word document, PDF, etc). Docs will still be saved and editable from Google Drive after downloading.

To download a Google Doc, navigate to File > Download, and make a selection from the pop-up (Microsoft Word, etc.)

iTech logo
Need support? Contact or visit

Keywordsdocument, editing, word   Doc ID107556
OwnerJanelle B.GroupPacific Lutheran Univ
Created2020-12-03 11:45:55Updated2023-08-04 16:28:19
SitesPacific Lutheran University
Feedback  0   0