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April 25, 2013

Google Chat in Google Docs

Do you remember the post about the animal icons from Google Drive? They're only displayed for anonymous users ("people who are not given explicit access"). For everyone else, Google will show the Google Profile photo and link to the Google+ page.

There's also a group chat feature powered by Google Talk/Chat. It's a simplified version of the chat feature from Gmail, Google+, iGoogle and orkut. There's only one chat box that lets you talk with the other signed-in users that edit or just view a document, presentation or any other file. For some reason, it doesn't work in Google Sheets/Spreadsheets.

"To begin a group chat with everyone viewing the document, click the Chat button, which you'll find in the top-right corner of your window. A chat box will appear at the bottom of your file, and everyone who's viewing the document and who's signed in with a Google account will be included in the group chat," explains Google.

The group chat feature from Google Drive doesn't support voice or video chat, conversations aren't saved in Gmail and they're not available in other services that use Google Chat. "If you've chatted in Gmail and Google+, you may have noticed that a chat started in Gmail will carry over into Google+, and vice versa. The same isn't true for chats in Google Drive. Chats you start in Google Drive won't carry over into other Google products, and chats you start in other products won't appear in Google Drive."

{ via Google Drive Blog }


  1. Super clear and useful information. I was searching to find out where to find the chat history for docs and got my answer.

    The docs chat is /almost/ a great feature, don't get me wrong. I can understand not viewing your gmail Chat in the docs chat window (context), and I can /almost/ understand not making the docs chat history show in the gmail chat (again, context-ish)
    But the best response to not saving the history *at all* is: whatever Elle Driver says to Bill when he tells her not to kill Beatrix Kiddo in the hospital. ie: *^##$&%&... Why on earth would you implement a chat and not have it keep it's history? Jeezus, just dump it into gmail chat history and be done with it. But to have it just vaporize???

    Google: Y U No save docs chat history?

  2. There's no chat button on mine... its weird

  3. There's no chat button on mine... its weird

    1. Only if there are other people will there be a chat button. Bit honestly, not saving the convo sucks. It's a terrible system - what if I wanted to retreive what I had said a day ago? Poof. All gone. Vanished into the ether...

  4. how get old chats from this chat option

  5. also is there any way out for disabling this chat option from owner end??

    i have one google doc to share but i dont want others to chat on using that doc


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