It’s always nice to look at a document that’s just been proofread and see no changes marked. It’s a bit less nice to hear the proofreader say that they marked several changes, but for some reason you can’t see them.
Today I was trying out a new way of working with proofreaders: Google Drive. Normally I just use Libre Office Writer or PDF editing software, whether I’m hiring a proofreader or being hired as a proofreader myself. But this kind of collaborative working is what Drive was designed for, right?
We ran into a serious hitch: the proofreader’s comments were simply not showing up on my screen, although they were on his. I could see it when he made direct edits to the document, but the comments were not being shared with me.
I finally found the answer in a Google Docs help forum: Google Drive has two different commit functions. When you’re editing a document directly, it autosaves. But when you’re adding a comment, you have to click the blue Comment button to save that comment.
Unfortunately (or bad-designedly), you don’t get any prompt to save when you click out of the comment box. So you can add multiple comments to a document, all visible on your screen, without realising there’s another step required. The only clue you’ll get is when you try to close the document and get a message saying there are unsaved changes.
I am sharing this on the off-chance I can help someone else who might have run into this problem.