Google Drive has two different save functions: who knew?

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.

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Comments

You have helped me. Kevin & I have just started using Google Drive for sharing and editing spreadsheets as it's the only answer for us with me using PC and him Mac. We would have come up against this problem eventually, so now I already have the answer. Thanks.

Poor design if you ask me. How frustrating that must have been for you and your proofreader.