At last — one of the most annoying Google Docs, Sheets and Slides sections is getting a lot simpler to use

Google Docs logo
Image Credit: Google (Image credit: Google)

Some of the most popular Google Workspace office software tools are getting a much-needed upgrade to one of their most annoying features.

The update addresses ‘Comments’ section UI clutter by adding a new ‘For You’ section, as well as an option to reduce clutter by minimizing the ‘Comments’ sidebar across Google Docs, along with Slides and Sheets.

The move should help online collaboration across all your key documents, spreadsheets and even slideshows.

Google Workspace comments

As explained in an official Google Workspace update blog, when users see  the ‘Comments’ button next to the ‘Revision history’ button, there’s a sidebar with two tabs: ‘For you’ and ‘All comments.’ 

The former is the one that filters out all comments made except for ones directed at you, while the latter shows comments made to everyone who has access to that document. This highlights comments made on a document that is specifically tagged to you and no one else, reducing clutter.

google docs new comments feature

(Image credit: Google)

From there, you can click on a comment to expand each one individually, leaving the comment to float beside the text that it’s attached to. This particular feature is called the ‘Expand comments’ option in the ‘View menu,’ and it’s one tool that Sheets doesn’t have. 

However, only Sheets and Docs have another new tool called ‘Minimize comments,’ which lets you close the ‘Comments’ sidebar and reduce the comments to mini icons. This setting provides a quick preview of information about who is commenting when you hover over the minimized icons. 

Finally, Docs, Sheets, and Slides all have the ‘Hide comments’ tool, which hides comments from view when you want to focus solely on content. This feature is useful for those using devices with smaller screens, like tablets and Chromebooks.

Some users already have access to this ‘Comments’ overhaul, though the full rollout of the update will start on March 1, 2024, and should be complete by March 4, according to Google. It will be available to all Google Workspace users.

It’s good to see that Google Workspace is getting more updates that may be actually useful and not detrimental to everyday use.

This new update follows the recent addition of the ‘@ button’ tool for Google Docs is back in October 2023. It automatically adds the ‘@’ symbol when a user moves to a blank line in a Google Doc, which brings up several options to insert what Google calls ‘smart chip technology like people, dates, timers, file chips, building blocks, calendar events, groups, and more. 

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Allisa James
Computing Staff Writer

Named by the CTA as a CES 2023 Media Trailblazer, Allisa is a Computing Staff Writer who covers breaking news and rumors in the computing industry, as well as reviews, hands-on previews, featured articles, and the latest deals and trends. In her spare time you can find her chatting it up on her two podcasts, Megaten Marathon and Combo Chain, as well as playing any JRPGs she can get her hands on.

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