Overview of comments and discussions

Comments let you have a conversation about something you're working on. Comment threads, called discussions, help you keep track of comments, address your comments to specific people, and respond to and follow comments from your email inbox.

Inserting Comments

Comments are a handy way of adding notes to your documents, spreadsheets, and presentations that are visible to viewers and collaborators. These can be invaluable for communicating with collaborators about specific parts of the document, as well as making notes about changes you've made or would like to make.

To add a comment, follow these instructions:

  1. Highlight or select the text, object, or spreadsheet cell you'd like to comment on. If you're working with a presentation, you can highlight an entire slide by selecting it from the list of slides on the left.
  2. From the Insert menu, select Comment. You can also use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Alt + M (Cmd + Option + M on a Mac) to insert a comment.
  3. Type your comment in the box that appears to the right of the document.

If you'd like to address your comment to a specific person, type a plus sign followed by their email address, like this: +johndoe@google.com. That person will receive an email with your comment.

Comments in spreadsheets

When working with spreadsheets, you can comment only on one cell at a time. Spreadsheet cells with comments are indicated by a yellow triangle in the cell's top-right corner.

To see all of a sheet's comments, click on the comment icon on the sheet's tab.

In addition to comments, you can also leave notes on individual cells. While comments are great for conversations, notes are useful for adding annotations that don't require a back-and-forth discussion. To add a note, select a cell, click the Insert menu, and select Note. Cells with notes are indicated by a black triangle in the cell's top-right corner.

Working with Comments

After inserting a comment, there are two main places you can work with it — within the yellow comment box, or from within the discussions thread, which you can access by clicking the Comments button in the top right-hand corner of your browser window.

You can reply to a comment with a new post, edit or delete a previous comment you’ve inserted, and resolve the discussion when you’re ready to remove it. Resolving a discussion removes the discussion from your document, spreadsheet, or presentation, but resolved threads will always be available under Comments in the right-hand corner of your document.

Your profile photo (the picture you use in Gmail or on your Google+ profile) will be displayed with your comments.


From the discussion thread, you can review all discussions, including those discussions that have been resolved. From this menu, you can also change the notification settings for discussions.

Sometimes it can be tedious to have to scan through all the comments you and your collaborators have made on an item. If you open the discussion thread with the Comments button, you can keep track of all of an item's discussions, including those that have already been resolved.