Google launched a range of new collaboration features in the name of ‘smart canvas’, for its Workspace apps including Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Smart Canvas provides a new interactive experience by bringing together Google Workspace apps more tightly.
One of the smart canvas features is using Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides directly from Google Chat rooms without the need for switching between apps. This makes collaborating at work much more seamless now. In this article, we’ll see how to create, view, and edit Google Sheets, Docs, and Slides from a Google Chat Room.
Google Chat (previously known as Google Hangouts) is a messaging app complete with direct messages and chat rooms, built teams and businesses.
Using Google Chat on the desktop is best the way to use Google Chat. There are two ways you can use Google chat on desktop: One via browser and another via Chat PWA standalone app. But the standalone app works with the Chrome browser as Progressive Web Application (PWA) not as a native app.
To use Google chat on the desktop you don’t necessarily need a Chrome browser. But to install and use the standalone app you need a Chrome browser. Google Chat PWA standalone app works as an extension of Chrome browser.
You can also use Google Chat on Chrome, Firefox, Safari, and Microsoft Edge browsers.
To open Google Chat from the browser, click the ‘Waffle icon (grid of nine little dots)’ at the top-right corner of most Google pages such as Google search engine, Gmail, Google Drive, Google Calendar, etc. Then, click the Chat icon from the launcher to open Google Chat.
Or simple sign in to chat.google.com in your browser.
Installing the Google Chat standalone app
You’ll need Google Chrome 73 or up version to install and use the standalone Google chat app on your computer.
To install the standalone Google chat app, open your Chrome browser and open Google chat in a new tab or sign in to chat.google.com. Then, click the ‘install icon’ in the URL bar at the top right corner of Google Chrome as shown below.
Then in the Install app pop-up window, click ‘Install’.
Or, click the vertical three-dotted menu at the top right of Google Chrome and select ‘Install Google Chat’. The standalone app will be installed and a shortcut will be created on your desktop.
Create and Edit Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides From Google Chat
Google Chat now allows users to create and work on Google Docs, Sheets and Slides directly on a Google Chat room. You don’t have to jump between collaborating in a document and chatting on Google Chat with your team. You can only use this feature in a Chat room, not on direct messages. Here’s how you do it.
First, open Google Chat and choose the chat room where you want to collaborate on the left panel under ‘Rooms’.
In the right corner of the text box, click the ‘Create new document’ icon and choose ‘Google Docs’ or ‘Google Sheets’ or ‘Google Slides’ to create a file (as shown below). You have options to create a Google document, spreadsheet, or presentation.
Then a Share a new document dialog window will appear. Here, name your file and click the ‘Share’ button.
This will create a new file in your chat room and save that file in your Google Drive. This document will be shared with your team members in the chat room.
Then, click on the newly created file to open the file side by side to your chat area. Now, you and your team can build content together while discussing it in the chat area.
You can create a Google sheet and slide the same way.
You also can upload files from your local drive or from Google drive to open them on Google chat and collaborate.
To upload a file from your local drive, click the ‘Upload file’ icon in the text box and pick a file from the file chooser window.
To upload a file from your Google drive, click the ‘Add a Google Drive file’ icon in the text box and choose a file from your Google Drive.
Then, click ‘Select’ to add the file to your chat room.
The file is added but it’s not shared yet. To do that, tap the send icon.
When you click on the send icon, a new ‘Share this file with the room’ dialog window will pop up. Click on the ‘Comment’ drop-down and choose the permission you want to give to this file.
When you select ‘View’, the team members in your chat room would only able to view the file. Select ‘Comment’ to allow only commenting on the file. Or select ‘Edit’ to allow them to view, comment, and edit the file. Then, click ‘SEND’ to share the file with the chart room.
Your team can edit the files your created or uploaded, the same way you can edit the files they shared.
That’s how you create, open, and edit Google docs, sheets, and slides on Google Chat Room.