New Approval Feature in Google Docs

Last year, Google rolled out a new feature for Approvals in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. This should be a use feature for myriad admistrative uses as well as small group work in the classroom to ensure that a document has been vetted by an entire group before submission.

It works by having the author of a Google Doc, Sheet, or Slide send a request to one or more designated “approvers” for requesting a formal approval (with an optional due date). “Approvers” can either Approve or Reject the file.

Screenshot of a google document with the new Approvals sidebar open
The new Approvals sidebar (right) in a Google Doc

Approvers are added when you click the “Make a request” button. Add the Approvers you need via their Google email address. You also have the following options:

  • adding a due date
  • allowing Approvers to edit the file
  • locking the file before making the request to approvers.

Screencapture of the Request approval dialog box

If you want to use Approvals, the sidebar can be accessed under the File menu within a specific document or from the context menu of a specific file in the Google Drive file list.

Screencapture of accessing Aprrovals from the File menu
Accessing Approvals from the File menu
Screencapture for accessing Approvals from a file's context menu in the main Google Drive file list.
Accessing Approvals in a file’s context menu in Google Drive’s file manager

Full details and instructions on the new Approvals feature can be found on Google Docs support site. The technology site How-To Geek recently posted a more complete writeup on how to use new Approval feature. I suggest checking it out for more details.

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