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I just had something very strange happen on Google Docs:

  • A couple people at my company were working on a document. I think I didn't have permissions to see it at the beginning.
  • At a certain point they gave me Editor permissions on it. Again, before that I'm not sure but I think I may have had no permissions at all.
  • I added a few comments, which I could see in the main page margin.
  • Later I went into the comment history, and noticed that one of the original collaborators had resolved a comment that I had never seen in the first place (i.e. not displayed in the page margin).
  • I unresolved that comment by adding my own comment to that comment thread, and I STILL couldn't see it in the page margin. I could only see it in the comment history, but not in the page margin.

Why on earth could this be happening? Does somebody not have permissions to see a comment if it was created before they were given permissions on the doc? Is there any way to change that?

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  • Please clarify what do you mean by "see comments". Are you referring to comments be displayed on the page margin?. Please consider to add screenshots. Also search this site and the Google Docs help resources for end-users thoroughly, add what you found and why it was not what you need. Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 14:06
  • Correct, the comments were not displayed on the page margin. I can't add screenshots since it's proprietary but in any case the point is that nothing was shown in the margin.
    – Stephen
    Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 14:08
  • I edited my question to make this clearer.
    – Stephen
    Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 14:09
  • Screenshots are not mandatory, it's just a suggestion. Please bear in mind that you can use an image editor to remove / hide the private details. Anyway, if you prefer to make your post text only is perfectly fine, just bear in mind that the audience of this site is very broad. Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 14:12

1 Answer 1

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TL;DR:

Comments in Google Docs are visible in the page margin while they are "open" / "unresolved". Once a comment is marked as "closed" / "resolved" they are removed from the page margin. You can find all the document comments in the comments history.

Google Docs Editor with red hand drawn annotation

Notess:

  1. Currently Google is deploying an update to the Google Docs editors user interfase, so you might not see exactly this but the position of the menus and buttons have not changed. For details see: Refreshed interface for Google Drive, Google Docs, Google Sheets, and Google Slides

  2. Besides the features that are in process of deployment, Google Workspace apps like Google Docs have features that might not be available for all users. When a feature is not available to all users this is mentioned in the corresponding help article. At this time the article about comments doesn't mention a limited feature.

Considering the above and that you haven't provide screenshots, you might have to ask help a teammate or to your company authorized support / help desk service.


Apparently the Google Docs essentials resources for end users doesn't explains this.

Lets start with how to find these resources:

Google Docs editor "refreshed" user interface.

Google Docs Editor

Google Docs editor Help menu expended.

Google Docs Editor - Help menu expanded

Prepare the demo

Comment in page margin.
enter image description here
To close a comment, mark it as resolved by clicking on to tick mark.
enter image description here To view closed comments, click Open comment history, as shown on top of this answer. A closed comment is shown as follow:
enter image description here

If you find a comment in the comment history that want to be displayed in the page margin, click in Re-open.

enter image description here

A comment that is reopened is shown in the comment history as follow:

enter image description here

A comment that was closed and reopened is shown in the page margin as follow:

enter image description here

References

Related

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  • The issue in my case though was that even non-resolved comments were not showing.
    – Stephen
    Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 15:00
  • That's weird. Send feedback to Google. Click Help > Help Docs improve. You might have to review your company polices first. Maybe this should done by your company IT / Help Desk team. Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 15:04
  • By the other hand, you should add more details to the question, like type of Google account that you are using, if you are using a Workspace account you should mention what version is, if you already reported this issue to your company IT / Help Desk team, etc. Commented Mar 21, 2023 at 15:07

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