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I'm trying to edit a big Google Doc with many editors all typing at once. When people above me type and add or remove text, the document reflows, and the part I am trying to edit moves from page to page in the document. However, my view doesn't follow it, so it is very difficult to read what I have typed, because it keeps moving out of view as the length of the text above it changes. I have to keep scrolling up and down chasing after it, and it moves too fast for me to really read it.

How do I get my view to follow the content I am currently looking at as the rest of the document changes? Is there some kind of auto-scrolling or content-following script?

If I just take the whole document into offline mode and make my edits, is it likely to sync cleanly when I reconnect?

  • I don't use Google Docs much, but they MUST have an existing solution for this. ... If not, and you decide to go the userscript route, here's a userscript that chases a moving page element. In the source code, the chaseNodeForX_seconds() function does that work. Be warned that in your case, you might always have some annoying "jitter" with any scrolling approach on a constantly moving target. – Brock Adams Jun 18 '16 at 2:26
  • I just want to say I love this question and here are some words that I searched for and would have loved to find this answer: Stop google docs moving, stop page scrolling in google docs when others edit. make google docs hold still while collaborators edit. – jerclarke Mar 6 at 19:35
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This is a huge problem for me, not because it bothers me, but because it bothers others who I collaborate with on meeting agendas and the like. They want to lock down our documents, or use static documents, to avoid this problem, which kills a huge value offered by Google Docs.

While we wait for a better answer that truly addresses your question (I think it had it's time), here are some workarounds that I would recommend to someone with this problem.

Use headings and the Document Outline feature to click back to what you were working on

The Outline feature has come a long way, and at this point it's invaluable.

If you have a heading relatively near what you are working on, then at any time you can click on that heading and jump to that location. It seems to me that it will be pretty rare that the outline itself changes so much that you can no longer see the heading for the section you are working on.

So keep that Outline visible, and have lots of fun headings in your docs, and you'll at least be a click away from your cursor.

Temporarly work on an outside document

This one is obviously just a compromise, but if there's lots of people editing the doc at once, it might be a good time to open up a text editor, work on your text there, then paste it in when you're done.

The downside of course is that if you do this, you are handing anyone working below you a stinker when you paste and their doc jumps down, but if the problem is that this you document is constantly jumping around right now, then just finding ways to type somewhere else for a bit can be part of the solution.

Alter your zoom level so you can see more

This one is obvious but I'll list it just cause there's no other answers here and it's relevant: You can always zoom out on the document temporarily so you can see more of it at once.

This will decrease the likelihood that your cursor goes completely outside your viewport, and help you use a little scrolling now and then to keep things in a workable position.

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