Collaborating with others in Google Docs is about to look a whole lot different especially when it comes to giving and receiving feedback.
While Google’s office software already allows users to highlight sentences and paragraphs to leave comments, the search giant will soon be rolling out reactions to provide a less formal alternative to comments.
According to a new post in the Google Workspace blog, Google is adding emoji reactions to Docs. In practice, this new feature will look and feel similar to how users can react to messages in a group chat, for better or worse.
Whether you like it or not, this feature will be on by default and can not be disabled by users according to Google.
To access reactions in Docs, users simply need to select a sentence or even a paragraph they want to react to and they’ll be able to add an emoji reaction from the pop-up menu on the right side of the screen just like adding comments to a document.
If you’re a fan of emojis and use them frequently, you’ll be happy to know that any preferences set in Google Docs will also be shared with Google Chat. These include emoji skin tone and gender preferences and Google has also added gender-neutral options for gender-modifiable emojis.
Emoji reactions are rolling out now to Rapid Release domains and will roll out to Scheduled Release domains beginning on April 20. All Google Workspace users as well as users with personal Google Accounts will be able to use this feature once it goes live.
While emoji reactions could potentially make using Google’s online collaboration tools more fun, the ability to disable the feature altogether would be a nice touch for more serious organizations and users.