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Google Docs adds ‘Live edits’ accessibility tool for real-time collaboration

From Live Transcribe to Sound Amplifier, Google this year has released a number of accessibility features. The latest is for Google Docs and helps keep track of real-time updates made by document collaborators.

“Live edits” in Google Docs is designed to be used alongside screen readers (ChromeVox, NVDA, JAWS, or VoiceOver) or Braille displays. This new sidebar lists real-time updates made by others currently working in the document. Each entry notes a user’s name, profile avatar with corresponding accent color, timestamp, and the general change made, like “add” or “replace.”

These changes can then be read aloud by the user’s assistive device of choice. You can choose to follow just a single collaborator or everybody currently working on the file.

Google Docs Live edits

This feature joins existing screen reader support in Docs, as well as other Google Drive applications.

The Google Docs Live edits sidebar begins rolling out today and will be available to all G Suite editions in the coming weeks. This feature will be available by default and can be enabled in Docs settings.

To see live edits, open the Accessibility settings by going to Tools > Accessibility settings and check “Turn on screen reader support.” Then, select “Show live edits” from the Accessibility menu.

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Avatar for Abner Li Abner Li

Editor-in-chief. Interested in the minutiae of Google and Alphabet. Tips/talk: