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May 16, 2022
In April 2022, Google added the ability join a call from within Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Select the Google Meet icon in the upper-right corner of your

Image: Andy Wolber / TechRepublic

In April 2022, Google added the ability join a call from within Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides. Select the Google Meet icon in the upper-right corner of your document while in Chrome on your computer to join or start a Meet session. When you start a session this way, Meet launches in the right panel of your document.

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You can think of this feature as document-first, one-tab video conferencing. One tab, because both your document and Meet session only require one Chrome browser tab, instead of two — one for Meet and the other for Docs, Sheets, or Slides files — to manage or organize. And video conferencing prioritizes documents, as your documents take up most of the display space, with Meet on the side.

As usual, you choose whether your Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides files are shared. While private, you use your documents as you please: Use them to refer to, annotate, or edit as you please. When shared, your collaborators can view, comment on, or edit the document as Meet participants discuss issues.

Alternatively, whenever you have an active Google Meet session, you can open a Google Doc, Sheet, or Slide file, then select the Meet icon in the document and select “Call here.” This allows you to switch from a standard Google Meet session (e.g. video-focused) to one that shows both your document and your active Meet session together in one tab.

The following steps demonstrate how to use Google Meet in Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides in Chrome on a computer.

Join or start a meeting from Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides

The Google Meet icon displays in the upper-right corner area of ​​Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides on the web, as shown in Picture A. If you have a new document open — and when you’re not already in a Google Meet session — select the document to display three options.

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Picture A

Select the Google Meet icon (upper right area) in Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides to join or start a meeting.

First, upcoming Google Calendar events with a Google Meet link will appear. Select a meeting from the list, then the system provides a video preview from your webcam along with the options to Join the Call or Present This Tab only.

Alternatively, select Start a new meeting to start a new Google Meet session. Your session starts in the side panel, along with the meeting link (near the middle of the panel) and various session settings and controls (at the bottom of the panel). Copy the link to share it with others via Google Chat, Gmail, or in Google Chat Spaces.

Use the third option, Use meeting code, to enter the Google Meet session code. You can do this, for example, if you want to join a session while in a conference room with an existing Google Meet session active, but you haven’t been invited initially.

How to share this link or present this tab from the side panel of a Google Meet session

With your Google Meet session active in the side panel, you have at least two ways to give meeting participants access to your open Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides file: Split share Link or Present This Tab.

To collaborate on a document, select Share link and the system generates an in-session message, “Let’s work on this document together,” followed by a Google Docs, Sheets, or Pages link presented, as shown in Figure BUT. Select the send icon to share the message with the people in your meeting. You may need to adjust the Document Sharing settings to ensure that the participants have access. (See How to Share Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides for detailed sharing installation instructions.)

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Figure BUT

When you start Meet from within the document, select Share Link (lower left in the document) to place the link to the document in the session chat. Separately, you may need to adjust the Sharing settings (highlighted, top right). Alternatively, select the Present icon (the up arrow in the rectangle, as highlighted in the lower right).

Select the option Present this tab (Figure BUT, bottom right icon) to display the document in a separate window during a Google Meet session. Unlike the Share Link option, which provides access to the actual document, the Present Tab feature only shows your document during a Google Meet session and does not grant meeting participants access access the document.

How to move a Meet session between the three display options

You can turn your Meet session into three separate display profiles. First, Google Meet in the side panel emphasizes your document, and shows video, chat, and Meet controls. Second, the photo option in the document reduces Meet to a small video window overlay. (Place your cursor over the video image, then select it to dock the video to the side panel again.) Third, the standard option returns Meet to a full tab session without the Meet experience. in the side panel. You can scroll to any of these visibility options in the meeting.

The two options show up as icons in the upper-right corner of the Google Meet side panel, as shown in SIZE. The icon with an arrow pointing in the corner provides the option to move the Meet session to a separate tab. This is useful if you don’t want to refer to the documentation anymore and want the standard Google Meet experience. The other icon, with a small box in the larger box, removes Google Meet from the side panel and sets the video as an overlay over your document.

SIZE

You can move your Google Meet side panel session around. Select a picture in the document to shrink the video and display it as an overlay over your document (circled icon, leading to the top-right setup). Or move from the side panel to a separate Chrome browser tab, leading to the bottom right setup.

The third option is not necessarily obvious but can be quite helpful. When you have any type of Google Meet session active in Chrome, in another tab, open any section of Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides, then select the Google Meet icon in the upper right. right (i.e. you want to start a Meet session from a Doc, Sheet, or Slide). Since the system detects that there is an active Google Meet session, select the Bring call here option, as shown in Visualizationto move the active Meet call to the side panel of your document.

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Visualization

With a Google Meet session active in the Chrome browser tab (dash arrow), open the Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides file in another tab, then select the Google Meet icon and select Bring Call In here to move your active Meet session to the documents tab, with the video next to your file.

What is your experience?

For modern meetings, the ability to add a video meeting to a document is just as important as the ability to print when the meeting document is mostly paper. I expect Google to bring document-contiguous videoconferencing capabilities to all Workspace applications, including Google Jamboard, Google Drawings, Google Forms, and Google Sites.

If you’ve used Google Meet in the side panel of your Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides files, what do you think of it? Do you use this feature primarily to be able to continue working on files privately during the meeting? Or have you collaborated with colleagues both on documents and via video? How often do you switch Meet from the side panel to picture-in-picture to a full browser tab? Let me know how you used the material in conjunction with the video conferencing, by commenting below or on Twitter (@awolber).

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