Switch Between Viewing Modes in Google Docs: A Step-by-Step Guide

Switching between viewing modes in Google Docs is a breeze. All you need is to click on the ‘View’ tab, and choose between ‘Editing’, ‘Suggesting’, or ‘Viewing’ mode. And just like that, you’re all set to work on your document in the mode that suits you best.

Step by Step Tutorial: Switch Between Viewing Modes in Google Docs

Before diving into the steps, let’s understand what we’re aiming for. Google Docs offers three viewing modes – Editing, Suggesting, and Viewing. Each mode serves a unique purpose. Editing allows you to make changes directly, Suggesting lets you propose edits without altering the original text, and Viewing offers a clean, read-only version of your document.

Step 1: Open your document in Google Docs

Simply navigate to your Google Drive, find the document you wish to work on, and open it.

This step is pretty straightforward, as you’ll need access to your document before you can change the viewing mode.

Step 2: Click on the ‘View’ tab

At the top of the page, you will see a menu bar. Click on ‘View’ to see the different modes.

This menu bar is your gateway to all the main features in Google Docs, so getting familiar with it can really boost your productivity.

Step 3: Choose your desired mode

From the dropdown menu, select ‘Editing’, ‘Suggesting’, or ‘Viewing’ mode based on your needs.

Remember, ‘Editing’ mode lets you make direct changes, ‘Suggesting’ allows you to propose edits, and ‘Viewing’ gives you a clean view without the editing clutter.

After completing these steps, your document will switch to the chosen mode. You’ll notice the change immediately as the interface adjusts to your selected mode.

Tips for Switching Between Viewing Modes in Google Docs

  • When collaborating with others, ‘Suggesting’ mode is a polite way to propose changes without overwriting someone else’s work.
  • Use ‘Viewing’ mode when you want to read a document without the distraction of editing tools.
  • Keyboard shortcuts can speed up the switching process. Try pressing ‘Ctrl + Alt + Shift + E’ for Editing, ‘Ctrl + Alt + Shift + S’ for Suggesting, and ‘Ctrl + Alt + Shift + X’ for Viewing mode.
  • Remember that changes made in ‘Editing’ mode are instant, so double-check before you make any major alterations.
  • If you’re presenting a document, ‘Viewing’ mode provides a clean, professional look that’s perfect for sharing with an audience.

Frequently Asked Questions

How do I switch to ‘Suggesting’ mode in Google Docs?

Click on ‘View’, then select ‘Suggesting’ from the dropdown menu.

‘Suggesting’ mode is ideal for collaborative projects where you want to recommend changes without altering the original text.

Can I switch viewing modes on the Google Docs mobile app?

Yes, you can. The process is similar to the desktop version: open the document, tap the three-dot menu, and select your desired mode.

The mobile app makes it convenient to switch modes on the go, ensuring you can work in your preferred style anywhere.

What is the shortcut for switching to ‘Viewing’ mode?

Press ‘Ctrl + Alt + Shift + X’ on your keyboard to switch to ‘Viewing’ mode quickly.

Keyboard shortcuts are handy time-savers that can make your workflow more efficient.

Why can’t I see the ‘Suggesting’ mode option?

If you’re not seeing ‘Suggesting’ mode, it could be because you’re either not logged in or don’t have permission to suggest edits on that particular document.

Check your access level and make sure you’re logged into your Google account.

Will other collaborators see changes made in ‘Editing’ mode instantly?

Yes, any changes made in ‘Editing’ mode are visible to all collaborators with access to the document in real time.

Be mindful of this when making significant edits, as it can affect the document’s overall content.


  1. Open your document in Google Docs.
  2. Click on the ‘View’ tab.
  3. Choose your desired mode – ‘Editing’, ‘Suggesting’, or ‘Viewing’.


Switching between the different viewing modes in Google Docs is a valuable skill that can significantly enhance your productivity and collaboration efforts. Whether you’re editing a document, suggesting improvements, or simply reading through content, knowing how to change modes quickly is essential. Remember, each mode is designed to meet specific needs, so choose the one that aligns with your current task.

By following the simple steps outlined in this article, you’ll be able to navigate Google Docs like a pro. And, with the additional tips and FAQs provided, you’ll have all the knowledge you need to make the most out of your Google Docs experience. So, go ahead and switch between viewing modes in Google Docs with confidence, knowing that you’re in full control of how you interact with your documents.

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