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When you have a document, spreadsheet, or presentation you want your business to approve, Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides have you covered. Submit the approval request, optionally set a due date, and get the approval you need.

Note: The function is available for paid plans, including plans Workspace Business or Enterprise Essentials and above, Education Plus, Nonprofits, and G Suite above Basic.

About approvals in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides

Here are some basics on how approvals work in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides.

  • Reviewers are notified when you request approval. This can be an email, a notification from google-chat or a browser alert, depending on your notification settings.
  • If you request approval from multiple people, everyone must approve the document for the process to be considered complete.
  • When an approver makes edits, all reviewers will receive a notification to re-approve the document.
  • If you include a due date in the approval request, reviewers are sent reminders for upcoming and past due dates.
  • If one person rejects approval, the document is considered rejected by all reviewers.
  • Once a document is approved, it is will block . You cannot edit the document unless you unlock it. This will cancel the current approval request.

How to request an approval

Open the document you want to receive approval for in Google Docs, Sheets, or Slides. Click File > Approvals on the menu.

Select File, Approvals

You will see the Approvals sidebar open on the right. Click on “Make a request”.

Click Make a Request

When the Request Approval window opens, enter the names of your contact list or the email addresses of those you want to review the document.

Optionally enter a message, set a due date, allow reviewers to edit, or lock the file before sending it. Click “Submit Request”.

Submit an approval request

Note: But previously shared the document with whom you want to review it, you will be asked to give them access to the document.

How to review and approve a document

If an approval request is sent to you, you will see an Approval Pending message at the top of the document below the toolbar.

Approval pending message in Google Docs

Before approving or rejecting, you can click on “See details”. This opens the Approvals sidebar where you can see the other reviewers, a due date if one was assigned, and the message included with the request. also can To comment that will be displayed in the Activity section at the bottom of the sidebar.

View details of your pending approval

If edits are made to the document during the approval process, you can also see what they’re using in the sidebar. Under View Changes, use the dropdown box to view edits since last viewed or approved the document, or since the approval process began.

View document changes

Use the Approve or Reject buttons in the message at the top of the document or in the sidebar when you’re ready. With each action, you can include a message if you wish.

Approve or reject a document

How to review approvals

As the applicant for approval, you can view the status of your application. A message appears at the top of the document, below the toolbar. You can also open the approvals sidebar by clicking File > Approvals in the menu or clicking “View details” in the message.

Partially approved message in Google Docs

Just like reviewers, you’ll see all approval details in the sidebar with any activity at the bottom. And you can use the dropdown under View Changes to see any edits.

Review Approvals Sidebar

Once everyone approves the document, you will see a message that the file has been locked. This prevents further edits from being made to the document since it has already been approved.

File locked message after approvals

When you open the document, you’ll see a new message at the top indicating that you’re viewing the approved version.

Approved version message

Click “View Details” to open the sidebar to review the activity. This information is displayed for both you and those who approved the document.

Approval details in the sidebar

How to unlock an approved document

If you want to make changes to an approved document, select the Locked dropdown arrow at the top and click “Unlock File”. Remember, you’ll need to request approval again later, since you’re making changes.

Select Locked, Unlock file

You can start a new approval request in the sidebar after making your changes.

Start a new approval

The ability to request document approval in Google Docs, Sheets, and Slides is a useful feature for all types of business documents. From legal documents to proposals and more, you can make sure the document has all the necessary stamps of approval.

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