G Suite For Dummies
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A chat is ideal for quick bursts of one-on-one conversation, but Google Chat, which is part of the G Suite application package, rocks a bunch of features that enable you to shift your interactions from conversation to collaboration.

How to chat with a group

If you have a question to answer, a controversy to settle, or a detail to hash out, the quickest and easiest way to get it done is to gather everyone involved into a group chat. That way, any member of the group can send a direct message that's seen by everyone else in the group.

Group chats are only for people in your organization. If you need to create a multiperson chat that includes one or more people from outside your organization, you need to create a chat room.

Here are the steps to follow to organize a group chat:
  1. Click in the Find People, Rooms and Bots text box, but instead of immediately typing a name or an email address, choose Group Message from the menu that appears below the box. Chat displays the Direct Message page.
  2. Start entering the name of a person you want to include in the group. Chat displays a list of people in your organization who match what you’ve entered so far.
  3. When you see the person you want, select that person. Chat adds the person to the list.
  4. Repeat Steps 2 and 3 until you've added all the people you want in the group chat.
  5. Click the Message button. Chat opens a chat window for the group.

    Chat automatically supplies a name for the chat, which is usually the first names of the participants.

  6. Enter your initial message in the text box that’s provided.
  7. Click the Send Message icon or press Enter. Chat distributes the message to each person in the group.
  8. Read the responses you get from the other members.
  9. Repeat Steps 7 and 8 as needed.

Unfortunately, you can't add people to an existing group chat. If you need to expand the group, select the group name at the top of the chat window, and then choose Start a New Chat from the menu that appears. You end up alongside the Start a New Chat dialog box, where you see the members of the previous chat already added. Add the extra people you need and then click Create.

How to upload a file to a chat

If you want your chat mate (or mates) to take a look at a file, you can upload the file into the chat, where anyone can then select the file to view it. Note that you can upload any file to the chat, not just files you created in a G Suite app.

Here are the steps required to upload a file midchat:

  1. In the chat text box, type a message explaining that you're going to upload a file.
  2. Click the Upload File icon. The following figure points out the Upload File icon. Chat displays the Open dialog box.
  3. Select the file you want to upload, and then click Open. Chat adds the file to your message.
  4. Click the Send Message icon. Chat adds a thumbnail image of the file to the chat transcript.
A file, uploaded to a chat. A file, uploaded to a chat.

How to add a video meeting to a chat

A common chat scenario is to be mid-conversation and realize that you need to show or demonstrate something to the other person (or other people, if you're in a group chat). Yep, you can upload a file, as I describe in the previous section, but that doesn't help if you need to perform some action.

For these and similar scenarios, the best thing to do is to create an on-the-fly Meet video meeting. That enables both you and the other chat participants to quickly join the meeting and see the presentation (or just see each other).

Here's what you do to add a Meet video meeting to a chat:

  1. In the chat text box, type a message explaining that you're going to add a video meeting.
  2. Click the Add Video Meeting icon. The following figure points out the Add Video Meeting icon. Chat adds a Video Meeting to your message.
  3. Click Send Message. Chat adds the video meeting to the chat transcript.
  4. Each person in the chat clicks Join Video Meeting and then Join Now. Meet starts the videoconference.
message in chat history Select a message in your chat history to see the icons shown here.

About This Article

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About the book author:

Paul McFedries is a technical writer who has been authoring computer books since 1991 and has over 100 books to his credit. These books include Alexa For Dummies, Amazon Fire TV For Dummies, and Cord Cutting For Dummies. You can visit Paul on the web at www.mcfedries.com.

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