Adding comments to documents isn’t just for groups, use them yourself.
Word has a feature to let you add ‘below the line’ comments to documents – comments that don’t show up in the final document, don’t effect the formatting yet stay with the document file.
Comments are included in Word’s collaboration features to help groups of people work on a single document. Remarks like “Joe – can you update these statistics?” or “This could be worded better”.
There’s no reason why comments can’t be used for solo authors as well. You can add notes to yourself, reminders of sections that need fixing or just parts you have a little ‘writers block’ on and want to return to later.
We often use comments as a ‘holding pen’ for text that we want to ‘put aside’ from the current document but keep for later use.
Add a Comment
Put your cursor on the place in the document that you want to comment (or highlight a block of text) then add a new comment.
On the Office 2007/2010 ribbon New Comment is on the Review tab.
For Office 2003 and before go to Insert | Comment
The keyboard shortcut to add a new comment is Ctrl + Alt + M
Simply type into the comment box after the colon.
You can use a wide-range of formatting in the comment box including bold, underline, highlighting, styles. A large comment is quite possible.
Comments can also include pictures:
The comment is added to a new right-hand margin area (that doesn’t appear in the printed document). The reviewing area appears when there’s a comment anywhere in the document, but you can change that, see ‘Burst the Bubble’ below.
The initials in [Brackets] is from the initials set in Word options plus a ordinal number for the comments in that document.
Edit a comment
Simply click inside the comment ‘bubble’ and start typing.
You can also right-click on the comment and choose ‘Edit Comment’.
Delete a comment
Right-click on the comment bubble and choose ‘Delete Comment’.
Editing and deleting comments can be ‘undone’ just like standard Word actions.
Hide the comments
If you want to remove the comment bubble distractions, go to the Review tab and switch from ‘Final: Show Markup’ to ‘Final’.
Office 2003 choose View | Markup.
Burst the bubble
If you don’t like the comment bubbles – you can join the crowd. Sometimes the bubbles seem more like a bit of showing off from Microsoft that distract from the document.
The alternative is to hide the bubbles using Review | Show | Final mention above then click on Reviewing Pane to display comments either at the bottom (horizontal) or left (vertical) of the document.
In Word 2003 and before the same options are on the reviewing toolbar that should appear when you first insert a comment.
Comments text is part of any document search – just Find as usual and matching text in comments will show up.
On the Review tab / toolbar there are Next / Previous buttons to let you jump between comments.
By default, comments are not printed but in Print options there is ‘Print Markup’ that will print the comments as well.
If you send out the document, make sure all your comments are removed. Word has tools to ‘clean’ a document of extra info before dispatch.
- Navigating a Word document
- Disappearing comment lines in Word 2013
- Changing the look of Comment balloons in Word
- Cleaning docs without Word
- Working with Word Document Properties, Part 2
- Extending Office with Google Docs and Spreadsheets
- Sources of embarrassing information
- File Properties in Office
- Do you want to merge changes?
- Editing vs Comments in Word
- Useful but hidden Outlook features
- Track Changes basics in Word 2003
- The Find function in Office – Part 1