This tutorial shows how to use comments in Microsoft Word. Specially, we will be using the new “modern” comments in Word for Microsoft 365.
We will cover this topic in Word for Mac in a separate tutorial.
If you are using an older version of Word, please see “How to Use Track Changes in Microsoft Word,” which includes a section about the previous comment system.
We will be covering five tasks today:
- How to Insert Comments
- How to View Comments
- How to Reply to Comments
- How to Resolve Comments
- How to Delete Comments
Plus, the bonus section at the end shows how to temporarily turn off modern comments and return to the older comment system.
Watch all the steps shown here in real time!
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How to Insert Comments
This section shows the primary way to insert a comment. Please see the section below for four alternative ways to insert comments.
- Place your cursor near the text you want to comment on or select the text.
- Select the Review tab in the ribbon.
- Select the New Comment button in the Comments group.
- Type your comment into the Start a conversation text box on the right side of the screen.
If you are part of an organization that has an enterprise license, you will be able to @ mention other users in your comments.
- Select the Post button or type the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Enter to post the comment.
- If you need to edit your comment, select the Edit button (pencil icon).
Four Alternative Ways to Insert Comments
Here are four additional ways to insert comments.
Alternative Method 1: Type the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Alt + M.
Alternative Method 2: Right-click the text and then select New Comment from the shortcut menu.
Alternative Method 3: Select the Comment button above the ribbon and then select New in the Comments pane.
Alternative Method 4: Select the Insert tab in the ribbon and then select the Comment button.
How to View Comments
Here are three ways to view comments.
Method 1: Select the Comments button above the ribbon.
Method 2: Select the Review tab followed by the Show Comments menu arrow. Then, select the Contextual or List from the drop-down menu.
The Contextual view doesn’t show resolved comments, while the List view shows all comments.
Method 3: Select the comment icon on the page.
Pro Tip: If the Show Comments button is grayed out or the comment icons are not visible on the page, ensure that Simple Markup or All Markup is selected in the Display for Review menu in the Review tab.
Navigate through the comments by using the Previous and Next buttons in the Review tab.
How to Reply to Comments
- Type your reply into the Reply text box in the other person’s comment.
- Select the Post button or type the keyboard shortcut Ctrl + Enter to post the reply.
How to Resolve Comments
You can mark a comment as “Resolved” to tell other people (or remind yourself) that an issue has been taken care of. However, you can also reopen a resolved comment, thereby turning it back to a regular comment.
- Select the three-dot menu in the comment.
- Select Resolve thread from the drop-down menu.
Resolved comments will no longer appear in the Contextual view.
How to Reopen Resolved Comments
- Select the Review tab (see figure 2).
- Select the Show Comments menu arrow (see figure 11).
- Select List from the drop-down menu (see figure 11).
- Select the Reopen button in the comment.
How to Delete Comments
Here are two ways to delete comments.
Method 1: Select the three-dot menu in the comment and then select Delete thread from the drop-down menu.
Method 2: Place your cursor in the comment or the text connected to the comment and then select the Delete menu arrow in the Review tab.
From there, choose Delete to delete the current comment, or Delete All Comments Shown, Delete All Comments in Document, or Delete All Resolved Comments.
Pro Tip: How to Make the Delete All Comments Shown Option Available
The Delete All Comments Shown option is not available (grayed out) when viewing all comments. However, it will become available when viewing comments from a specific person.
To view comments from a specific person:
- Select the Show Markup menu in the Review tab.
- Select Specific People from the drop-down menu.
- Select an individual from the submenu.
How to Temporarily Turn Off Modern Comments
Word currently offers an option to turn off modern comments and return to the older system. However, Microsoft said that it will remove this option in the future.
- Select the File tab.
- Select Options in the Backstage view.
- Select the General tab in the Word Options dialog box.
- Deselect Enable modern comments in the User Interface options section.
- Select the OK button.
- Save and reopen your file to activate the change.
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Updated January 28, 2023