Tame your computer - 10 comments on Comments

In her regular series for Cambridge Network members - now in its 15th year - software training expert Karen Roem offers handy tips to help you 'Tame your computer'. This week she details ten things you may not know about Comments (Microsoft Word).

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Comments in documents are typically used to ask a question or give a suggestion for a change in the document.  As a Microsoft 365 subscriber, you regularly get new and improved features and some have to do with comments.

Other options about this functionality were always a bit “hidden”, so time to share my ten things you may not know about Comments …

  1. Did you spot the new Comments button in the very top right hand corner of your Word application window? You can use it to quickly add a New Comment or jump to the Previous or Next comment. (It’s also there in PowerPoint and Excel.)

  2. But why not make them even easier to access, by right-clicking anywhere on the group name called Comments (not any of the buttons) on the Review tab and click on Add to Quick Access Toolbar? You now have quick access to New Comment, Delete, PreviousNext and Show Comments.

  3. If the Show Comments button is greyed out, select Simple Markup - rather than All Markup - from the drop-down arrow in the Tracking group on the Review tab.

  4. Comments now have a Reply and Resolve option. 

  5. Resolved comments will be dimmed, but can be Reopened.

  6. Don’t waste time trying to hide comments you marked as Resolved. You cannot. If you feel strongly about it, vote for this to be implemented in one of the next releases, using UserVoice, the official suggestion box for Word. So far 22 people voted for it. (I’m one of them.)

  7. Resolve will be greyed out if the document was created or last saved in Word 2010 or earlier. (I hope Microsoft will change this.)

  8. When finished typing your comment, press the ESC key in the top left hand corner of your keyboard if you want to keep your hands on the keyboard. (Otherwise feel free to pick up the mouse and click anywhere in the document.)

  9. Speaking of keeping your hands on the keyboard … use Alt Gr + M or CTRL + ALT + M to insert a comment. (With special thanks to Aurora Walshe who wrote in the chat during a recent webinar that this keyboard shortcut was essential for her when she was an editor.)

  10. Click on the Show Markup button in the Tracking group on the Review tab and untick Comments to completely hide all comments – even from printing. (The Show Comments button described in tip # 2 is a toggle and will still show a speech bubble alongside the document and will also print any comments.)

Word for the Web has even more new features, such as using the @-sign with someone’s name, which will automatically send a mail with a link to your comment, as well as the possibility to mark comments as Done. But as mentioned at the start of this email I write these tips for desktop app users, so this was it for this week! Let me know which of the 10 things you didn’t know and are going to use.


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I meticulously test every tip I write to make sure it is correct, easy to understand and time-saving. Let me know if something isn't clear or doesn't work.

Missed an issue? To view all tips created so far – including corrections, where necessary – go to http://roem.co.uk/hints.php

Unless stated otherwise, the steps are written about Microsoft 365 using Windows 10.

3 May  2021

Karen Roem offers software training and support through her company Roem Ltd.  Contact her by email (Karen@roem.co.uk) or visit her website at www.roem.co.uk

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