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Monday, February 8, 2010

Ask Sam: How do I add comments to Word?

A friend writes:
What are Word comments for? How do I use them?
Word comments are very handy for making notes on the text as you write or edit. They are also useful when you exchange Word files instead of physical copies with a critique group. By default, comments appear as notes in the margin of the document on screen and when you print. The easiest way to add a comment to any Word document is to press Ctrl + Alt + M. Word inserts a comment at the cursor location and moves the cursor into the comment balloon.

In Word 2003, there are two other quick ways to add a comment: Click Insert > Comment, or click the Comment button on the Reviewing toolbar.

In Word 2007, you can click the New Comment button on the Review tab.

Regardless of your version of Word, the new comment is attached to the word nearest the cursor if you don't have anything selected. You can also make a selection with the mouse (or use the arrow and shift keys) first, in which case the comment is applied to the selected text. Word moves the cursor into the comment balloon so that you can start typing.

To delete a Word comment, right-click the comment (either the balloon itself or the range of text in the document) and click Delete Comment on the context menu. You can also use the Delete Comment button on the Reviewing toolbar or Review tab.

If you exchange Word files with other people for comment, you can merge the copies you get back from them into a single file and see all of the comments at once. Next week, I'll show you how to do that.

"Ask Sam" is a weekly feature. If you have questions about using Windows (XP, Vista, or Windows 7) or Word (2003 or 2007), send e-mail to stfalco AT and I'll try to answer your questions here.

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