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Placing Comments in Documents
Word™s comments feature is a quick and easy way to add ancillary information to a
document. You can use comments to leave reminders for yourself or notes to other people.
Comments do not affect a document™s formatting, and they do not print with the document
(unless you specifically tell them to). Therefore, you can insert comments anywhere
without worrying about them ending up in your final printout by mistake.
To insert a comment, choose Insert_Comment. Word places brackets around the word you
just typed, inserts a tag showing your initials, and either opens the Reviewing pane ” if
you are in Normal or Outline view (see Figure 11-1) ” or displays a comment balloon in
the right margin if you are in any other view. It also opens the Reviewing toolbar. You can
now type your comment.

Word assigns reviewer initials based on the information in the User Information tab of
the Options dialog box (Tools_Options). The Reviewing pane also shows your name, in
Note
the center of the comment™s title bar. If you want to be identified differently, simply edit
the User Information tab.




Figure 11-1: A comment placed into a document.
Chapter 11 ¦ Comments and Reviewing Functions in Word 259

You can switch between the Reviewing pane ” which contains both comments and
information about reviewing changes, which is covered later in this chapter ” and your
document-editing area by clicking in either area or by pressing F6. You can adjust the size
of the Reviewing pane by dragging the split bar that separates the two panes on your
screen, and you can close it by double-clicking the split bar.
You can also use the Reviewing toolbar (View_Toolbars_Reviewing) to work with
Comments. This toolbar is intended mainly for use with the Reviewing features, which
you learn about later in the chapter, but it also has a few comment-related features. The
toolbar includes the Insert Comment button and the Delete Comment button. You click the
Insert Button at the point where you want to place a comment; you click inside a comment
and then click the Delete Comment button to remove a comment. The Reviewing Pane
button opens and closes the Reviewing pane. In Figure 11-2, the toolbar has been
expanded. Not all the buttons appear by default. You can add several other comment
buttons, including Previous Comment and Next Comment (used to move between
comments) and Edit Comment.

Tip
To turn the display of comments on and off, you need to click the Show drop-down arrow
on the Reviewing toolbar and select Comments from the list.




Figure 11-2: The Reviewing toolbar.


Working with comments
Comments can be identified in a number of ways, even while the Reviewing pane is closed.
Assuming that you have turned on the display of comments in the Reviewing toolbar
(Show_Comments), comments can be seen in all views. A light pink background is placed
behind the word to which the comment is attached and behind the reviewer™s initials. In
addition, the word being commented on is enclosed in red brackets, and the initials are
enclosed in black brackets. When you click on comment text inside the Reviewing pane,
the corresponding comment tag within the document is shown with a deeper pink and
darker, thicker red brackets.
In some views (Print Layout, Web Layout, Reading Layout, and Print Preview), you see a
comment balloon instead of the pink background and brackets within the text (see Figure
11-3). The balloon appears in the margin to the right of the comment and has a pink
background. Comment balloons are visible in the views just mentioned unless the display
of balloons has been turned off. Click the Show button on the Reviewing toolbar and select
Balloons to see if Word is set to Always Show Balloons or Never Show Balloons. (Note
that you can choose View_Markup to turn off the color behind the comment but leave the
initials in place.)
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Figure 11-3: The comment balloon.

To reopen the Reviewing pane ” in which you can read comments ” double-click a
comment mark in the document or click Reviewing Pane on the Reviewing toolbar. If you
plan to insert or edit multiple comments, you can leave the Reviewing pane open while you
work on your document.
When you select a comment in the Reviewing pane, Word automatically highlights the
corresponding document text. If you want the comment to refer to more than one word in the
document, select the text before inserting the comment.

Deleting comments is generally quite easy. Place the cursor immediately after a comment and
Tip
press the Backspace key twice. Alternatively, you can right-click inside the comment, or in the
comment text inside the Reviewing pane, and select Delete Comment.


Inserting voice comments
If your computer has sound capabilities ” and most do these days ” you can use voice
comments to add some personality to your comments. You can even combine text and voice
comments for the same reference area. Just create a standard text comment using the tech-
niques described earlier. Then, with your insertion point directly after the comment mark in
the document window, add the voice comment.
To insert a voice comment, follow these steps:
1. Position your insertion point where you want the voice comment to appear. If you
want the comment to refer to a specific section, select the text before you proceed.
Chapter 11 ¦ Comments and Reviewing Functions in Word 261

2. Click the Insert Voice button on the Reviewing toolbar. The Reviewing pane opens,
the normal Comment brackets and shading are placed in the document, a
loudspeaker icon is placed inside the Reviewing pane, and Windows Sound
Recorder opens (see Figure 11-4).
3. Click the red Record button in Sound Recorder ” the last button at the bottom right
” and begin speaking.
4. Record your words and then click the black-rectangle Stop button in Sound
Recorder when you have finished. You can record up to 60 seconds.
5. Close Sound Recorder.




Figure 11-4: Use Sound Recorder to add a voice comment.


Before you create sound comments, be sure you know whether the other people looking
Tip
at the document also have sound capabilities on their computers. If they don™t, they
won™t be able to listen to your comments.

To listen to a sound comment, simply double-click the loudspeaker icon in the Reviewing
pane. You also can right-click the icon, point to Sound Recorder Document Object in the
shortcut menu, and then choose Play.
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Don™t think, however, that you can use voice comments all over the place ” whenever and
wherever you want. Voice comments take up a lot of room. A single short comment may
make the file too large to fit on a floppy disk for instance, or too large to place in an e-mail
message.

If your computer system is pen-equipped, you can also add handwritten pen comments.
Note
Pen comments are treated like drawing objects.


Changing and manipulating comments
Working in the Reviewing pane, you can edit and format comments just like any other text.
Use any of the techniques in the next section to find the comment that you want to edit or
format, and then fire away. You can include most Word elements in a comment; graphics,
frames, and even tables are all fair game. The TC (table of contents entry) and XE (index
entry) fields cannot be inserted in comments, but most things that you can use in a regular
document can also be used in a comment.
You can move, copy, or delete comments just like any other element. Just remember that you
first must select the comment mark before you can move, copy, or delete it. When you
move, copy, or delete comments, Word automatically renumbers the comment marks both in
the document window and in the Reviewing pane.
To move or copy a selected comment to different locations in the same document, or even to
different documents, use any standard cut, copy, or paste technique, including dragging and
dropping with the mouse.
The Replace feature can globally delete all comments in your document. Just choose
Edit_Replace and type ^a in the Find What text box. Leave the Replace With text box
blank, and choose the Replace All button.
If you plan to pass the document back to the original reviewer or to someone else for further
edits, you can answer a comment inserted by someone else. After you view a particular
comment in the ScreenTip to which you want to respond, place the insertion point to the
right of the mark and then click the Insert Comment button on the Reviewing toolbar. Word
then inserts a new comment directly following the current one, and Word also moves the
insertion point to the Reviewing pane, in which you enter your comment. The new comment
with your initials appears right after the original reviewer™s comment, and all comments are
renumbered accordingly. Figure 11-5 shows a new comment inserted in response to an
existing comment. Note the different initials and the renumbering of the other comments. In
addition, comments by different reviewers are displayed in different colors both in the
document and in the Reviewing pane.
Chapter 11 ¦ Comments and Reviewing Functions in Word 263




Figure 11-5: A response comment.


Reviewing comments
When the Reviewing pane is open, you can view all comments attached to the document
simply by scrolling through the pane, just as you scroll through any other text. By default,
all comments are visible when the Reviewing pane is open.
To review comments sequentially, you can use the Next Comment and Previous Comment
buttons on the Reviewing toolbar. The vertical scroll bars in both the document and
Reviewing pane also contain Next Comment and Previous Comment buttons below the
scroll arrows. The button between Next and Previous is the Select Browse Object button,
with which you can specify the type of object that you want to review. To move through
comments, click the Select Browse Object button and then select Browse by Comment
from the displayed palette.
To search for a specific comment or for comments from specific reviewers, use the Go To
feature, which you can access by choosing Edit_Go To, pressing Ctrl+G, or pressing F5.
Word numbers comments sequentially for all reviewers throughout a document, but
comments by individual reviewers are not numbered separately. As comments are inserted
or deleted, the existing comments are renumbered accordingly.
To search for a specific comment, follow these steps:
1. Choose Edit_Go To, press Ctrl+G, or press F5. The Find and Replace dialog box
appears with the Go To tab displayed.
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2. Select Comment in the Go to What list. Figure 11-6 shows the Go To tab with
Comment selected.




Figure 11-6: The Go To tab of the Find and Replace dialog box with Comment
selected.

3. Do one of the following:
• To find a specific reviewer™s comment, select that reviewer™s name from the Enter
Reviewer™s Name drop-down list. The names of all reviewers who have added
comments to the document appear on this list.
• To find a specific comment, enter the number of that comment (without the
reviewer™s initials) in the Enter Reviewer™s Name text box. Note that when you
enter a number, the Next button in the Go To dialog box is replaced by a Go To
button.
• To find a comment that is positioned relative to your current location, enter a
number preceded by a plus or a minus sign. For example, to find the third
comment following your current position, enter +3 in the text box.
4. If you specified a comment number or a relative position, click the Go To button. If
you specified a reviewer, click the Next or Previous button to jump to the next or the
previous comment for that reviewer.
The insertion point jumps to the specified comment mark in your document window.
You then can view, edit, or delete that comment.

You also can use Word™s Find feature to search for comment marks without specifying a
Tip particular comment or reviewer. Just choose Edit_Find to open the Find and Replace
dialog box. Type ^a into the Find What box. When you use this feature to find a com-
ment, Word opens the Reviewing pane and then moves the insertion point to the next or
previous comment (depending on your Search rule) inside the Reviewing pane.


If you want to prevent reviewers from changing a document, you can protect the docu-
Note
ment for comments. That way, the only elements that anyone can add to that document
are comments.
Chapter 11 ¦ Comments and Reviewing Functions in Word 265


Printing comments
Comments print depending on the manner in which you display them.
¦ Hide the balloons, hide the Reviewing pane, and print. Your document prints
without comments.
¦ Show the balloons and print, and your document prints with the balloons in the right
margin. Note, however, that Word may have to adjust the margins to provide room
for the balloons.
¦ Open the Reviewing pane, click inside the pane, and print. The Reviewing pane
itself is printed, without the rest of the document.

Highlighting text
The Highlight button on the Reviewing or the Formatting toolbar is another tool for online
document revision. The button, and the ScreenTip text that appears when you point at it,
indicates the current color selection.
You can use the Highlight button in several different ways:
¦ Select the text and click the button to color the text background.
¦ Select the text and click the Highlight down-arrow; then choose a color from the
drop-down palette of colors.
¦ Don™t select any text. Click the button or select a color, and the mouse pointer
changes into a pen. Drag the pen across the text you want to color or, if you want to
highlight only a single word, double-click that word. To discontinue highlighting,
click the Highlight button again or press Esc. The highlight gives the effect of
having marked the text with a colored felt pen.

Tip If you plan to print the document, be sure to use a light color. This way, the text shows
through the highlight.

After you have added your highlighted comments or revisions, you can use the Edit_Find
command to locate each occurrence. Select Highlight in the Format list and then click Find
Next.
To change the color of all the highlighted text in the document, use the Replace option on
the Edit menu. Start by selecting a new highlight color; then choose Edit_Replace, place
the insertion point in the Find What text box, and select Highlight from the Format button
menu. Place the insertion point in the Replace With text box, and again select Highlight
from the Format button menu. Click Replace All, and the old color is replaced with the new.

Tip The View tab of the Options dialog box (Tools_Options) includes an option for showing
or hiding the highlight both on-screen and when the document prints.
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Using Reviewing Tools
You can use the Track Changes/Reviewing feature to keep track of the changes made to a
document, no matter how many people work on it. Instead of each person actually
changing the original document as he or she edits it, changes are marked as revisions that
can later be accepted and incorporated into the document or rejected and discarded. The
Reviewing toolbar has all of the tools you need for tracking as well as processing changes
to your documents.

You can protect your document to stop reviewers making changes to the document with-
Note
out tracking changes.


Adding revision marks
To have Word mark additions, deletions, and format changes automatically, turn on the
Track Changes option. After you turn on change tracking, any changes that you make are
marked. For example, if you move text, the text in the original location does not disappear,
but it is marked for deletion. Likewise, the text in the new location is marked for insertion. If
you delete text that was added while editing, however, that text actually is deleted. Word
also provides change tracking for changes in formatting as well as in text.

Before you begin marking a document, save a copy of it under a different name. That
Tip
way, you can always go back to the original if any problems arise or you need to double-
check something.

To turn on change tracking, choose Tools_Track Changes, press Ctrl+Shift+E, or double-
click the TRK box in the middle of the status bar. The Reviewing toolbar opens
automatically. By default, Final Showing Markup appears in the drop-down list box. But if
you don™t want revision marks to be displayed while you work (they can be very
distracting), select Final. Word will continue marking the changes, you just won™t be able
to see them until you change this setting.
Working in a document that displays all changes can be very confusing. With Final selected,
you can go ahead and make whatever changes you want and forget about tracking . . . with
one caveat. If you turn off the tracking of changes for some reason, you may forget to turn it
back on because you are used to working without seeing the changes marked.

To turn off tracking, double-click the TRK box on the status bar, right-click the TRK box
Note
and select Track Changes, or click the Track Changes button on the toolbar.
Chapter 11 ¦ Comments and Reviewing Functions in Word 267


Viewing changes
Now that you™ve made a few changes, how can you see them? Select one of the Display for
Review settings from the drop-down list box on the Reviewing toolbar:
¦ Final Showing Markup: Shows the final document ” containing all changes made
” and marks all the changes so you can quickly see them.
¦ Final: Shows the way the final document would appear if you accepted all the
changes. The changes are not marked in any way.
¦ Original Showing Markup: This is very similar to Final Showing Markup, with the
exception that formatting changes are not included. For instance, if you changed a
paragraph from one format to another, the paragraph will be shown with the original,
not the final, formatting.
¦ Original: This shows the document as it appeared before changes were made.
To see the changes you need to select either Final Showing Markup or Original Showing
Markup, which are very similar. In most cases, you™ll probably want to use the former. The
latter is the same with the exception that you will see the paragraph and font formatting that
was in the original document rather than the final.
And what exactly will you see? Something like that shown in Figure 11-7.
¦ Text that has been added is shown underlined.
¦ Deleted text has a strikethrough line through it (although you don™t see it in Page
Layout view, it™s simply removed).
¦ A vertical line is placed in the document margin next to changes.
¦ Changes from various reviewers are shown in different colors (up to eight
reviewers).
¦ Point at a change and pause for a moment, and a box opens describing the change
and telling you who made it and when (choose Tools_Options, click the View tab,
and then click to enable the ScreenTips option in the Show section for this to work).
¦ In Print Layout, Reading Layout, Web Layout, and Print Preview, you™ll see
balloons in the right margin with lines pointing to the changes. The balloon text
explains the change made. For this to work, Show_Balloons_Always Use
Balloons must be selected on the toolbar. You can also choose Show_Balloons_No
Insertion/Deletion Balloons to limit the number of balloons that appear. With this
option selected, you see only balloons describing formatting changes.
¦ Choose Show_Insertions and Deletions to turn off the display of underlining,
strikethrough, and color for insertions and deletions. Show_Formatting turns off the
display of Formatting changes.
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¦ Click the Reviewing Pane button to open the pane. Then scroll through to see a
list of all the changes made in the document, with the name of the reviewer in the
middle of each item™s title bar. The title bar also shows the time and date of
the change.




Figure 11-7: A document with revisions marked.


Reviewing, accepting, and rejecting changes
As you can see, you can view all the changes that have been made, and even tell who made
them. You can read through, figure out which changes you want to keep, and accept or
deny changes. When you accept a change, the revision marking for that item is removed. In
other words, text marked for deletion is cut from the document, text marked as inserted text
is incorporated into the document, and text marked for reformatting is reformatted.
Use the Reviewing toolbar buttons to quickly review changes:
¦ Jump between changes using the Previous and Next buttons.
¦ Accept a selected change by clicking the Accept Change button.
Chapter 11 ¦ Comments and Reviewing Functions in Word 269

¦ Click the triangle on the Accept Change button to open a menu, and select Accept
Change, Accept All Changes Shown, or Accept All Changes in Document (to accept
all changes in the document in one fell swoop).
¦ Click the Reject Change button to reject the selected change.
¦ Click the triangle on the Reject Change button to open a menu, and then select
Reject Change, Reject All Changes Shown, or Reject All Changes in Document (to
reject all changes in the document in one fell swoop).

Good news! When you click on Accept Change or Delete Change, the change is ac-
cepted or rejected . . . and Word doesn™t move. You can now see the change you™ve just
Note
made, and then click the Next button to move on. That may not sound important, but
some versions of Word automatically jumped to the next change when you accepted or
rejected a change so that you couldn™t see the change being incorporated. (You need to
see the incorporation because it™s hard to anticipate what the final text will look like.)
This jumping to the next change was a huge mistake, and Word has finally returned to
this way of working after several years of experimenting with the other method.

Note also that you can use the right-click pop-up menu to accept or reject revisions.

Customizing revision marks
You can change the options that control how revision marks appear in the document.
Choose Tools_Options and click the Track Changes tab. Alternatively, right-click the TRK
box in the status bar and select Options to open the Track Changes dialog box (see Figure
11-8). Table 11-1 describes the available options in this box.

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