We've rolled out a new, more modern comments experience in the current versions of PowerPoint including our mobile and web versions. This new experience improves collaboration by adding a number of new capabilities to the commenting experience.
Note: For our enterprise customers this feature is turned off by default. If you're an IT Administrator looking for information on how to enable it see What IT Admins need to know about modern comments in PowerPoint.
Let's take a look at what's new.
In the new experience, comments are anchored to objects so if you move the object, the comment goes with it. This makes it easier to see specifically what part of a slide the reviewer is commenting on, and more reliable if you reorganize your content later.
Using comment anchoring is simplicity itself. Just select the object on the slide that you want to comment on and then select Comment or @Mention from the Review tab of the ribbon, or from the right-click context menu, or from the floating toolbar that appears when you've selected an object.
You can type your new comment in the comments pane at the right and select Post (or press CTRL+Enter on Windows, or CMND + Enter on Mac) to finish your comment.
Once the comment is posted you can drag the comment bubble anywhere within the object you commented on to indicate specifically what you're referring to.
Comments in the margin or the comments pane
In PowerPoint for the web you'll find comments in the margin, to the right of your slides, by default. If you want to access all of the features of modern comments you can open the Comments Pane. To turn on the Comments pane, click the Comments button towards the top right corner of the PowerPoint window.
Anchoring comments to text
Text anchoring is a new way to anchor your comments to a specified range of text, instead of to an object. To add an anchored-text comment, select the text you want and click New Comment in the Review tab or click New in the Comments pane. The text is highlighted. The shade of the highlighting varies depending on whether the text is light or dark.
You can edit the highlighted text. Any text you add within the highlighted range will expand the highlighted area. Likewise, removing text will cause the highlighted area to contract. Adding text at the beginning or end of a range of highlighted text will not expand the highlighted area.
When you're working with text-anchored comments, you'll notice that the highlighting changes depending on whether the comment in the Comments pane is hovered over or selected. If neither, the highlighting is visible if the text box object is selected or if you've turned on Show Advanced Markup.
Improved @Mentions in comments
This feature is only available to business and enterprise customers.
One you've started your new comment you can call the attention of one or more of your colleagues by using the @mention feature. Simply type the @ symbol followed by their name or email alias.
Tip: The email alias is that part of their email address before the @ sign. For example: "alexw" is the email alias for email@example.com.
When you finish, and post your comment, anybody that you've @mentioned in that comment will get a notification email. The notification email lets them know you mentioned them, and gives them a preview of the slide where the comment happened, as well as the comment you left. They can reply to your comment from the email, or they can click a link in the notification email to open the slide deck and go straight to the comment you left, if they want to see more context.
Resolve comment threads
Comments in files generally represent questions, ideas, or concerns about the content. When those have been addressed, modern comments allow you to mark that thread as resolved. Resolved comment threads won't appear in the margin (though you can still find them in the comment pane) so you can focus on the comment threads that still have open issues.
Increased confidence by design
A modern comment can only be edited by the person who created it.
Show Advanced Markup
By default, modern comments shows the comment marker only for the currently selected comment. However, you can set PowerPoint to show all comment markers on the slide at the same time.
To change this setting, go to Review > Comments > Show Comments and select Show Advanced Markup.
The setting lasts only for a single session. If you close and reopen the presentation, you'll need to change the setting again to have PowerPoint show all comment markers for a slide.
We're just getting started with improving our comments experience. Watch this space for more new and exciting features to help make your collaboration richer, more secure, and easier.
Why don't I see it?
Modern comments are only available for business and enterprise users at this time. By default, creating new modern comments is turned off for enterprise installations. Availability for consumer customers is coming, but there's no release date now.
If you're a business or enterprise user and still don't see modern comments, it may be that you're using a build of PowerPoint that hasn't received these new features yet.
Also, these new comments will only be available to customers using current versions of PowerPoint including PowerPoint for Microsoft 365, PowerPoint for Android, PowerPoint for iOS and PowerPoint for the web.
If you're using older versions of PowerPoint you won't be able to read or create modern comments. If you receive a file that has modern comments in it, and you have PowerPoint 2010, PowerPoint 2013, PowerPoint 2016, or PowerPoint 2019, you'll get a notification prompting you to open it in PowerPoint for the web to review modern comments.
If you're using a work or school account it's possible that your IT administrator hasn't enabled the modern comments for you. You may want to reach out to them and ask them if they can turn it on.