Note: This feature is currently available in Word for the web for all users. In Word for Windows, it's available in Beta Channel and rolling out to Current Channel (Preview) and Production. In MacOS, it's available in Beta Channel and rolling out in Current Channel (Preview).
We've rolled out a new, more modern comments experience in Word with an improved @mention experience and keyboard shortcuts. These improvements set the stage for richer collaboration by your team, unify how comments work across Word endpoints—as well as Excel and PowerPoint—for a consistent, coherent experience.
Let’s look at what’s new.
A consistent experience
With modern comments in Word, we’re aligning how comments work across Office on different endpoints, so that you and your team can rely on a consistent experience regardless of whether you’re using Word, Excel, or PowerPoint on Windows, MacOS, or the web.
Stay in control
With this update, you no longer have to worry about your comments being seen by others before you’re finished editing them. After you draft a new comment or reply, click the Post comment or Post reply button or use the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Enter (Windows) or Cmd + Enter (MacOS) to share your thoughts with others.
Choose how you view comments
In Word you'll find comments to the right of your page, by default. In this view, contextual comments are side-by-side with the page content, to help you focus on the feedback that’s most relevant to the part of the document you’re working on. To help you focus on what’s active, when you resolve comments they’ll be moved out of your way to the Comments pane.
In the Comments pane, you can see a single list of all comments in your document, including resolved comments.
To switch between the contextual view and the Comments pane, simply click the Comments button in the upper right corner of your Word window.
Resolve comment threads
Comments in documents generally represent questions, ideas, or concerns about the content. When those have been addressed, 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 Comments pane) to help you stay focused on what’s active.
Improved @mentions in comments
This feature is only available to enterprise customers for files that are in the cloud.
After you've started your new comment or reply, you can use the @mention feature to call out to one or more of your colleagues in your organization or school. Simply type the @ symbol followed by their name or email alias.
Tip: The email alias is that part of the email address before the @ sign. For example: "alexw" is the email alias for email@example.com.
When you post your comment, anybody that you've @mentioned in it will get an email notification. Whoever started the comment thread will also be notified. Notification emails let your collaborators know there’s been new activity in the comment thread, gives them a preview of the document content where the comment was made, 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 document and go straight to the comment you left, if they want to see more context.
Assign tasks with @mentions
This feature is only available to enterprise customers in Word for the web.
An @mention is also important for assigning tasks to your collaborators. When you @mention someone, you have the option to assign the comment to them as a task. As with a normal @mention, the person you assign the task to will get an email notification. When the person assigned a task has completed the task, they can resolve it.
Increased confidence by design
A comment or reply can only be edited by the person who created it.
With this update we've also improved the accessibility of comments by adding more ways to navigate and read comments using your keyboard and screen reader.
We're just getting started with improving your comments experience. Stay tuned for more new and exciting comments and collaboration features to help you and your team be more productive in Word and Office.
Why don't I see it?
Modern Comments are available only if you're using Word for Microsoft 365. If you're using an older version of Office, you'll still see comments from other users, but in the classic Comments experience.