Note: This feature is currently available in Word for the web for all users. In Word for Windows and MacOS, it's available in Beta Channel and rolling out to Current Channel (Preview) and Production.
The modern comments experience in Word sets the stage for richer collaboration by your team and enables features such as @mention notifications. Modern comments aligns the commenting experience across Word platforms and other Office apps, especially Word, Excel, and PowerPoint.
Two ways to view comments
When you add a comment in Word, you'll see it appear in the right margin as close to the insertion point in the text as possible. In this view, all active comments are visible in context. When you select a comment, a border appears around it and its position is closer to the page.
This contextual view hides all resolved comments so you can focus on active comments. To view all comments, including all resolved comments, open the Comments pane by clicking Comments in the ribbon.
You can interact with comments in the Comments pane the same as you would in the contextual view. If you reopen a resolved comment, it will be visible again in the contextual view.
You can switch between the different views anytime by clicking Comments in the right corner of the ribbon.
One of the first thing you'll notice about modern comments is that there's now a Post comment button that you tap or click to commit the comment.
You can also press Ctrl + Enter (or Cmd + Enter in MacOS) to post the comment. While it may take getting used to, this feature gives you better control of what you post. In the previous behavior, comments were committed as you typed. This meant that any collaborators on a shared document could see your comment before it was complete. With modern comments, you can review and edit your comments before committing them.
Adding a comment is simple:
Select the text you want to comment on, or click an insertion point in the text, and then do one of the following to make a new comment appear in the right margin:
On the Review tab, click New Comment.
In the Comments pane, click New.
Press Ctrl + Alt + M.
Right-click any text and select New comment in the context menu.
Select the Post comment button or press Ctrl + Enter.
Modern comments continue to work like comments did before. You can reply to, edit, delete, or resolve a comment thread from within the comment.
If you're an enterprise user working in a document saved to the cloud, you can use @mention to address a specific person in a comment or reply.
For more information about using @mentions, see the article Use @mention in comments to tag someone for feedback.
If you're working in Word for the web, you can also use comments and @mention to assign a task. Just @mention someone, and then select the Assign to checkbox to assign the comment as a task.
Yes. Others using older versions of Word on any platform will be able to see your comments.
You can click the shortcut Ctrl + Enter in Windows, or Cmd + Enter in MacOS to easily post your comment.
The new post model aligns with how comments work across Office and gives you confident control over what you share. If you @mention someone, Word notifies that person.
Modern comments currently supports the following formatting:
Bold, italic, and underline
Font colors (not yet available on MacOS or Word for the web)
Highlighting (not yet available on Word for the web)
However, modern comments cards do not currently support:
Editing font color
Showing or editing font size
Bullets and numbering
To view or add unsupported formatting in existing comments, use the Reviewing pane.
If viewing and adding these formatting options in the default comment cards is essential to your workflow, let us know using the in-app feedback so we can prioritize future improvements to modern comments.
You can now view existing images and add new images in modern comments on Windows.
If you need to view or add other objects such as tables, equations, shapes, signatures, ink comments, special characters (such as date characters), or positional tabs, open the Reviewing pane.
Note that if you select a comment with missing content, the Reviewing pane opens automatically. Word will also let you know which comments might have content that doesn’t yet display in modern comments via a Missing content message.
If viewing and adding these other content types in the default comment cards is essential to your workflow, let us know using the in-app feedback so we can prioritize future improvements to modern comments.
Modern comments on Windows supports most AutoCorrect functionality, however there are some capabilities that are not yet fully supported. These include AutoFormat and Math AutoCorrect. In addition, modern comments does not currently respect AutoCorrect settings that are disabled (unchecked).
If AutoFormat or Math AutoCorrect features are essential to your workflow, let us know using the in-app feedback so we can prioritize future improvements to modern comments.
Modern comments checks spelling, but doesn't support other advanced proofing tools, such as grammar suggestions, at this time. We're considering this feature for a future update.
With modern comments we've made anchoring the comment to the content easier to understand and we no longer use the dotted lines you're familiar with from classic comments. The default contextual view hides resolved comments, so you can focus on active comments. If you want to see all comments, open the Comments pane.
Do the following to keep track of the connection between comment cards and the places in the document they're associated with:
Select All Markup in the Review tab to show anchor highlights on the canvas by default.
Hover on the anchor highlight in the document to see added emphasis to the relevant comment card. Similarly, you can hover on or select the comment card to see added emphasis to the relevant anchor highlight.
Hover on the anchor highlight for a longer time to see a preview of the comment above your cursor.
Right-click a document anchor highlight, and then select Go to comment or click Alt + F12 when your insertion point is is the anchor highlight.
When you're drafting a comment, your comment can’t be seen by others. After you post, others will be able to see your comment. Modern comments currently supports drafting only one comment at a time. If drafting more than one comment at a time is important to you, let us know using the in-app feedback so we can prioritize future improvements to modern comments.
When you're drafting a comment, other comment text boxes will show the message Another comment is in progress. You can click this message to return to your active draft.
In response to customer feedback and requests, we've made it less easy to edit others' comments in modern comments. If you need to, you can still edit others' comments in the Reviewing pane.
To turn off modern comments on Windows and MacOS, go to File > Options > General, then clear the checkbox next to Enable modern comments. This allows you to temporarily revert the comments experience to the legacy comments model as the new experience continues to improve and evolve. This setting is temporary and will be removed in the future.
Try viewing all markup inline, so it doesn't show in the margin. Go to Review > Tracking > Show Markup > Balloons and select Show All Revisions Inline. Let us know how this works for you. We're continuing to explore the best options for using comments and tracked changes together.