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Comments in Text Boxes

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Word 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Word, click here: Comments in Text Boxes.

Text boxes are great for many things, but adding comments is not one of those things. Word won't allow you to add comments to text within a text box, as you can to regular text in your document.

If you absolutely must have comments in your text boxes, there are two possible solutions. The first is to work around it by just adding hidden text in the text box. You can make the hidden text visible or invisible, as the need arises. The second potential solution is to not use text boxes, but use frames.

Frames have been available in Word for longer than text boxes. They provide basically the same capabilities, but there are some differences. One of the differences is that you can add comments to text within frames. (All of the differences between text boxes and frames were covered in a previous issue of WordTips.) To convert a text box to a frame, follow these steps:

  1. If you are using Word 2002 or Word 2003, make sure you drag the text box outside the boundaries of your drawing canvas. (You can delete your drawing canvas, if desired.)
  2. Right-click on the border of your text box. Word displays a Context menu.
  3. From the Context menu, choose the Format Text Box option. Word displays the Format Text Box dialog box.
  4. Make sure the Text Box tab is selected.
  5. Click on the Convert to Frame button. (If you are using Word 2002 or Word 2003 and the button is not available, then you didn't follow step 1.)
  6. Word informs you that by making the conversion, some of the text box's formatting may be lost. Click on OK.

You can now add comments to the text in the frame.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1601) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Word (Word 2007 and later) here: Comments in Text Boxes.

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