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Removing Comment Brackets for Printing

Subscriber Jim Carroll, a Word 2002 user, recently described a process he uses for adding comments to a document and then removing them for printing. He uses the "balloon" feature, which displays comments as balloon text at the right side of a document. Prior to printing, he turns the balloons off (Tools | Options | Track Changes tab), but small red brackets appear around the commented text within the document. He wondered how to get rid of the red brackets.

To understand the answer to this question, you must understand the purpose of comment balloons in Word and how they are controlled. Balloons are simply an alternative way to display comments. Some people like balloons, and others don't. You can turn the balloons on and off at will, as described earlier in this tip. Whether the balloons are displayed or not, the comment markers--the small red brackets--are always displayed.

To turn off the comment markers so you can print a "clean" copy of your document, you should follow these steps:

  1. Make sure the Reviewing toolbar is displayed.
  2. Using the Display for Review drop-down list at the left side of the toolbar, choose Final. The comments no longer appear in the displayed document.
  3. Choose Print from the File menu. Word displays the Print dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Print dialog box.

  5. Using the Print What drop-down list, make sure Document (not Document Showing Markup) is selected.
  6. Click on OK. Your document is printed.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1903) applies to Microsoft Word 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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