Using the Discussion Pane

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 8, 2016)

The Discussion pane is where you do the majority of work while in the midst of a Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003 online discussion. This is where you navigate through the comments of others and make your own responses. You can even edit your previous comments.

You already know that the Discussion pane appears at the bottom of your Word program window. It is similar in nature to the footnotes, endnotes, and comments windows with which you may already be familiar. You manage the Discussions pane by using the Previous and Next tools on the Discussions toolbar. Clicking on either of these allows you to step through the comments saved for a document.

As you are viewing comments, you will notice a small document icon at the end of each comment. (This icon is directly within the comment area of the Discussion pane, and not on a toolbar.) If you click on this icon you can see a menu of actions you can take on the particular comment you are viewing. Most of the time, the only meaningful menu choice is Reply, although if you are the author of the currently displayed comment you can also choose Edit and Delete. (You can also choose these if you have administrator privileges on the discussion server.)

When you click on Reply, Word displays the Enter Discussion Text dialog box, and you can enter a response. Word displays the response in the Discussion pane directly beneath the comment to which you replied.

You can close the Discussion pane by simply clicking on the Close button on the Discussion toolbar. (This also hides the Discussion toolbar.) When you later want to review discussion comments, you will need to again connect to the discussion server.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (773) applies to Microsoft Word 2000, 2002, and 2003.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

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