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: Adding Comments to Your Document.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 21, 2016)
Word allows you to add comments to your document, as a separate element of the document. Comments do not interfere with the main text and appear in their own area of the document. Comments are normally not printed when you print a document.
The way you add comments to your document depends on the version of Word you are using. If you are using Word 97 or Word 2000, follow these steps:
When you are adding a comment, Word opens the comments window at the bottom of the document window. Most users, when they are through entering the comment text, close the window so they will be able to see more of their document at once. If you later want to view the comments window, you can use the Comments option from the View menu. When you select this option, the comments window will be displayed. You can then make changes to comments in the window, if you so desire. To close the window, you can either click on the Close button, or you can again choose Comments from the View menu.
If you are using Word 2002 or Word 2003, the way comments are handled has been greatly changed. You can choose to add a comment, as noted above, by choosing the Comment option from the Insert menu. When you do, you will either see a comment balloon appear at the side of the document (if you are using Print Layout view) or you will see the Reviewing pane appear at the bottom of the screen (if you are using Normal view). Either way, you can type your comments, as desired.
To close the Reviewing pane, you only need to choose Remove Split from the Window menu, or click on the Reviewing Pane tool on the Reviewing toolbar. To later display the Reviewing pane, you must use the Reviewing Pane tool.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1582) 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: Adding Comments to Your Document.
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Got a version of Word that uses the menu interface (Word 97, Word 2000, Word 2002, or Word 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.