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: Viewing Comments.

Viewing Comments

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 22, 2013)

When you are adding a comment, Word opens the Comments window (Word 97 and Word 2000) or the Reviewing Pane at the bottom of the document window (Word 2002 or Word 2003). Most users, when they are through entering the comment text, close the Comments window or Reviewing Pane so they will be able to see more of their document at once. If you later want to view your comments, how you do so depends on the version of Word you are using. If you are using Word 97 or Word 2000, follow these steps:

  1. Choose the Comments option from the View menu. Word displays the Comments window.
  2. Make any changes to your comments, as desired.
  3. Close the Comments window by clicking on the window's Close button, or by again choosing Comments from the View menu.

You should note that if there are no comments within the current document, the Comments option is not available on the View menu (step 1). Instead, it is grayed out, so it cannot be selected.

If you are using a later version of Word there are two ways that comments can be displayed: either in the Reviewing Pane or in balloons to the right side of your document. If you want to display the Reviewing Pane, follow these steps if you are using Word 2002 or Word 2003:

  1. Make sure the Reviewing toolbar is displayed. (If necessary, choose View | Toolbars | Reviewing.)
  2. Click the Reviewing Pane button at the right side of the toolbar. The Reviewing Pane should appear.
  3. Make any changes to your comments, as desired.
  4. Close the Reviewing Pane by again clicking on the Reviewing Pane tool.

If you want to display your comments in balloons in Word 2002 or Word 2003, then you should follow these steps:

  1. Choose Options from the Tools menu. Word displays the Options dialog box.
  2. Make sure the Track Changes tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Track Changes tab of the Options dialog box.

  4. Make sure the Use Balloons in Print and Web Layout check box is selected.
  5. Click on OK.

You should see your comments in balloons at the side of your document. You can change any of the comments by clicking within a balloon and making your changes. Then, click some other area of your document outside the balloon.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1891) 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: Viewing Comments.

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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