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: Deleting All Comments.

Deleting All Comments

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 19, 2012)

When writing and editing a document, it is not uncommon to add comments throughout the document. This is particularly true if you are writing a "team" document, where several people have responsibility for different parts of the document.

When you are through working on the document, you may want a way to get rid of all the comments at once. One easy way to do this is to use the Find and Replace feature in Word. Follow these general steps:

  1. Configure Word so that hidden text is visible on-screen.
  2. Press Ctrl+H to bring up the Replace tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  3. Type "^a" (without the quotes) in the Find What box. This searches for the Comment reference symbol.
  4. Leave the Replace box empty.
  5. Click on Replace All.

This will delete all the comments in the document if you are using Word 97 or Word 2000. It won't work if you are using a later version of Word because it appears that the ^a code is no longer available. Instead, you can follow these steps to delete the comments if you are using Word 2002 or Word 2003:

  1. Make sure the Reviewing toolbar is displayed. (If necessary, choose Toolbars from the View menu, then click on Reviewing.)
  2. On the Reviewing toolbar, click the upside-down triangle next to the Reject Change/Delete Comment button. Word displays a drop-down list of options.
  3. Choose the Delete All Comments in Document option.

Depending on how complex the comments are in your document, neither of the above approaches may get rid of all the comments. This is particularly true if you have Track Changes turned on, and the document has gone through much iteration with lots of comments, some with Track Changes in place and some not. If you discover problems, or if you routinely have many, many comments to delete, you may want to consider creating a very short macro to get rid of comments. The following macro will delete all the comments in a document:

Sub RemoveComments1()
    For Each cmt In ActiveDocument.Comments
        cmt.Delete
    Next
End Sub

This macro will work in all VBA-enabled versions of Word. If you are using Word 2002 or Word 2003 you can also use the following single-line macro, if desired:

Sub RemoveComments2()
    ActiveDocument.DeleteAllComments
End Sub

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (1896) 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: Deleting All 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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