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: Sorting Comments by Date.

Sorting Comments by Date

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 2, 2016)

Hamed has a document that has many different comments inserted throughout it. He would like to sort the comments by date so that he can get a view of how they were added to the document. He wonders if there is a way to do this.

There is no way to sort comments by date within a document. There are a couple of ways you can work around this, however, to get to what you want. The first way is to simply print the comments in the document. How you do this has been covered in other issues of WordTips. When you print the comments, they appear in the printout—automatically—in chronological order.

If you need more than a printout, however, you could also use a macro to extract all the comments and place them in a new document. The comments could be placed in the document in any order you desire, even chronologically. The following is an example of such a macro. It pulls the comments from your original document and places them in a table in a new document. The table is then sorted by date.

Sub ExtractComments()
    Dim oThisDoc As Document
    Dim oThatDoc As Document
    Dim oTable As Table
    Dim nCount As Long
    Dim n As Long

    On Error GoTo ExitHere

    Set oThisDoc = ActiveDocument

    ' get comment count
    nCount = ActiveDocument.Comments.Count

    ' Exit if there are no comments
    If nCount = 0 Then
        MsgBox "No comments in document"
        GoTo ExitHere
    End If

    Application.ScreenUpdating = False

    'Create a new document for the comments
    Set oThatDoc = Documents.Add

    'Set to landscape
    oThatDoc.PageSetup.Orientation = wdOrientLandscape

    'Insert a 5-column table for the comments
    Set oTable = oThatDoc.Tables.Add _
      (Range:=Selection.Range, _
      NumRows:=nCount + 1, NumColumns:=5)

    'Format the table appropriately
    With oTable
        .Range.Style = wdStyleNormal
        .AllowAutoFit = False
        .PreferredWidthType = wdPreferredWidthPercent
        .PreferredWidth = 110
        .Columns(1).PreferredWidth = 15
        .Columns(2).PreferredWidth = 5
        .Columns(3).PreferredWidth = 35
        .Columns(4).PreferredWidth = 35
        .Columns(5).PreferredWidth = 20
        .Rows(1).HeadingFormat = True
    End With

    'Insert table headings
    With oTable.Rows(1)
        .Range.Font.Bold = True
        .Cells(1).Range.Text = "Date"
        .Cells(2).Range.Text = "Page"
        .Cells(3).Range.Text = "Comment Scope"
        .Cells(4).Range.Text = "Comment"
        .Cells(5).Range.Text = "Author"
    End With

    'Get info from each comment from oThisDoc and insert in table
    For n = 1 To nCount
        With oTable.Rows(n + 1)
            .Cells(1).Range.Text = Format(oThisDoc.Comments(n).Date, _
              "m/d/yy h:m am/pm")
            .Cells(2).Range.Text = oThisDoc.Comments(n).Scope _
              .Information(wdActiveEndPageNumber)
            .Cells(3).Range.Text = oThisDoc.Comments(n).Scope
            .Cells(4).Range.Text = oThisDoc.Comments(n).Range.Text
            .Cells(5).Range.Text = oThisDoc.Comments(n).Author
        End With
    Next n

    ' Sort the table by date ascending
    oThatDoc.Tables(1).Select
    Selection.Sort ExcludeHeader:=True, FieldNumber:="Column 1", _
      SortFieldType:=wdSortFieldDate, SortOrder:=wdSortOrderAscending
    Selection.Collapse

    Application.ScreenUpdating = True
    Application.ScreenRefresh

    oThatDoc.Activate

ExitHere:
    Set oThisDoc = Nothing
    Set oThatDoc = Nothing
    Set oTable = Nothing
    On Error GoTo 0
End Sub

The above macro is a simplified and adapted version of a more complete macro written by Lene Fredborg, which can be found here:

http://www.thedoctools.com/index.php?show=mt_comments_extract

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (11217) 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: Sorting Comments by Date.

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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