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Find Comment Numbers

Word used to number comments automatically; you could see those numbers in the comment balloons at the right. Those numbers were handy because they aided cross-referencing and let us refer to specific comments in transmittal memos and other discussions.

Word still numbers comments, but those numbers don’t appear in the balloons in the markup area. Here are three ways to see them: in the Review pane, in Draft view, and by printing a list of markup.


a map "locator pin" styled as the MS Word logo
Find more tips for working with Comments in Chapter 4 of the book.

The primary way that numbering gets tripped up is that numbers update every time a comment is added, deleted, or replied to. That means that when someone replies to comment 2, every comment from there on is bumped up one number. And when commend 47 is deleted, every comment following it is “demoted” by one number. Remember this if you are cross-referencing comments. Numbers can change; be sure to double check them.

You can avoid the renumbering snag by setting comments to “resolved” rather than deleting them, and my replying within a comment rather than replying to it. That first trick isn’t always available, however, and neither trick is best practice. All comments will still have to be all removed to finalize the document.

Got a gnarly Word problem? Submit your problem and we’ll try to answer it in the Q&A thread.

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