shiny ornamental metal hinges connect wrist to fingertips

Changes Coming to Comments in Word

“Modern Comments” are rolling out to subscribed Windows users and Word for Web rather like a steam roller over rubber duckies. This new MS Word “feature” is interrupting workflow for many and may render some functions inside them inoperable (such as autocomplete and search). Here’s what to expect:

Click the paper-airplane Post button (or the keyboard shortcut) to complete a comment and be able to work with another comment. Escaping the comment will erase it.
  • A Comment will not “publish” until you click the paper-airplane Post button (or type ctrl + enter — cmd + enter on a Mac)
  • ESC doesn’t exit a Comment but does erase it
  • A Comment can’t be added until the previous one is posted (done)
  • Comments can only be edited by the originator, the announcement says—though our test showed otherwise
  • Editing a Comment requires selecting “Edit” from the meatball menu on the comment’s window—don’t forget to click “Post” again when you’re done!
  • An additional Comments Pane beside the markup pane further narrows the document field

Some Good News

The Comments Pane isn’t necessary unless you want to see those comments that have been resolved.

Users of older versions of Word can see moDeRn cOMmEntS, even though some wording in the directions makes it sound like they can’t. This was not a problem in our test with either Word 2016 or 2010, or between Mac and PC. (This could change as they roll out the “feature” to more subscribers and further tweaks are made. Early reports that spellcheck and search don’t work in Modern Comments seem to have been resolved.)

The words linked to the comment will be “selected” in the document when the comment is active. Though there is no longer a line connecting comments and related content, a comment icon now appears (onscreen only) in the markup area on the row a comment is linked to.

For Mac, Too

Don’t count your blessings, subscribed Mac users, moDeRn cOMmEntS are coming your way too.

Tell MS What You Think

What we wanted was the ability to leave a comment in a footnote or end note. What we got was extra steps.

You can send MS your feedback by clicking the smiley face at the top right corner of your Word window.
a robotic arm does a terrible job applying makeup, from the bad robot series by Simone Giertz
So halp, MS!


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


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© This blog and all materials in it are copyright Adrienne Montgomerie on the date of publication. All rights reserved. No portion may be stored or distributed without express written permission. Asking is easy!

metal structure of ornamental joints linking the wrist and fingertips
art by Jennifer Crupi; bad robot by Simone Giertz
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