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Introducing modern commenting in Word

Feature deep dive
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Hi, I’m Kallie Bracken, a Program Manager on the Word team. I’m here to share modern commenting in Word on Windows Desktop. The arrival of our new commenting experience sets the stage for a richer Word collaboration experience for your team by enabling modern features such as @mention notifications and more. This also completes our goal of aligning the commenting experience across Word platforms and other Office apps, especially in Word, Excel & PowerPoint. Modern commenting provides a “focused view” of comments (next to the page or slide, or as floating comment over cell) as well as an optional “all comments” view via the Comments pane.

Explore modern commenting

Choose your view of comments

The new experience shows comments to the right of the page by default. This allows you to focus on your content without missing active comments related to the part of the document you’re working on.

modern commenting experience

When you resolve comments, they’ll be moved out of your way to the Comments pane, where you can always find them later.

GIF of modern commenting experience

To switch between the default, focused view of comments to the right of the page and the Comments pane, simply click the Comments button in the upper right corner of your Word window. We like to call this the “Collab corner!”

GIF of modern commenting experience

Remain in control

Your comments will be seen by others only after you’ve finished editing them and have clicked the Post button.

GIF of modern commenting experience

You can also bring others into the conversation using @mention. Notifications of any comment thread updates will automatically be sent to any user that you mentioned.

How it works

1. Create a comment thread:

  • Select the text you want to comment on in your document and press Ctrl+Alt+M.
  • Type your comment, and then click Post.

2. Take comments for a test drive:

  • Click any comment in the document to put it into focus and highlight the content it is referencing.

GIF of modern commenting experience

3. Reply to a comment thread with an @mention:

  • Click in the box that contains @mention or reply… to reply to an existing comment.
  • Type @ and the name of the person whose attention your want to draw.
  • Click Post to complete your reply.

4. Resolve a comment thread:

  • Click “” on any comment thread, and then click Resolve thread to mark it as complete.
  • If you later need to review all of the resolved comments, click the Comments button in upper right corner of the Word window to open the Comments pane.

Modern commenting experience

Known Issues

Some known issues to be aware of as you use the comments experience:

  • Accessibility features, such as keyboard navigation and the screen reader experiences, are not yet complete. Updates to improve accessibility features will be rolling out soon.
  • Office themes are not yet fully supported. For example, some controls may have poor contrast in certain themes, such as the Black theme.
  • Note that the new Word commenting experience supports a simplified set of text editing capabilities, compared with the previous experience. For example, you’re able to type Bold, Italic, Underline and Strikethrough text, but you will not be able to change font type or color inside comments.
  • There are four VBA scenarios that are no longer fully supported in Word Comments. More details.


The Comments pane is available in Word for Windows to Insiders running Beta Channel Version 2006 (Build 13006.20002) or later.

We typically release features over some time to ensure that things are working smoothly. This is true for Insiders as well. We highlight features that you may not have because they’re slowly releasing to larger numbers of Insiders. Sometimes we remove elements to further improve them based on your feedback. Though this is rare, we also reserve the option to pull a feature entirely out of the product, even if you, as Insiders, have had the opportunity to try them.


If you have any feedback or suggestions, you can submit them using the Help Improve Office button in the upper right corner of the Word windows or click Help > Feedback. We’re excited to hear from you!

Learn more about what other information you should include in your feedback to ensure it’s actionable and reaches the right people. With the Office Insider newsletter, you can get the latest information about Insider features in your inbox once a month.