Redesigned Comments in Word

By Office Feature PM on December 9, 2019

Hi, I’m Kallie Bracken, a Program Manager on the Word team, and I’m here to share some exciting news with you.

As part of our effort to bring consistency to the reviewing experience and facilitate collaboration across apps and platforms, we are happy to announce the arrival of the Comments pane to Word on Windows Desktop.

Meet the Comments pane

The Comments pane opens by default if your document contains any comments and gives a you a convenient place to work with them, whether you are viewing, responding, or resolving.

Screenshot of a Word document that contains comments. Comments are visible in a Comments pane located on the right side of the screen.

More control over your feedback

Don’t worry about posting a comment before completing your thought fully, just use the Post button when you’re ready to share your feedback or the Cancel reply button when the feedback no longer applies. You can also delete a comment thread that is no longer needed or resolve a comment thread when the conversation is complete.

(Left image) Screenshot of a comment in Word, emphasizing the Post and Cancel reply buttons in the bottom right-hand corner of the comment. (Right image) Screenshot of a comment in Word, emphasizing the Edit comment, Delete thread and Resolve thread buttons in the ”...” (More thread actions) drop-down menu, which is in the top right-hand corner of the comment.

Getting Started

  1. Open a Word document that already contains comments, or add one by selecting text and using the keyboard shortcut Ctrl+Alt+M.
    • Notice that comments now appear to the right of your document in the Comments pane.
  2. Take the Comments pane for a test drive:
    • Click a comment to put it into focus and highlight the content in the document that it is referencing.
    • Reply to a comment.
    • Draw someone’s attention to a specific question you have for them by adding an @mention in a comment.

Known Issues

Some known issues to be aware of as you use the Comments pane:

  • Accessibility features, such as keyboard navigation and the screen reader experiences, are not yet complete; further changes to improve the experience for Comment users with disabilities 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.


The Comments pane is available in Word for Windows to Insiders running Insider build 2001 (12325.20012) or later.

We’d love to hear from you!

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

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Posted in Feature Deep Dives, Insider Fast, Office Insiders, Windows Desktop, Word

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