Comment tool basics

The comment tool in Word provides a way for you to add comments to a document that are displayed separately from the main text. Comments do not interfere with the main text or its formatting and you can switch between seeing them or not seeing them if you want.

This posting explains some key elements of using them, but for more detail see the Microsoft website .

Adding a comment

To add a comment, highlight a section of text and then select New Comment from the Review tab of the Ribbon


A blank comment box will appear to the right of the text in which you can write your comment, as shown below.



Setting the colour of comments

Your comment box may be a different colour to what is shown above. You can set the colour options using the options under Review > Track Changes > Change Tracking Options.


A window will open with many option for tracked changes, but in the top section you will find one for Comments. In the screenshot below the colour Teal is applied to comments.



Deleting a comment

To delete a comment, place your cursor in the comment and select the Delete command from the Review tab



Hiding comments

If you want to keep the comments there, but not see them, there are a couple of ways to do this. One is to deselect Comments from the list that appears when you click on Show Markup on the Review tab, as shown below.



Long comments

If your document has lots of long comments, they will eventually be partly hidden. This is indicated by a small … symbol that shows in the bottom right of the comment box as shown below.


To see the part of the comment that is not showing, simply click on the … symbol. A new pane will open on the left of the screen showing the entire comment.

Using the navigation pane in Word


The Navigation Pane in Word is a really neat tool when you are working with any document that contains several (or more) sections. It allows you to see your document structure, change the levels of headings easily and rearrange sections of work with a simple drag and drop action. This posting explains how to use these features in Word.

Go to View > Show > Navigation Pane to open the navigation pane in Word.


A left hand pane will open which is the Navigation Pane. If your document contains no headings styles it will say so. (If you don’t use heading styles you should – here is post that explains how). However if you have used heading styles throughout your document it will show them like this.


Notice how the headings are shown with indents indicating the different levels, making it easy to see how the document is organised.

Expand and collapse sections using the triangles
  • A triangle indicates headings that have subheadings and clicking on the triangle allows you to expand or collapse the subheadings.
Use the Navigation Pane to get around your document
  • Clicking on any of the headings takes you straight to that part of the document so you can use it as a quick way to get around a large document.
Use the right click menu to control what you see, change heading levels and print and delete specific sections
  • Right clicking on any of the headings in the Navigation Pane brings up the right click menu which has some handy tools.


  • Use the Expand All, Collapse All and Show Heading Levels tools to control how many levels of subheadings you see.
  • Use the Promote and Demote tools to change the level of individual headings. Their subheadings will also change correspondingly and so will the look of the heading.
  • Use Print Heading and Content to print out only specified sections of the document.
  • Use the Delete to delete both a heading and the content that is under that heading.
Use drag and drop to rearrange sections
  • The Navigation Pane also has a very handy drag and drop feature. Just click and hold the left mouse button on the heading of the section you want to move and drag it to a new place on the navigation pane. The heading and all the text below it will be moved. Any subsections will also move with it.