Deleting Commented Text

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 17, 2015)

1

Thomas has a large document that has items that should be removed before publishing the document for others. The parts of the document that need to be removed were selected and marked with a comment stating that it should be removed before publishing. Thomas would like to quickly find and replace all the text that was commented in this way and delete it. Using Find and Replace, all he can do is find the comments. He has not found a way to figure out if the comment is an indicator that the text should be deleted, nor has he figured out how to delete the actual document text that was highlighted.

This sounds like a rather involved task, as it involves many steps. You need to find a comment, you need to look at the body of the comment to see if it matches your desired wording, you need to delete the commented text in the document body, and then you need to delete the comment itself. This is a job for a macro.

Fortunately, all the comments in a document are accessible through the Comments group using VBA. You can step through each of the comments and see if it contains the "trigger text" to indicate the comment (and the text to which it refers) should be deleted. In the following example, if the comment text contains the words "delete this" anywhere within the comment, then this serves as the trigger.

Sub DeleteCommentsBaseText()
Dim c As Comment
For Each c In ActiveDocument.Comments
    If LCase(Trim(c.Range.Text)) Like "*delete this*" Then
        c.Scope.Delete
        c.DeleteRecursively
    End If
Next c
End Sub

If the trigger words are in the comment, then the Scope property is deleted; it is this property that indicates the document text that was selected when the comment was created. The DeleteRecursively method is then used to delete the actual comment. (The DeleteRecursively method was added in Word 2013. In earlier versions you should use the Delete method instead.)

Understand that when you run the macro it is very fast and changes cannot be undone. If you want, instead, a bit more control over which comments and text are deleted, then you may want to rethink your workflow. If you use Track Changes, whoever places the comment could also mark the document text for deletion. Then, prior to finalizing the document, you can turn off Track Changes and step through each change to determine if it should be accepted or not. It is not nearly as fast as the above macro, but it gives you greater control.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (2490) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Getting Rid of Negative Zero Amounts

Have you ever seen a worksheet in which some zero values have a negative sign in front of them? There's a reason for ...

Discover More

Exporting Latitude and Longitude

A handy way to store latitude and longitude values in Excel is to treat them as regular time values. When it comes around ...

Discover More

Working with Other People's Files

When you get files from other people, you may want a quick way to apply your formatting to their text. Provided that the ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More WordTips (ribbon)

Converting Text to Comments

One of the strong suits of macros is that they can process the information in a document quickly and reliably. For ...

Discover More

Comments in Headers and Footers

Comments can be a necessity when developing documents in conjunction with other people. They can be used to help document ...

Discover More

Comments Only Visible When Hovering Over a Word or Phrase

The comment feature of Word allows you to easily attach comments to words or phrases in your document. How those comments ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 - 4?

2015-01-17 10:16:50

Thomas Redd

Thanks so much for this wonderful tip! You cannot believe the hours I have spend trying to find a way to do this! I am so grateful for the wisdom of others and this site that brings us all together. A big thank you to those that contributed and to Allen for this his wonderful sites!


This Site

Got a version of Word that uses the ribbon interface (Word 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Word, visit our WordTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.