Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. If you are using an earlier version (Word 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Word, click here: Comments in Headers and Footers.

Comments in Headers and Footers

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated July 18, 2020)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365


Chip noticed that when he is working in either the header or footer of a document, the New Comment tool on the Review tab of the ribbon is not available. He wonders if there is a way to insert a comment in either the header or footer.

As far as we've been able to determine, Word doesn't allow you to insert comments in headers or footers. We haven't seen a good explanation for why this is; perhaps it is because headers and footers are designed to be repeated over and over on each printed page, and Microsoft felt there would be no need to repeat a comment over and over.

A simple workaround is to use a text box to simulate a comment. A text box can be created within the header or footer, and it can contain the same sort of text that you might have placed within a comment. Unlike the comment, Word has no problem repeating the text box every time it prints the header or footer.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9254) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Word in Microsoft 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Comments in Headers and Footers.

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. ...

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