Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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 Use Tiny Font when Printed.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 27, 2014)
Laura uses Word to grade her students' essays. She loves the comment feature; it allows her to help them revise sentences or gives her space to explain something they've done wrong or right. With younger students, she tends to keep her comments short. With older students, she often needs more room. When the student or Laura prints the essay with these comments, the font is extremely small. If her students are going to read her comments, Laura has to make it as easy and accessible for them as possible. She can increase the size of the comment text on the screen, but printing always results in extremely small type. Laura wonders if there is a way to print out with comments using a larger font, at least comparable to the font she uses for the comments on the screen.
There are a couple of things at play here that figure into a complete answer. First of all, it is important to realize that there are two ways that comments can be printed in Word. First, you can print comments in balloons, as they normally appear on the screen. Second, you can print comments on a separate page.
When you are using Word 2007 you control how comments are printed by using the controls in the Print dialog box. (Press Ctrl+P to display the Print dialog box.) The Print What drop-down list allows you to select a number of different options. Two of those options are germane to comments, however:
There is no Print dialog box, per se, in later versions of Word. When you press Ctrl+P you see the Print portion of the File tab. You specify what you want to print by clicking the drop-down list immediately under the Settings label. You can then use the List of Markup and Print Markup settings to specify what you want printed.
The method of printing you choose is important. If you choose to print the document showing the markup (using balloons), then Word uses a different style to control the printing of the text in the balloons than if you choose to print the list of markup. Here are the styles that apparently control the formatting of comments:
There is also a style called Comment Subject. It is unclear how or when Word uses this style automatically.
Theoretically, it is possible to change how comments are formatted when printed by making changes to the above styles. (How you change styles is discussed in other WordTips.) I say "theoretically" because there may be other factors at play, as well. For instance, if you choose to print comments in balloons, and you use a font size that Word considers too large to display the balloon properly in relation to the main document, then it may "scale" the balloon to print it. Unfortunately, there doesn't seem to be a way to get around this scaling without printing the comments on a separate markup list.
WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (9351) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Comments Use Tiny Font when Printed.
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!
When you insert a comment into a document, Word keeps track of who entered it and the date when it was entered. Here's how to ...Discover More
Adding comments to a document is a normal activity when writing and editing. Once comments have been added, you may wonder ...Discover More
Got comments in your document? Want to get rid of them all? The easiest way to do so is going to depend on the complexity of ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in WordTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
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.