Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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 Text Boxes.

Comments in Text Boxes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated November 14, 2015)

Text boxes are great for many things, but adding comments is not one of them. Word won't allow you to add comments to text within a text box, as you can to regular text in your document.

If you absolutely must have comments in your text boxes, there are two possible solutions. The first is to work around it by just adding hidden text in the text box. You can make the hidden text visible or invisible, as the need arises. The second potential solution is to not use text boxes, but use frames.

Frames have been available in Word for longer than text boxes. They provide basically the same capabilities, but there are some differences. One of the differences is that you can add comments to text within frames. To convert a text box to a frame, follow these steps if you are using Word 2007:

  1. Make sure that the text box isn't located on a drawing canvas. Just drag the text box outside the boundaries of your drawing canvas. (You can then delete your drawing canvas, if it isn't serving any other purpose.)
  2. Right-click on the border of your text box. Word displays a Context menu.
  3. From the Context menu, choose the Format Text Box option. Word displays the Format Text Box dialog box.
  4. Make sure the Text Box tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Text Box tab of the Format Text Box dialog box.

  6. Click on the Convert to Frame button. Word informs you that by making the conversion, some of the text box's formatting may be lost.
  7. Click on OK.

You can now add comments to the text in the frame.

If you are using Word 2010 or a later version of Word, the above steps won't work. Microsoft has removed the capability to convert a text box into a frame. You can still add frames, but you can't convert. (To add frames you need to customize the Quick Access Toolbar or the ribbon to add the Insert Frame or Insert Frame Horizontal commands.) Why Microsoft removed this conversion capability is a mystery.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (10193) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Comments in Text Boxes.

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

Aborting a Macro and Retaining Control

If you need to exit a macro before it is finished running, you can do it using a brute force method, or you can build in a ...

Discover More

Counting Precedents and Dependents

Do you need to know how many precedents or dependents there are on a worksheet? You could count them manually, or you could ...

Discover More

Overlining Characters

Want to add an overline above a character or two in your document? There are several ways you can try, as described in this ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

MORE WORDTIPS (RIBBON)

Formatting Comments

Need to change the appearance of the text in your comments? It's easy to do using techniques you are already familiar with.

Discover More

Printing Comments from a Macro

Need to print the comments you've added to a document? You can do it manually or you can have your macro do the printing. ...

Discover More

Deleting Commented Text

Word allows you to add comments to your document to aid in the development of the document. At some point you may want to ...

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 for this tip:

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)

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.

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.

Links and Sharing
Share