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 May 23, 2019)

7

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

Formatting Endnote Reference Marks

The reference marks used for endnotes are, by default, formatted "good enough" for most people. If you are one of those ...

Discover More

Formatting Partial Results of a Search

The Find and Replace capabilities of Word are, simply, quite astounding. This is particularly true when using wildcard ...

Discover More

Removing All Text Boxes In a Document

Text boxes are a common element of many types of documents. At some point you may want to get rid of all the text boxes ...

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)

Counting Words in Comments

Word makes it easy to calculate the number of words in a document. If you want to count words only in your comments, then ...

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

Removing All Comments

Need to get rid of all the comments in your document that are added to your text? You can do so by using the regular Find ...

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 - 8?

2021-04-30 05:38:44

sparkle effect

Sparkle Photo Effect & Pip Editor<a href="https://bit.ly/3dRRvEK">Sparkle effect</a> - Masterlogix best app to make your photo fully attractive and heart touching.
You can use four tools in this app with many effects like photo frames, overlays effects, twinkle effects, photo cropping, photo filters and photo borders in this best Photo Editor App - Pip Camera - Sparkle Effect (Blur)


2021-04-19 00:54:10

Pencil Sketch

It’s not easy to make a drawing or real pencil sketch of your face with hand (pencil art) but now use this & <a href="https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.slappslab.sketch.photo.maker">pencil sketch</a> photo editor, photo sketch app & sparkle effect make outstanding simple or coloring photo sketch on one single click. Photo to pencil sketch photo editor, photo sketch & sparkle effect best app to make you sketcher in pencil drawing art. Pencil sketch photo editor, photo to sketch & sparkle effect best tool to convert your awesome pics into pencil sketch photo editor, photo to sketch or colorful outline sketches.


2021-01-19 10:36:33

mofo

nice


2020-09-10 14:10:35

M

THANK YOU!!


2019-07-25 13:43:56

CQ

This still works in Office 365, though the wording for the right-click menu is slightly different. When you right-click, you just need to select Format AutoShapre/Picture and then follow the rest of the steps as outlined above.


2018-01-09 18:54:13

sureboy

Ok, nice tips https://surenaija.com.ng


2017-02-03 00:31:18

jane garland

I can add a textbox, but how do I hide the lines around the box, and how do I view the lines once I've hidden them.

Thanks.


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.