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

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated December 13, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016


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. ...

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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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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.

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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.


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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.


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