Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Word versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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: Converting Paragraphs to Comments.

Converting Paragraphs to Comments

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated February 4, 2023)
This tip applies to Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021


1

When developing a document, it is not unusual to use a particular paragraph style for editorial notes. For instance, the notes may be stored in paragraphs using a style called "Notes". At some point, you may want to take all the paragraphs that use the Notes style and convert them to actual comments in the document. You can go through the document and make the conversion manually, but this can quickly get tedious. Instead, use a macro that does the conversion for you:

Sub ConvertNotesToComments()
    Dim CommentText As String
    Dim MyRange As Range
    Dim iPCount As Integer
    Dim J As Integer

    Application.ScreenUpdating = False
    iPCount = ActiveDocument.Paragraphs.Count

    For J = iPCount To 1 Step -1
        If ActiveDocument.Paragraphs(J).Style = _
          ActiveDocument.Styles("Notes") Then
            Set MyRange = ActiveDocument.Paragraphs(J).Range
            CommentText = MyRange.Text

            'Get rid of trailing end-of-paragraph mark
            CommentText = Left(CommentText, Len(CommentText) - 1)

            'Move selection to end of previous paragraph
            MyRange.Collapse (wdCollapseStart)
            MyRange.Move Unit:=wdCharacter, Count:=-1

            'The original paragraph is no longer necessary
            ActiveDocument.Paragraphs(J).Range.Delete

            'Create the comment at the range location
            ActiveDocument.Comments.Add Range:=MyRange, _
              Text:=CommentText
        End If
    Next J
    Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub

The macro steps backwards through the document, looking at the style of each paragraph. If it finds one that uses the Notes style, then it moves the text of the paragraph into the CommentText variable, and then gets rid of the paragraph. The comment is then added to the end of the paragraph prior to where the deletion was made.

Before ending this tip, I need to make sure I provide just a bit of clarification. As of this writing, Microsoft has changed the wording it uses. "Comments" are now threaded discussions, and traditional comments are now called "Notes." Not only did this muddy the water (and make explanations more difficult), it also caused an uproar in the Word community.

The point of bringing this up is that any reference to comments within this tip refers to the traditional comments, which you may now know as notes. So, the macro above will convert the paragraphs to what Microsoft now calls Notes.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the WordTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

WordTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Word training. (Microsoft Word is the most popular word processing software in the world.) This tip (13382) applies to Microsoft Word 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Word in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Word here: Converting Paragraphs to Comments.

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

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What is two more than 2?

2023-02-04 15:42:26

Tomek

Allen,
Good and useful tip. It lets the author to type the document as fast as he thinks, then deal with formatting, Comments er. Notes later.

Why Microsoft didn't keep the comments as they were, and create Notes to do threaded discussions is beyond logic.


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