Published August 10, 2021

Feature Update: Modern comments in Word (Mac)

Reference ID:

MC240613 – Updated August 10, 2021: Microsoft has updated the rollout timeline below. Thank you for your patience.

Microsoft is rolling out a new comments experience in Word with improved keyboard shortcuts as well as improved @mentions and notifications. This experience unifies how comments work across Word, Excel, and PPT.   

Key points

  • Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 76166
  • Timing:
    • Current Channel Preview, March
    • Current Channel, August (previously June)
  • Roll-out: User-level
  • Action: review and assess  

How this will affect your organization

When this has rolled out to your users, they will see the modern comments experience, which allows them to @mention and post comments without worrying that co-authors will see their comments before they are complete.

Modern comments provides a consistent commenting experience across Word, Excel and PowerPoint. Users will be able to respond to comments directly from an email notification. The new design provides a focused view of comments as well as an optional all comments view via the Comments pane. With the new post model, Ctrl+Enter is a keyboard shortcut for posting comments.

The new experience shows comments to the right of the page by default. This default focused view hides all resolved comments so you can focus on active comments. The Comments button in the upper right corner of your Word window lets you switch to the Comments pane. This shows all comments in the document including resolved comments.

Note: Modern comments will temporarily include support for an opt-out toggle in Word’s Options dialog. This will allow users to revert the comments experience to Microsoft’s legacy comments model while they continue to iterate on the new experience and listen to customer feedback. If you use Group Policy to manage Office settings, there will be a policy setting that admins can use to turn off the ability for users to opt-out of Modern comments.

What you need to do to prepare

You might want to notify your users about this new capability and update your training and documentation as appropriate. 

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