Use a screen reader to add, read, and delete comments in Word

Read out loud symbol with the label Screen reader content. This topic is about using a screen reader with Office

This article is for people who use a screen reader program with the Office products and is part of the Office Accessibility content set. For more general help, see Office Support home.

Use Word 2016 with your keyboard and Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to add comments in a Word 2016 document. With comments, you can suggest modifications to documents or mark issues for follow-up. You can easily delete comments after reading or reply to a comment.

Notes: 

In this topic

Add a comment

You can add a comment in a Word 2016 document, for example, when you are reviewing someone else’s work, if you want to write a note in your own document, or if you’d like to track issues for follow-up.

  1. To start the continuous reading at your current location in the document, press Caps Lock+M.

  2. To stop Narrator at a point where you want to insert a comment, press Ctrl.

    Tip: To select more words in the body text to be highlighted as commented text, press Ctrl+Shift+Right arrow key. You hear the selected words

  3. To add a new comment, press Ctrl+Alt+M. You hear: “<User name>, comment, editing.” In JAWS, you hear: “Inserting comment <comment number> by <user name>.”

  4. Type your comment. To exit the comment pane and return to where you left off in the body text, press Caps Lock+Shift+Insert or Esc.

Show comments in a document

Comments’ insertion points are highlighted in the document’s body text in All Markup mode.

  1. To change to All Markup mode, press Alt+R, TD. You hear: “<the name of the markup currently selected>.” In JAWS, you hear: “Lower ribbon, tracking group box, <the name of the markup currently selected>.” A list with four view options opens.

  2. In the list, press the arrow keys until you hear: “All Markup.” Then press Enter. The focus returns to the body text.

Navigate to and through comments

Narrator announces the comments when reading the body text. The actual comment text and details are displayed in a comment box in the margin of your document. JAWS reads the comment text and announces also who has left the comment when reading the body text. You hear: “Comment, <comment text>, by <commentator>.”

Navigate to comments and back to body text

  1. Make sure you’ve selected All Markup option as instructed above in Show comments in a document.

  2. To start continuous reading, press Caps Lock+M. Let your screen reader read the body text until you hear a comment announced.

  3. To move to the comments, depending on your screen reader, do one of the following:

    • In Narrator, press Caps Lock+Insert. The focus moves to the comments in the margin. To return to where you left off in document editing, press Esc or Caps Lock+Shift+Insert.

    • In JAWS, press Shift+Ctrl+Apostrophe (‘). You hear: “Please wait, processing <number of comments> items, reviewer’s comments dialog.” In the Reviewer’s Comments dialog, press the Up or Down arrow key to listen to the comments and to hear info on who left the comment and when. When you’re done, press Tab until you hear: “OK button.” Then press Enter. You hear the comment, and the focus returns to the body text.

Navigate through comments

  1. To navigate through all comments in your document, do one of the following:

    • To navigate through all comments, press Alt+R, N. The focus moves to the next comment. To move to the previous comment, press Alt+R, V. Repeat either action until you’ve gone through all comments or have found the comment you were looking for.

    • To navigate through all tracked changes and comments, press Alt+R, H. The focus moves to the next change. To move to the previous change, press Alt+R, F. Repeat either action until you’ve gone through all changes and comments or have found the change or comment you were looking for.

  2. To hear the comment and info on who left the comment and when, use the screen reader item navigation commands. For Narrator commands, see Narrator keyboard commands and touch gestures. For JAWS commands, see JAWS Keystrokes.

Delete comments

You can delete comments one by one or all comments in the document at the same time.

Delete or reply to a single comment

  1. Navigate to a comment you want to delete or reply to as instructed in Navigate to and through comments.

  2. Press Shift+F10. The context menu opens.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To delete the comment, in the context menu, press the arrow keys until you hear “Delete Comment,” and then press Enter. The current comment is deleted. You can then navigate to the next comment in your document.

    • To reply to a comment, press the arrow keys until you hear “Reply to Comment.” Write your reply and then navigate to the next comment.

    Tip: Alternatively, to reply to a comment, press Ctrl+Alt+M when you’re on the comment.

Delete all comments

  1. Press Alt+R, D, O.

Resolve comments

To resolve a comment, mark the comment done. The resolved comment is grayed out in the margin and no more replies can be added. You can delete or reopen a resolved comment. Resolving a comment doesn’t delete it.

  1. Navigate to a comment you want to resolve as instructed in Navigate to and through comments.

  2. Press Shift+F10. The context menu opens.

  3. Press the Up or Down arrow key until you hear “Resolve Comment,” and then press Enter. The current comment is now grayed out

  4. To reopen a resolved comment, navigate to the comment, and press Shift+F10. In the context menu, press the Up or Down arrow until you hear: “Reopen comment.” The comment is editable again.

See also

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Keyboard shortcuts for Microsoft Word on Windows

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Learn how to navigate Word using accessible features

Use Word Mobile with Narrator, the built-in Windows screen reader, to add comments in a Word Mobile document. With comments, you can suggest modifications to documents or mark issues for follow-up. You can easily delete comments after reading or reply to a comment.

Notes: 

  • New Office 365 features are released gradually to Office 365 subscribers, so your app might not have these features yet. To learn how you could get new features faster, visit When do I get the newest features in Office 2016 for Office 365?.

  • This topic assumes that you are using the built-in Windows screen reader, Narrator. To learn more about using Narrator, go to Get started with Narrator.

  • This topic assumes you are using this app with a Windows phone. Some navigation and gestures might be different for a tablet or PC.

In this topic

Navigate to Review tab

You can find comment functions described in this topic on the Review tab.

  1. In your Word Mobile document, swipe up or down on the screen with one finger until you hear: “Items.”

  2. Swipe right with one finger until you hear: “More Options button, collapsed, double-tap to expand.” Double-tap the screen. The More Options menu expands.

  3. Swipe left with one finger until you hear: “Home button, collapsed. Double-tap to expand.” Double-tap the screen. You hear: “Home, <number of available tabs and the place of the current tab on the menu list>, selected.” The main menu is now expanded.

  4. In the menu, swipe right with one finger until you hear: “Review, <number of available tabs and the place of the current tab on the menu list>, double-tab to select.” Double-tap the screen. You hear: “Word window.” The Review tab options are now available.

Add a comment

You can add a comment in a Word Mobile document, for example, when you are reviewing someone else’s work, if you want to write a note in your own document, or if you’d like to track issues for follow-up.

  1. To start the continuous reading from the current location in the document, swipe down with three fingers.

  2. To stop Narrator at a point where you want to insert a comment, tap the screen.

  3. Navigate to the Review tab as instructed in Navigate to Review tab.

  4. In the Review tab, tap the screen, and then swipe left or right until you hear: “New comment button, double-tap to activate.” Double-tap the screen. You hear: “Comment pop out, editing.” The onscreen keyboard pops out.

  5. Type your comment, and to exit the comment pop out, swipe left or right until you hear : “Close button, double-tap to activate.” Double-tap the screen. The focus returns to the main content area. You hear: “<Document name>.docx editing.”

Navigate to comments

You can navigate to a comment either from the body text when Narrator is reading the document or you can use the Review ribbon’s Next and Previous buttons to move between comments.

Navigate to a comment from the body text

Narrator announces the inserted comments along with the body text. In the continuous reading mode, when you hear the comment landmark, you can stop reading and move to the comment.

  1. To start the continuous reading from the current location in the document, swipe down with three fingers. When Narrator encounters a comment, you hear: “Comment, <comment insertion point in the text>. End comment.”

  2. To stop the continuous reading at the comment, tap once with two fingers.

  3. To navigate to the comment text, swipe left or right with one finger until you hear: “Comment hints, contains <number of comments> items, double-tap to activate.” Then double-tap. The comments gutter opens.

  4. Swipe up or down with one finger until you hear “Landmarks and containers,” and tap once with one finger to select. Then swipe left or right with one finger until you hear: “Comments gutter. Contains <number of comments> items.” Tap once with one finger to select.

  5. Swipe up or down until you hear: “Items.” Tap once with one finger to select. Swipe left or right until you hear: “Comment group, comment of <number of comments>.” Then tap once to select.

  6. Swipe right to hear Narrator read the comment box.

  7. Swipe left until you hear: “Next button, double-tab to activate.” Then double-tap to move to a next comment.

Navigate to a comment using the Review ribbon

  1. In the Review tab, swipe right with one finger until you hear: “Comments group.” In the Comments group, keep swiping until you hear: “Next button, double-tap to activate.” Then double-tab the item with one finger.

  2. Swipe up or down with one finger until you hear: “Landmarks and containers.” Tap once with one finger to select.

  3. Swipe left or right until you hear: “Comment gutter, contains <number of items> items.” The focus moves to the comment text box. The comment menu is displayed.

  4. Swipe up or down until you hear: “Items.” Tap once with one finger to select. Swipe left or right until you hear: “Comment group, comment of <number of comments>.” Then tap once to select the comment.

  5. Swipe right to hear Narrator read the comment box.

  6. Swipe left until you hear: “Next button, double-tab to activate.” Then double-tap the screen to move to a next comment.

Reply to a comment

You can reply to a comment left by someone else to make it easier for everyone to follow the whole conversation.

  1. Navigate to a comment to which you want to reply as instructed in Navigate to comments.

  2. Swipe left with one finger until you hear: “New comment button, double-tap to activate.” Then double-tap the screen. You hear: “<User name>, comment, editing.” The onscreen keyboard pops out.

  3. Type your comment, and to exit the comment, swipe left or right until you hear: “Close button, double-tap to activate.” Double-tap the screen. The focus returns to the main content area. You hear: “<Document name>.docx editing.”

Delete comments

You can delete comments one by one or all comments in the document at once.

Delete a single comment

  1. Navigate to a comment that you want to delete as instructed in Navigate to comments.

  2. Swipe left with one finger until you hear: “Delete button, double-tap to activate.” Then double-tap the screen. The current comment is deleted and the focus moves to the next comment in the document.

Delete all comments

  1. In the Review tab, swipe right with one finger until you hear: “Delete. Collapsed, split button, double-tap to activate, triple-tap to expand.” Triple-tap the screen. Swipe down with one finger until you hear: “Items.” Then tap the screen. You hear: “Delete button, double-tap to activate.”

  2. Swipe right until you hear: “Delete All Comments in Document button, double-tap to activate.” Double-tap the screen.

See also

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Use a screen reader to check spelling in a document in Word

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Learn how to navigate Word using accessible features

Technical support for customers with disabilities

Microsoft wants to provide the best possible experience for all our customers. If you have a disability or questions related to accessibility, please contact the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk for technical assistance. The Disability Answer Desk support team is trained in using many popular assistive technologies and can offer assistance in English, Spanish, French, and American Sign Language. Please go to the Microsoft Disability Answer Desk site to find out the contact details for your region.

If you are a government, commercial, or enterprise user, please contact the enterprise Disability Answer Desk.

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