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

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 with visual impairments 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 or Fixes or workarounds for recent office issues.

Use Word with your keyboard and a screen reader to add comments in a Word document. We have tested it with Narrator and JAWS, but it might work with other screen readers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques. With comments, you can suggest modifications to documents or mark issues for follow-up. You'll learn how to delete comments after reading or reply to a comment.

Decorative icon Need instructions on how to add comments to a Word document, but not using a screen reader? See Insert or delete 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 can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • To learn more about screen readers, go to How screen readers work with Microsoft Office.

  • When using a screen reader, you'll use that screen reader's modifier key, sometimes along with other related keys, to navigate and interact within the app and execute commands. In our documentation this will sometimes be indicated by "SR key."

In this topic

Add a comment

You can add a comment in a Word 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. Navigate to the location in the body text where you want to insert your comment. For more information, refer to Read a document.

  2. To select the words in the body text to be highlighted as commented text, hold Ctrl+Shift and press the Right arrow key (to select words after the current cursor location) or Left arrow key (to select words before the current cursor location). You hear each selected word.

  3. To add the new comment, press Ctrl+Alt+M. With Narrator, you hear: “Comment,” followed by your user name. With JAWS, you hear: “Inserting comment.”

  4. Type your comment. To exit the comment pane and return to where you left off in the body text, press the Esc.

Show comments in a document

Comment insertion points are highlighted in the document’s body text when you use All Markup mode.

  1. To change to All Markup mode, press Alt+R, T, D. The markup menu is expanded and you hear the name of the currently selected markup.

  2. In the markup list, press the Up or Down arrow keys until you hear “All Markup,” and then press Enter. The focus returns to the body text.

Find comments inline

Your screen reader announces the comments when reading the body text.

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

  2. Do one of the following:

    • With Narrator, press the SR key+Down arrow key to start continuous reading. You can also use other Narrator keyboard commands to navigate, for example, line by line. Narrator announces when it finds a comment in the text. To stop reading, press Ctrl. To read the comment, refer to Navigate between comments.

    • With JAWS, press the Down arrow key to read the text line by line. JAWS announces when it finds a comment in the text. To stop reading, press Ctrl. To read the comment, refer to Navigate between comments.

Read a list of all comments

Sometimes you might want to open a list of all comments instead of reading the body text until you find them.

Read the list with Narrator

  1. Press Alt+R+T, P, H. The Reviewing Pane opens and the focus moves there.

  2. To browse the changes in the pane, press the Up or Down arrow key. You hear the name of each commenter first, and then the comment itself. If the comment takes several lines, you need to press the Down arrow key several times to read it line by line.

    Note: In addition to comments, the Reviewing Pane lists any other revisions too if Track Changes is on. For more information about Track Changes, refer to Use a screen reader to track and review changes in a document in Word.

  3. Press Esc twice to return the focus to the body text.

Read the list with JAWS

  1. Press Ctrl+Shift+Apostrophe (‘) to open the list of comments. You hear: “Please wait, processing.”

  2. In the Reviewer’s Comments dialog, use the Up and Down arrow keys to move in the comment list. JAWS reads the comments and tells you who left the comment and when.

  3. When you’re done, press the Tab key until you hear: “OK button.” Then press Enter to close the dialog and return the focus to the body text.

Navigate between comments

No matter where you are in the document, you can quickly jump to the next or previous comment.

  1. To move to the next comment from your current location, press Alt+R, N. The focus moves to the next comment. To move to the previous comment, press Alt+R, V.

  2. To hear the comment and info on who left the comment and when, use your screen reader's keyboard commands. For example, press the SR key+Down arrow key to read the entire comment.

Delete or reply to 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 between 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 Down arrow key 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 Down arrow key until you hear: “Reply to Comment.” Write your reply and then navigate to the next comment.

    Tip: Alternatively, to reply to a comment after you have navigated to it, press Ctrl+Alt+M.

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 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 between 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 key until you hear: “Reopen comment.” The comment is editable again.

See also

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Use a screen reader to track and review changes in a document in Word

Keyboard shortcuts in Word

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Word

What's new in Office 365

Use VoiceOver, the built-in Mac OS screen reader, to add comments to a Word document. Find comments in the document and type replies to existing comments. When finished, you can mark the comments resolved or delete them.

Notes: 

In this topic

Add a comment

You can add a comment in a Word 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 reading the document, press Control+Option+A.

  2. To stop where you want to insert a comment, press the Up or Down arrow key to find the correct row.

    Tip: To select more words you want to comment on, hold down Shift+Option and press the Left or Right arrow key until the words you want are selected. You hear the selected words.

  3. Press Control+Option+M, I to go to the Insert menu on the menu bar. To add a new comment, press the Down arrow key until you hear "Comment," and then press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  4. Type your comment. When done, press Control+Option+Shift+Up arrow key.

Show comments in a document

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

  1. To go to the View menu on the menu bar, press Control+Option+M, V.

  2. Press the Down arrow key until you hear “Markup,” and then press Control+Option+Spacebar. The focus returns to the body text and the comments are shown.

Navigate through comments

The actual comment text and details are displayed in a comment box in the margin of your document.

  1. Make sure the Markup mode is on. For instructions, check Show comments in a document above. To go to the comment pane in the margin, while in the body text of the document, press Control+Option+Right arrow key.

  2. To hear the comments, press Control+Option+Right arrow key repeatedly.

Reply to comments

  1. Make sure the Markup mode is on. For instructions, check Show comments in a document above.

  2. When you hear a comment you want to reply to, press Control+Option+Left arrow key. You hear: "Reply, button." Press Control+Option+Spacebar.

  3. Type your reply. To move to the next comment, press Control+Option+Right arrow key.

Resolve or delete comments

When a comment is resolved, it's marked as done and grayed out in the margin. Resolving a comment doesn’t remove it, but no more replies can be added. You can reopen or delete a resolved comment. You can also delete comments without marking them as resolved.

  1. Make sure the Markup mode is on. For instructions, check Show comments in a document above.

  2. When you hear a comment you want to resolve or delete, press Control+Option+Left arrow key twice. You hear the name of the user that has left the comment and "You are currently on a text element."

  3. Press Control+Option+Shift+M. The context menu opens. Press the Down arrow key until you hear "Resolve Comment" or "Delete Comment," and press Control+Option+Spacebar to select. The comment is resolved or deleted and the focus returns to the document body text.

See also

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Keyboard shortcuts in Word

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Word

What's new in Office 365

Use VoiceOver, the built-in Android screen reader, to add comments to a Word document. Navigate to the comments in the document, type replies and delete comments.

Notes: 

In this topic

Add a comment

  1. In the Word document, swipe right or left to navigate to the location you want to add the comment to, and double-tap the screen.

  2. Swipe right repeatedly until you hear "New comment, button," and double-tap the screen.

  3. Use the on-screen keyboard to type your comment. When done, tap the screen and swipe left. You hear: "Done." Double-tap the screen.

  4. The comment is added to the document. To close the comment pane and return to the document, swipe left. You hear: "Close, button." Double-tap the screen.

Navigate through comments

Each comment in a Word document is indicated with a small speech bubble in the document's right margin. To hear a comment, first navigate to the comment pane in the margin, and then open the comment pop-out.

  1. To go to the comment pane in the document margin, swipe right repeatedly until you hear: "Comment, hint."

  2. To go to the first comment, swipe right again, and double-tap the screen. The comment pop-out opens. Swipe right until you hear the comment.

  3. To move to the next comment, swipe left until you hear "Next comment, button," and double-tap the screen. TalkBack reads the next comment.

Reply to comments

  1. To reply to a comment, first navigate to the comment as instructed in Navigate through comments above.

  2. Swipe left repeatedly until you hear "New comment, button," and double-tap the screen.

  3. Use the on-screen keyboard to type your comment. When done, tap the screen and swipe left until you hear "Done, button," and double-tap the screen.

Delete comments

  1. To delete a comment, first navigate to the comment as instructed in Navigate through comments above.

  2. Swipe left repeatedly until you hear "Delete, button," and double-tap the screen. The comment is removed and the focus returns to the document body text.

See also

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Set up your device to work with accessibility in Office 365

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Word

What's new in Office 365

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: 

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.” Double-tap the screen. The More Options menu expands.

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

  4. In the menu, swipe right with one finger until you hear: “Review," followed by the number of available tabs and the place of the current tab on the menu list. 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 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 the screen. The focus returns to the main content area. You hear the document name, followed by ".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,” and then double-tap the screen. 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>,” and then tap once to select.

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

  7. Swipe left until you hear: “Next button,” and then double-tap to move to the 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>,” and 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,” and 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,” and 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,” and then 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,” and 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,” and then tap the screen. You hear: “Delete button.”

  2. Swipe right until you hear “Delete All Comments in Document button,” and then double-tap the screen to delete all comments.

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

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Word

Use Word for the web with your keyboard and a screen reader to add comments in a Word document. We have tested it with Narrator, JAWS, and NVDA, but it might work with other screen readers as long as they follow common accessibility standards and techniques. Find existing comments in the document and type replies. When finished, you can mark the comments resolved or delete them.

Decorative icon Need instructions on how to add comments to a Word document, but not using a screen reader? See Insert or delete 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 can get new features faster, join the Office Insider program.

  • To learn more about screen readers, go to How screen readers work with Microsoft Office.

  • Because Word for the web runs in your web browser, the keyboard shortcuts are different from those in the desktop program. For example, you’ll use Ctrl+F6 instead of F6 for jumping in and out of the commands. Also, common shortcuts like F1 (Help) and Ctrl+O (Open) apply to the web browser – not Word for the web.

In this topic

Add a comment

  1. Go to Word for the web in your browser, and open the document you want to comment. For instructions, refer to Open Word for the web and start a new document.

  2. Press the Tab key repeatedly until you hear "Edit Document, button," and press Enter.

  3. Press the Tab key until you hear "Edit in Browser. Make quick changes right here using Word for the web," and press Enter. Your document opens in the Editing view.

  4. Press Ctrl+F6 until you reach the document body text. To start reading, press the SR key+Ctrl+R.

  5. When you reach the piece of text you want to add a comment to, press Ctrl to stop Narrator.

  6. To add a comment, press Ctrl+Alt+M. The comments pane opens, and you can type your comment. When done, press the Tab key until you hear: "Post, button." Press Enter to add the comment to the document.

  7. To close the comments pane and return to the document body text, press Esc.

Navigate through comments

Each comment in a Word for the web document is indicated with a small speech bubble in the document's right margin. While reading the document, Narrator announces when there is a comment, and you can open the comment pane to listen to the comment.

  1. Make sure the document is opened in the Editing view. For instructions on how to open it in the Editing view, refer to section Add a comment above.

  2. Press Ctrl+F6 until you reach the document body text. To start reading, press the SR key+Ctrl+R.

  3. When you hear "Image, click to see this comment," there's a comment in the document. To open the comment, press Enter. The comment pane opens and Narrator reads the name of the user who has added the comment, when the comment was added, and the comment text.

  4. You can navigate through the comments in the comment pane. To hear the next comment, press the Tab key repeatedly. To hear the previous comment, press Shift+Tab repeatedly. To close the comment pane and return to the document, press Esc.

Reply to comments

  1. Navigate to and open the comment you want to reply to. For instructions, refer to section Navigate through comments above.

  2. Press the Tab key. You hear: "Reply, button." Press Enter and type your reply.

  3. When done, press the Tab key. You hear: "Post, button." Press Enter to add the reply.

Resolve comments

When a comment is resolved, it's marked as done and grayed out in the comment pane, but it's not removed.

  1. Navigate to and open the comment you want to resolve. For instructions, refer to section Navigate through comments above.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear "Mark as done, button," and press Enter. The comment is resolved.

Delete comments

  1. Navigate to and open the comment you want to delete. For instructions, refer to section Navigate through comments above.

  2. Press the Tab key until you hear "Delete, button," and press Enter. The comment is removed.

See also

Use a screen reader to insert and change text in Word

Keyboard shortcuts in Word

Basic tasks using a screen reader with Word

Use a screen reader to explore and navigate Word

What's new in Office 365

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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