Comments in Word – automatic comment numbers, easy review, etc.

Version 2.0 with new features – rank and filter comments by importance, extract comments to Excel

Learn how the DocTools CommentManager Word add-in can help you

DocTools CommentManager makes it faster and easier than ever to manage comments in Word – add automatic comment numbers, review comments in Word from one place, extract all comments, create inline comments for instructions and help, etc.

A time-saving tool for anyone who is involved in editing and reviewing contracts, specifications, legal documents, scientific reports, technical reports, technical specifications, user manuals and other documents where comments are used extensively. Completely compatible with Word's own comment features but with many powerful, new and unique capabilities added. The DocTools CommentManager add-in lets you work with two types of comments in Word:

Standard comment
The type of comment you can insert via the Insert tab or the Review tab in the Ribbon (called comment or standard comment below)

Inline comment
A special type of comment inserted as a 1-column table inline in the document – can be used for instructions, help texts, tips, etc.

Standard comments are normally used during the editing and review phase of a Word document and will most often need to be removed from the final document. Inline comments may be used either as temporary instructions, tips or help during the editing process or as permanent tips or notes.

With DocTools CommentManager, you can do everything you can using Word's own comment features and a lot more. You can:

  • Number comments in Word automatically – adds author initials and comment numbers as the first paragraph in each comment
  • If you prefer, display standard comments almost as in Word 2010, with comment numbers shown together with the author initials
  • Change the author name of existing comments, e.g. to show the company name instead of individual author names in documents that are to be shared with external people
  • Review all standard comments from a control center from where you can see all commends, edit comments, add replies to comments, mark comments as resolved, rank comments, find comments with specific metadata or text, filter comments to see e.g. only comments with rank 1, etc.
  • Extract all comments, incl. metadata, to a new Word document or to Excel – you can print the extract document with all comments, if desired
  • Insert inline comments with the click of a button
  • Browse all inline comments and quickly delete individual inline comments, if you want
  • Delete all inline comments with the click of a button, if you want
  • Customizable defaults for both standard comments and inline comments
  • Easy access to display options and other settings related to standard comments
  • And much more…

Empower everyone who works with review and comments in Word. Get DocTools CommentManager today!

Watch the videos below and read on to learn how DocTools CommentManager can help you.

The add-in works with Word 2013Word 2016Word 2019Word for Microsoft 365 on PC / Windows.
The add-in works with both 32-bit and 64-bit versions of Word.

Single user license  only EUR 57 – volume discount – see Pricing details below.

NEW in version 2.0
The Review Comments command now lets you rank comments by importance and you can find or filter comments by rank directly in the dialog box.
You can now extract comments to both Word and Excel. In Excel, you can take advantage of Excel's own functions for sorting, filtering, conditional formatting, etc. The extract – both Word and Excel – now includes a Resolved column plus optional columns for Heading and Rank.

Videos – see examples of DocTools CommentManager features

The videos below show examples of features in the DocTools CommentManager add-in.

VIDEO 1  See how it works – INTRO
Shows how to insert comments, how to display automatic comment numbers, how to use the inline comment features, and more.
Duration: 3:58

VIDEO 2  Review comments in Word
Shows how you can use the Review Comments command as the control center for managing comments in Word.
Duration: 3:38

VIDEO 3  Extract comments to Word or Excel
Shows how to extract comments into a new Word document or an Excel file in seconds.
Duration: 1:55

What users say about DocTools CommentManager

First, Wow! Thank you for the incredibly quick and detailed response!

The Comment Manager is a very comprehensive and impressive tool. I haven't seen much out there that compares with it or the other DocTools add-ins.

Darrel Harmer

Senior Project Manager, State government agency – USA

Comment features – comparison

DocTools
CommentManager

Word's built-in
comment features

Insert comments

Delete all comments or delete comments individually

Add reply to comments

Go to next or previous comment

Display comments in different ways or hide comments

Insert a comment without using the mouse – press the keyboard shortcut Alt+Ctrl+M

Use the Esc key on the keyboard to move the cursor from a comment back to the document, just after the commented text so you are ready for typing without first deselecting the commented text

  

Number comments in Word automatically – the numbering is document-specific and can be turned on in some documents and off in others

  

Display comments in balloons with sequential comment numbers as in Word 2010

  

Change the author name in existing comments, e.g. to show the company name instead of individual user names in documents that are to be shared with external people

  

Remove author names from all comments to make them totally neutral – without removing other metadata

  

Review comments in Word from a control center from where you can see all comments, edit comments, reply to comments, mark comments as resolved, delete comments, etc.

  

Rank comments by importance and quickly filter comments by rank

  

Quickly find an get an overview of all comments that match certain criteria – for example, find all comments added by the same author or comments that include a specific text string

  

Extract all comments or selected comments, incl. metadata, to a new Word document – gives you full overview of all comments and lets you print all comments, if desired – you can select from a number of sort options, incl. sort by rank

  

Extract all comments or selected comments, incl. metadata, to an Excel file – gives you full overview of all comments and lets you can use Excel features, e.g. for filtering

  

Find a comment in the source document directly from an extract document

  

Convert selected text to a comment, thereby removing the selection from the document and adding it to a new comment in the location where the text was found

  

Move a comment from one place in a document to another

  

Insert inline comments that can be used for tips, instructions, help texts, tips, notes, etc.

  

Review inline comments via a dialog box that lets you browse through the inline comments and delete the individual inline comments if desired

  

Delete all inline comments in one operation

  

Specify default settings for both standard comments, comment numbering, and inline comments – define comment numbering, colors, etc.

  

Easy access to modify the styles used for comments

  

Easy access to useful comment commands when you right-click in a comment

  

Automatic comment numbers added by DocTools CommentManager can be seen by users who don't have the add-in installed

  

Pricing and general information

Version number:

2.0 – see Changelog for info about versions and changes

Release date:

May 26, 2020

Supported Word versions:

Word 2013, Word 2016, Word 2019, Word for Microsoft 365 on PC / Windows

Licensing per computer:

One license per computer is required (see License Terms)

Free trial – try before you buy:

7 days

Volume discount:

Applies to licenses purchased on a single order

One-time payment:

No recurring payments

Updates:

Minor updates within 12 months for free

Find out whether you are qualified for a free update

Save 30% on upgrade licenses for later full number versions and upgrade licenses from any earlier version to newest version

Number of licenses

Per license price in Euro*

1-4 licenses

57 Euro

5-9 licenses

55 Euro

10-24 licenses

52 Euro

25-49 licenses

47 Euro

50-99 licenses

42 Euro

100 or more licenses

37 Euro

* Prices do not include applicable taxes
* One-time payment – no recurring payments
* Select from many currencies on the order page
* Download link delivered instantly via email

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Introduction to some of the special features in DocTools CommentManager 

Word's comment feature is often used during the editing and review phase of Word documents. In documents with many comments, you may easily get lost. It can be difficult to get an overview of the comments and keep track of the them all. This work hasn't been made easier after Microsoft, for unknown reasons, removed the numbering from comments. It is where the DocTools CommentManager add-in comes into play.

DocTools CommentManager lets you do everything you can do with comments in Word using the built-in comment functionality – but you can do it easier and faster and with more control. In addition, DocTools CommentManager includes unique and efficient comment features that let you perform tasks you can't do using Word's own functionality. For details about Word's built-in comment functionality, see my article How comments in Word work.

Below, you will find short descriptions and illustrations of some of the special features that are included in DocTools CommentManager to make your work with comments in Word more efficient. You will find more details below this introduction.

Also, take a look at the menus illustrated below and you will get an idea of the number of features.

SPECIAL FEATURE 1 – Add automatic comment numbers in Word

DocTools CommentManager lets you automatically add comment numbers to all comments. The comment numbers will be inserted just above the comment text you enter and will be displayed in square brackets together with the author initials. The full author name will be shown together with data and time information when you hover the mouse over a comment. You can define which font color to use for the comment numbers.

Automatic comment number added by DocTools CommentManager

Automatic comment number and author initials added by DocTools CommentManager (here highlighted). The number font color can be customized. The colors used in pictures and borders in comments are determined by your settings in the Advanced Track Changes Options dialog box. Pictures in comments can be shown or hidden as desired. You will find more details about the automatic comment numbers below. Pictures can be shown or hidden.

Example showing two comments with comment numbers added - a level 1 comment and a reply

Example of two comments with automatic comment numbers. See explanation to the right.

The blue comment numbers in the illustration to the left are to be read as follows:

11 AED is comment no. 11 in the document. The comment was added by the author with initials AED.
12 RD_R11 is comment no. 12 in the document. The comment was added by the author with initials RD. The last part, R11, tells that it is a reply (R) to comment no. 11.

What happens if a document with automatic comment numbers is opened by a user who doesn't have DocTools CommentManager?

Automatic comment numbers will also be shown if the document is opened by a user who doesn't have DocTools CommentManager installed. If a user who doesn't have DocTools CommentManager installed adds new comments, such comment will not be numbered. The automatic numbers of all comments can be updated by the click of a button at any time by users who have DocTools CommentManager installed. This will add any missing comment numbers and correct the numbering of all comments to be sequential.

SPECIAL FEATURE 2 – Display comments in balloons as in Word 2010

As an alternative to adding automatic comment numbers as illustrated above, DocTools CommentManager lets you display comments in balloons almost as in Word 2010. With that display, author initials and comment numbers will be shown after the text "Commented". This type of display is more compact than the standard display in Word 2013 and newer versions.

Comments display in balloons as in Word 2010

Comments display in balloons as in Word 2010 (initials and number highlighted here). This type of display requires that DocTools CommentManager be installed. The colors used in borders in comments are determined by your settings in the Advanced Track Changes Options dialog box.

What happens if a document with this special display is opened by a user who doesn't have DocTools CommentManager?

Note that this special display requires that DocTools CommentManager be installed. This means that users who don't have DocTools CommentManager installed will not be able to use that display.

If you select this display while automatic numbers are also turned on, you will see both sets of numbering in each comment. In case you prefer the Word 2010 display, you could turn on automatic numbers too in case the document is going to be opened by users who don't have DocTools CommentManager. As explained above, the automatic numbers in existing comments will be visible for all users.

SPECIAL FEATURE 3 – Insert inline comments for instructions, help, tips, notes, etc.

You can insert an inline comment with the click of a button. An inline comment is a 1-column table with a heading of your choice. In addition, you can customize the shading color and border applied to inline comments.

Inline comments are useful in templates or documents where you, for example, need to tell the user what to do. Inline comments can also be used to quickly add special tips and notes that must stand out from the text. You can use inline comments both for content such as instructions that are to be deleted from the final document and for tips and notes that are to remain in the final document. A command lets you delete all inline comments with the click of a button so it is easy to get rid of all such comments if needed.

Example of inline comments used for instructions

Example of inline comments used for instructions. When you insert an inline comment, it will automatically be applied the shading (or no shading), border (or no border) you have set as the default. You can also define which paragraph style to apply to the text by default.

Example of inline comment used for a tip. You can change the shading and borders of all inline comments in a document in one operation if needed.

Another example of an inline comment. You can change the shading and borders of all inline comments in a document in one operation if needed.

The Review Inline Comments dialog box lets you review all inline comments

The Review Inline Comments dialog box lets you review all inline comments.

The Review Inline Comments dialog box lets you browse all inline comments to review them. The dialog box shows the number of inline comments found and the index number of the currently selected inline comment. This makes it easy to keep track of the inline comments.

You can delete individual inline comments from the Review Inline Comments dialog box or by simply selecting an inline comment table in the document and delete it.

DocTools CommentManager also includes a command that lets you delete all inline comments in one operation. This is useful, for example, if inline comments are used as temporary instructions to the editor(s) of the document.

SPECIAL FEATURE 4 – Review comments in Word via an easy-to-use control center

The Review Comments command in the More Comment Tools menu makes it easy to manage and review comments even in documents with a lot of comments.

As mentioned above, the Review Comments command works as a control center for managing comments. The command opens a dialog box that lets you review comments, edit comments, add replies to comments, mark comments as resolved, rank comments or delete comments. You can even spell-check comments you edit using the Edit Comment button.

You can show/hide an overview list of all comments and select comments directly from the overview as you wish.

The illustration below shows the Review Comments dialog box, opened in a document that currently includes 41 comments added by a number of authors.

New in version 2.0: The Review Comments dialog lets you rank comments by importance. When you assign a rank, a string is added in start of the comment text, keeping track of the rank (*R1* for rank 1, *R2* for rank 2, etc. You can rank comments 1-5 using the rank button. It is possible to manually assign rank 6-9 too, if you want. You can clear the rank from the selected comment or all comments using the Clear and Clear all button, respectively.

The Review Comments dialog box works as a control center for managing comments

The Review Comments dialog box works as a control center for managing comments. When the dialog box opens, the review starts at the cursor position. The metadata shown in the top-right corner is automatically updated when you select another comment in the dialog box. Note that you can see the total number of comments just above the Comment text field (marked by a colored frame in the illustration).

The Find/Filter feature in the Review Comments dialog box makes it easy to find comments that match specific criteria. Information below the Find field shown how many comments were found that match the Find/Filter string, it any.

Two options for quickly finding specific comments: Find comment, Filter comments

You have two options for quickly finding specific comments: Find comment and Filter comments.

NEW in version 1.1: In the Review Comments dialog box, the find feature lets quickly find comments in two ways:

Find comment keeps all comments in the list. You can then use the Preview and Next buttons to browse the comments that match the Find string.

Filter comments lists only the comments that match the Find string. 

NEW in version 2.0:  The Find/Filter feature in the Review Comments dialog box also lets you filter comments by the rank you assign. See the example below.

Select one of the Show Rank only options from the Find/Filter list

Select one of the Show Rank only options from the Find/Filter list.

Example: Bottom of Review Comments dialog box - Overview showing only comments with rank 1

Example: Bottom of Review Comments dialog box. Show Rank 1 only is selected. The overview shows only comments with rank 1.

SPECIAL FEATURE 5 – Extract comments including metadata – Extract to Word or Excel

You can extract comments to either a new Word document or to an Excel file using the Extract Comments to New Word Document and Extract Comments to Excel commands in the More Comment Tools menu. The extract document will include a row for each comment.

You can select whether the extract document is to include all comments or only comments in a selected part of the document.

When extracting to Word, you can also select how comments are to be sorted in the extract document. You can sort by comment location, by author initials, by author name, or by rank.

In Excel, you can use Excel's own features to quickly filter or sort the extracted comments as you wish.

An extract documents is useful to get a good overview of comments. Also, you can use an extract document to print comments, if desired. In case of a Word extract document, you can quickly find the comment in the source document by using the Find Comment command.

The extract document shows the following data:

  • #: Comment number
  • Type: Shows Level 1 or Reply
  • Resolved: YES or NO   NEW in version 2.0
  • Page: Shows page number where comment is found
  • Line: Shows line number, relative to page, where comment is found