Word Annotation


Microsoft Word logoMicrosoft Word has annotation and commenting tools built in. Previous versions of Word also have some of these functions. Pen-style annotation only works with touch-screen devices. Commenting is a more common way to add notes to Word documents.

Note: If you don’t have Word on your computer then as an alternative you might want to consider ether LibreOffice or OpenOffice. See Annotations in Open Office/Libre Office.

Note: If all you want to do is read Word documents then there is a free Word Viewer available, including for mobile devices.


  1. Click the Review tab from the Ribbon (toolbar) at the top of the screen.
  2. Select the text you wish to comment or place the text cursor where you want the comment to appear.
  3. Click the New Comment button from the toolbar.
  4. Type your comment in the comment bubble that appears.

If you need to delete your comment, right click the comment bubble.

You can also highlight text by clicking the highlight icon from Font group of the Home tab on the Ribbon, then dragging it over the text you wish to highlight.


When using touch-screen devices, for example full tablet computers, Word also makes available pen-type freehand annotations. You can access these tools by clicking Start Inking from the right hand side of the Review tab on the Ribbon. You will not see the Start Inking button if you do not have a touch-screen.

Useful links


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