QTT: Change Comment Color in Word 2010

Quick tech tip: Change the default color of comment boxes in MS Word 2010.

In any MS Word document, select the “Review” tab, click on “Track Changes” then select “Change Tracking Options.

Next to “Comments” click the dropdown menu and select the color you’d like.

Any document you open now will use that comment color.

Bonus tip: Use the keyboard shortcut to insert comments more quickly. Highlight the text you want to comment on, then press CTRL-ALT-M. After a little practice, the key combination will feel natural to you.

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10 thoughts on “QTT: Change Comment Color in Word 2010

  1. Thanks for this. It’s a shame that there’s not more control over the colors of different comments within the same document. Apparently to have different colored comments in one document, there must be different authors – even then, the colors are assigned arbitrarily.

    I am a language tutor and I’ve been looking for a way to color-code my comments so that students recognize green comments as comments on their vocabulary usage, for example. I’ve found what I think will be a workaround by changing the author name to “Vocabulary” or “Grammar” with the author initials “VOC” and “GRA”.

    I’ve made a custom feedback toolbar with the Ribbon feature and assigned macros to buttons in that menu. These macros simply change the author name, and my students will now see color-coded comments on their vocab, grammar, etc…

    One obvious disadvantage is that I have no control over what color they see, so I’m unable to use a consistent color system between hand-written and typed work. Also, I’ll need to remember to change the author name back to my name after each marking session, although this can be done with a macro-button!

    Anyway, thanks for the post – I’ve just stumbled on your site and it looks extremely useful!



  2. Peter, thanks for this information!

    You can control the color your students see if you save the Word document as a PDF and send the PDF back to them.

    I’m also wondering if highlighting would work for you. Highlight the text in question, and then just select one word from that highlighted text for entering your comments.


  3. I have no idea why they chose that share of pink as the default. Really, just about anything else would have been better.

  4. Unfortunately, these instructions were written in 2011 for Word 2010. With Word 2016, there doesn’t appear to be any easy way to do this in any way that will actually stick.

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