Comments and Revisions

The Word team has once again invested quite a bit of thought and effort in good old “Track Changes”. A couple of versions back, we got:

  • the Revisions Balloons – the area that appears in the margin where track changes and comments are listed in little boxes with lines back to the text
  • and the Revisions task pane that can be positioned vertically on the left or horizontally across the bottom of the Word window – lists all changes in the various sections of the document.

One pain point with the balloons is that, if there are lots of comments and changes, things appear very “busy” and it’s difficult to sort out what entry in the margin refers to which range of text. It’s also not easy to follow a discussion being carried on in the comments as they may well not be listed in the order they were created.

So an effort has been made to simplify the display of revisions, on the one hand, and allow a discussion using comments, on the other. The comments part is easy enough to understand; the changes in how revisions can be displayed takes some hands-on experimenting and getting used to.

This is too much material to cover in a single blog post, so I’m going to break the discussion down into at least four entries. The first will look at Comments in the UI, the second at the changes in the object model related to Comments.

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