How to Hide Comments in Word (Step-by-Step)

In this article, you'll learn how to hide comments in Word so that they don’t interfere with your workflow. The three different options available to you are:

  1. Hide your comments only - Show Markup
  2. Collapse your comments - Display for Review - Simple Markup
  3. Hide your comments and tracked changes - Display for Review - No Markup

Here is how your document might look with your comments visible, collapsed, or hidden.

Examples of ways to hide comments in word

While comments are a GREAT way to mark up your Word documents for review, they are extremely distracting and take up a lot of space.

That’s why knowing how to hide and collapse them in Word is such a valuable skill to learn.

Note: If your document doesn't have any comments in it, you will not be able to hide them. To learn how to add and navigate comments in Word, read our guide here.


1. Hide comments only - Show Markup

This option works best when you want to hide your comments without hiding your other tracked changes and revisions. That way you can continue working on your document without being distracted by the comments.

Navigate to the Review tab, and for show markup unselect comments

To hide your comments only in Word, simply:

  1. Navigate to the Review tab
  2. Open the Show Markup dropdown menu (click on the downward facing arrow at the end)
  3. De-select Comments

Note: If you are leaving comments for other people in Word, make sure they are constructive and actionable. See Articulate's guide on actionable comments here for guidance.

De-selecting Comments hides your comments without affecting any of your other markups or tracked changes. This allows you to focus on updating the content within your document without being distracted by the comments, as pictured below.

Example of comments hidden without hiding the tracked changes

To later bring your comments back, simply turn the setting back on (as pictured below):

  1. Navigate to the Review tab
  2. Open the Show Markup dropdown menu (click on the downward facing arrow at the end)
  3. Select Comments

Warning: Make sure you re-select comments after you are finished updating your document so they don't remain hidden forever.

To do that, simply open the Show Markup dropdown menu and put a check mark next to Comments.

The reason this is important is because hidden comments will remain hidden until you re-select them. This is a common rookie mistake because if someone does not know how to hide comments in Word, they will not know how to un-hide them. So, they won't know what to work on.

If do want to permanently hide your comments, you might as well delete them. To learn how to delete comments in Word, read our guide here.


2. Collapse comments - Simple Markup

From the Review tab choose Simple Markup and toggle the Show Comments commands to hide your comments

To hide your comments using the Simple Markup view, simply:

  1. Navigate to the Review tab
  2. Open the Display Review dropdown menu (click on the downward facing arrow at the end)
  3. Select Simple Markup
  4. Toggle the Show Comments command

The Simple Markup allows you to both review any tracked changes within your document, as well as toggle between two different views for your comments:

  1. Normal comment view
  2. Collapsed comment view

When your comments are collapsed, they appear as little icons on the right-side of your document, as pictured below.

Example of collapsed comments in Word

With your comments collapsed, you can click on the comment icon with your mouse to quickly view the individual comment.

Example of opening the collapsed comments in Word in the Simple Markup view

If you save and close your document in the Simple Markup view, Word will reopen in that same exact view. That means that if someone does not know how to hide comments in Word, they might not be able to view them.

To ensure the next person sees your comments (including you), I recommend saving your file with the All Markup view selected.

Note: The only way to unlock and use the Show Comments command in Word is to first select the Simple Markup view for your document.


3. Hide comments and tracked changes - No Markup

From the Review tab select No Markup for your Display Review to hide comments and tracked changes in Word

To hide your comments and tacked changes using the No Markup view, simply:

  1. Navigate to the Review tab
  2. Open the Display Review dropdown menu (click on the downward facing arrow at the end) 
  3. Choose No Markup

The No Markup view hides all of of your comments and your tracked changes within your document. This is best for reviewing what your document will look like if you were to accept all tracked changes.

Warning: Choosing Original for your Display Review also removes all the comments and tracked changes from your document. However, all of the markup is also permanently removed.

Selecting Original for the Display for Review drop down shows your original unedited word document

Original reverts your document back to it's original state, before any comments or tracked changes were made to it.

From the Review tab change your Display for Review option to All Markup to see your comments and tracked changes

When you want to see your comments and markup again, simply do the reverse:

  1. Navigate to the Review tab
  2. Open the Display for Review dropdown menu (click on the downward facing arrow at the end)
  3. Select All Markup

The All Markup view displays not only your comments, but also any tracked changes within your document. This is also the default view that all Word documents open in.


Conclusion

So that’s how to hide comments in Word, and some of the different options you have depending on how you want to work on your document.

Comments are a great way to mark up your document for review.

Just remember that hiding your comments in some of the views will permanently hide them until they are turned back on. This can lead to confusion on your team if someone doesn't know how to un-hide the comments.

That's why I recommend always turning back on your comments and tracked changes after you finish.

Another way to make your Word document easier to read and navigate is to add a table of contents. To learn how to make a table of contents in Word, read our guide here.

If you enjoyed this tutorial and want to learn more ways to boost your Microsoft Office skills, visit us here.