It appears Microsoft turned off auto-numbering of comments in Word 2013. So when going to Review in the ribbon and adding a "New Comment" there is no way to identify the comment when discussing with colleagues. In previous versions of word, adding a new comment included an auto-incremented comment number.

This is particularly problematic for example when a colleague is using an older version of office and refers to a comment by number - e.g. #5.

Is there any way to identify the comment numbers in Word 2013, so comments can be identified during discussions?


Not in the edditing view as you are used to in Word 2010. Comment numbering only shows up if you go to the outline or draft viewing mode.

Go to the view menu and select outline or draft in the views section

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  • The numbering is shown in-line in draft mode - making it harder to identify comments when there are many edits. Is there a way to get the comment in the margin (as in print layout) but with numbering (as in draft mode)? – Dan Jun 26 '13 at 19:49
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    Nope, sorry. The new comments feature is geared towards collaboration (working together in the same document) in a 'facebook' style. – Martijn Burger Jun 26 '13 at 19:56
  • Beats me why the comment number still can't be shown when the information is available to be shown. I have exactly the same problem as the OP (2nd para) and I have to flick between the outline and normal modes to find the comment number and then actually read the comment (it seems the pop-up will only show first responses, not responses to comments). Thanks for the solution though. – GeoffM Sep 3 '13 at 17:13
  1. In the upper-right corner of the Word application, find the Quick Access toolbar.
  2. At the right-end of the toolbar click the down arrow and select More Commands... from the menu.
  3. In the dialog box in the Choose commands from drop-down select All Commands.
  4. Select Print Preview Edit Mode in the list and click Add >> to add it to the Quick Access toolbar.

After that, I clicked on Print Preview Edit Mode and I was able to see comment numbers. Make sure that you deselect the magnifier that will appear so that you can edit the document.

One more thing, the document where I performed this was sent to me by somebody using Word 2010. I do not know if the numbering will appear for comments added with Word 2013.

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  • It could be also opened by 1. Enter "Print Preview Edit Mode" into "Tell me what to do box" 2. Select "Preview and Print" and select sub-item "Print Preview Edit Mode" – joro Dec 15 '16 at 14:55
  • @Juan - PERFECT solution. I tried this using Office ProPlus 2019 on a Windows 10 system, with (a) a Word 2010 file, and (b) a Word 365 file. – RJo just now – RJo May 18 at 20:51

Not optimal but you can hover the mouse over the number to read the comment.

Would be nice to have the 2010 feature back

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For the use case where a colleague refers to comments by number, the following workaround may help.

  • Navigate to the "Go To" tab of the "Find and Replace" dialog (default shortcut Ctrl+G).
  • Under "Go to what", select "Comment".
  • In the drop-down box labelled "Enter reviewer's name", type in the number of the comment (ignore the fact the Word is actually asking for a reviewer name) and press Enter. Word will navigate to the comment number you have specified.

Unfortunately, this cannot help you identify the number of a given comment, but it works the other way around.

Depending on the number of comments in your document, you could guess a number, see where Word takes you and then type +1 or -1 into the drop-down box. Pressing Enter repeatedly would then take you through the comments one by one and you can count in your head until you reach the one you are looking for.

I admit this is tedious, but it may be a good workaround for small documents and is always effective at finding a comment if you know the number.

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