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  1. #1
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    Referencing Comments (Word 2000)

    Hi all,

    I found myself inserting comments into a document this morning. In one case, I wanted to reference an earlier comment. For example, in what was comment 5, I wanted to say something like "as discussed in comment 1" and go on from there. Similarly, there were several places in the text that I really wanted to refer to the same comment rather than create a new comment and say in the new comment "same as comment 2".

    Of course, I can always use the number of the comment as given at the moment. But if I insert a new comment at a location at the beginning of the document, all the subsequent comment numbers change. All my hard-coded comment numbers are no longer valid.

    Is there a way to cross-reference comments like captions or footnotes? I looked at the Insert Cross Reference dialog and the Reference Type drop down but nothing there. Maybe thru use of a bookmark? Is this available in XP or 2003?

    TIA.

    Fred

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    Re: Referencing Comments (Word 2000)

    Fred,

    How have you numbered your comments? Mine don't have numbers.

    Have you tried Insert Cross Reference... Numbered Item?

    StuartR

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    Re: Referencing Comments (Word 2000)

    Hi Fred:
    When I tried using bookmarks & cross-references, it didn't work. The comment number doesn't count as a numbered paragraph. Stuart, my comments are numbered, also.

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    Re: Referencing Comments (Word 2000)

    Stuart,

    I don't do anything to number or not number comments, nor am I aware there's an option to go either way. When I do an Insert Comment, I get, for example, fb1 followed by fb2, etc. In fb5, I might want to refer to fb1. Problem is that if I insert a comment in the doc ahead of where the comment corresponding currently to fb1 is, fb1 gets renumbered to be fb2, etc. Likewise, in my text, I might want several text items to refer to fb8. Don't see how to do that, especially if I'm concerned about using comment insertion as described above.

    I'm wondering if you're thinking about footnotes, which, I think, allow you to choose between auto numbering and custom marks.

    Fred

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    Re: Referencing Comments (Word 2000)

    Fred,

    The answers to your questions are No and No. I've never heard of anyone trying to do this with Word in all the very roughly 100,000 help desk calls that I personally have answered in the last seven years. I think you win a prize. <img src=/S/trophy.gif border=0 alt=trophy width=15 height=15>. It is not possible to automatically cross reference comments from the user interface. I don't presume to know much about VBA (nor do I really want to), but imagine it's possible to write a macro to do it...

    Comments aren't intended to be referred to in the text, and it would certainly be an enhancement to be able to automatically refer to other Comments from within a Comment. You can't do it in XP either, but maybe in '03...

    You CAN cross reference {list num} fields - perhaps some combination of listnums and character styles instead of Comments would accomplish your purpose?

    Unfortunately, you can't include Comments as part of the printed document and not also print Hidden text...so using and then 'hiding' the listnums in combination with Comments wouldn't be helpful, but Listnums alone (and with styled text) could be 'hidden' for printing...

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    Re: Referencing Comments (Word 2000)

    Van,

    Thks for the answer. Not once in 100K calls? <img src=/S/nuts.gif border=0 alt=nuts width=15 height=15> I didn't think my desire was so unusual. I actually had a document today where both features would have been very handy. And it's not the first time I had this kind of doc (only the first time I decided to ask).

    I don't quite understand your suggestion about listnum (which I don't understand well) and char styles. For one thing, would this show the comment in the doc as a box as the actual feature does?

    Fred

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    Re: Referencing Comments (Word 2000)

    Fred,

    My error, I missed the fact that you were using Word 2000. I was thinking of in Word XP, where the comments appear in a balloon with username, date and time as tooltip style popups

    StuartR

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    Re: Referencing Comments (Word 2000)

    Fred,

    I mentioned listnums as a way to insert numbered entries ('comments') in the text in a way that CAN be cross referenced, and could style the text to be 'hidden' if you didn't want those 'comments' to print. You would lose all the functionality of the Comments feature...

    Or, you could just use Footnotes...

    Good luck.

  9. #9
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    Re: Referencing Comments (Word 2000)

    Van,

    ok. let me consider this as a fallback position. Given what is most likely no way of doing what I want the way I want it, it seems this could be a way forward.

    Fred

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    Re: Referencing Comments (Word 2000)

    Stuart,

    In Word 2000, the comments appear in a tooltip popup, not a balloon, with a name but no date/time. While one can get into the comment pane via VBA, it seems there's no way to address a comment directly. I can see a way via VBA to do at least some of what I want but it wouldn't be pretty. Hmmm, I didn't think this was such an odd thing to want to be able to do.

    Fred

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    Re: Referencing Comments (Word 2000)

    You're not alone in your request -- various editors here and there have asked me about referencing comments before.

    I don't know if this would work on 2000, but I was able to sort of kind of hack something together in 2003.

    First, you change the Comment Text paragraph style to be numbered.

    You won't be able to reference the comments directly from the Insert Cross Reference dialog -- unless you put bookmarks around them. Easier said than done, since Bookmarks are greyed out from the Insert menu when your cursor is in a comment. BUT, if you create a bookmark around some text in the main flow, then cut and paste that bookmark into the comment, Word seems to be OK with that.

    From there, you can create cross references among the comments by using Insert -> Cross Reference -> Bookmark, and making the ref to the paragraph number. In my (admittedly brief) experiments, it seemed to handle renumbering just fine. I've attached a screenshot.

    This is certainly an intriguing problem, but unfortunately I'm way too swamped to tinker with it, but perhaps this will provide some fodder for someone else on the board to work with.
    Attached Images Attached Images

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    Re: Referencing Comments (Word 2000)

    Andrew,

    yep this worked in word 2000 also for referencing a comment from another comment's text. Good idea. <img src=/S/bow.gif border=0 alt=bow width=15 height=15>

    I don't think this does what I want for the 2nd part: to comment some text but have the comment refer to an existing comment. I guess I can have a new comment which would just say "see comment x".

    THanks.

    Fred

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    Re: Referencing Comments (Word 2000)

    Hi Fred,

    If you don't put any switches in the ref field, it'll display the cotents of the bookmark, rather than the paragraph number, which produces the results that I think you're looking for.

    Just doInsert -> Cross Reference -> Bookmark -> Bookmark Text; that'll just reproduce the contents of the previous comment.

  14. #14
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    Re: Referencing Comments (Word 2000)

    Andrew,

    Of course. This will work.

    What I was looking for, however, was similar to footnotes on steroids. I can insert a cross-ref to a footnote number. What I can't do is have that cross-reference actually be clickable to take me to the footnote at the page bottom or have a tooltip kind of box pop up with the footnote text. This is what I'd like to do for comments, while making sure all the things change accordingly if I insert a new footnote earlier in the text. Come to think of it, footnotes don't even work this well either.

    Fred

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    Re: Referencing Comments (Word 2000)

    Hi Fred,

    When you reference one comment from another using a bookmark and a ref field, the referenced comment text appears in the tooltip (see the screenshot). Isn't that what you're looking for?
    Attached Images Attached Images

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