Font-Point Size for Comments in MS Word?

Subject: Font-Point Size for Comments in MS Word?
From: Geoff Hart <ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca>
To: "TECHWR-L" <techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com>
Date: Sat, 09 Apr 2005 18:34:30 -0400


ptietjen -at- vt -dot- edu wondered: <<Is is possible to set a default font-point size when using the "Insert Comment" feature? ... Problem: when commenting on word files received from others, the font-point size always varies in size (e.g., sometimes it's very small and barely readable on screen). Specs: Word for Mac OS X>>

These tips should work for other Word versions/operating systems too, but I haven't tried them. With that caveat:

There's no way that I've found to set the default, but there are two tricks I've learned that may help. First and easiest (and least intrusive), with the comments window open at the bottom of the document, open the View menu, select Zoom, then pick an enlargement that your eyes find comfortable. Word lets you use a different zoom level for different windows or views, and this is very nice to know sometimes. For example, it can let you enlarge the miniscule, user-hostile text in the spellchecker window slightly--but only if you zoom in on the text _before_ you launch the spellchecker. Weird.

Second, and more intrusive, edit the properties of the "Comment text" style. (This is the default name of the style used in the comments, but I've seen an occasional odd style name used here as a manual override and because of this, you may need to edit a different style name.) Simply pick a font size as large as you'd need to make the text legible. If you remember the original font size the author used, reset that font size later, before you return the document to the author.

The only common problem with this approach is that after editing the style and applying it, you occasionally get an unpleasant surprise. For example, my Chinese and Japanese clients often use the default font (e.g., MS Mincho) for their styles, but manually override this by doing a "select all", then applying a new font from the Format menu or toolbar. When you update (reapply) the style to reflect the font size change, all the other properties get reapplied too--so the text gets set back to Mincho or whatever, the language of the spellchecker may change too, etc. Not a big problem, but you need to be aware of it so you can watch for it.

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Geoff Hart ghart -at- videotron -dot- ca
(try geoffhart -at- mac -dot- com if you don't get a reply)
www.geoff-hart.com
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