Comment balloon opening on top of text on right side hover

Copper Contributor

I'm wondering if this is a precursor to the dreaded "Modern Comments" feature, which I do not have. I have Office 365, and last week comment balloons started opening up on top of the text if my cursor/pointer has been hovering in the comments pane. There is about a 5-10 delay before the pop-up occurs.

I need to be able to view the text and the comments at the same time. I work on both the text and the comments at the same time. It is very disruptive to have a comment balloon pop up when I'm trying to read the text, especially since the balloon duplicates the comment text I can already read in the right-side comments area.

I checked my options, and I do not see the option to turn off this annoyance.

Does anyone know how to stop Word from automatically opening comment balloons over the text?

8 Replies



Here, I am running a perpetual license (Office 2021) and there are pop-ups for comments when I choose the "Simple Markup" view. Are you seeing something like the screen shot below? 





Note that if you are running a subscription version, modern comments may already be implemented, depending on the version you are running.


Note that if you see an option called "Enable modern comments" at File > Options > General, you can clear it and temporarily revert to the classic comment interface. (There is a corresponding option in Word for Mac Preferences.)



Yes, that is exactly what it looks like, although I am seeing it in All Markup view. 

It looks like this:


I am using a subscription version of Office through my company, but none of my coworkers have noticed this yet, and we all use Word the same way. We are editors and our Word docs have lots of tracked changes and lots of comments, and we need to see it all.

My options don't have the line for Modern Comments:


The constant pop-ups of comments is very distracting when I'm working on a document. 

The pop-up is useless because it blocks the text and it only shows part of the comment. I have to scroll down or expand the box and move the comment box to see the full comment and the text at the same time. I keep clicking the box closed, but it pops up again after another 10 seconds or so.




Thanks for the screen shot which helped clarify the situation. I now see that this isn't about modern comments at all. :)


In fact, a "stand-alone" comment window like the one in your screen shot indicates that Word can't fit all the comments in the Markup area, because there are too many comments on that particular page. To fix this, increasing the "Preferred width" for the balloons usually helps. You will find that option in the Advanced Track Changes Options dialog box. I tend to specify 15 centimeters for the balloons. 




I tried as you suggested, and that didn't work, but it may be because the comments are too long and too many even when I changed the width to the maximum.
I was able to find a workaround, which was to copy and paste the entire document into a blank Word doc created on my computer. (Most of our files originate from external authors that use different versions of Word).
Perhaps it is a compatibility issue.
Thank you for your help!



In my experience, you may have to experiment with several different values for the "Preferred width." However, I have seen what you describe: no matter which value is set, the comments won't "behave." Sometimes, copying and pasting into a new document fixes the issue, but not always. Thanks for the follow-up!

My workaround is no longer working, and this new feature is still driving me crazy. I found another person with the same problem using the same version of Word that I have:
I agree with this poster that this issue has become very problematic and has signficantly affected my productivity. I need to work in the comments and the text at the SAME TIME, and the comment I'm working on keeps opening in a new box on top the the text. I click it away, and it opens again after about 10 seconds.
Yes, my documents have lots of comments from multiple people, and those comments tend to be long, but that is how it has always been, and this problem only started happening around the time the Modern Comments update was loaded (which I have, but I have disabled it under Options).
I have a subscription product through my office and cannot revert to a previous version of Word.
If anyone knows of a way to turn off this incredibly annoying feature, please let me know.

Hello @Jaycee1159,

It seems that we, non-MS people on this forum, won't be able to help you in this particular situation.


You write how it affects your productivity, and potentially the productivity of your colleagues as well. This is, IMO, a question to your manager and your IT department. They need to talk to MS as the provider of the product your company works with. You make a strong case - please do raise this issue directly with Microsoft and perhaps you'll be able to help us all.


Please let us know how it went!



Unfortunately, if there are sufficiently many comments on the same page, the workaround to increase the "Preferred width" of the balloon/markup area may not help. 


Try copying document content into a new, blank document (I believe we discussed that method before). 


In addition, you can send feedback to Microsoft. In Word for Windows, use File > Feedback > Send a Frown (for more, see