Word: Keyboard shortcut for adding a comment

October 27, 2011

I add a lot of comments to the documents I edit in Word. And I finally went hunting for a keyboard shortcut for adding a comment balloon. It’s obscure and not listed on the tooltip for the ‘New Comment’ icon on the Review ribbon in Word 2007 (or later). And even looking for it in the Word Options > Customize > Keyboard Shortcuts area for the Review Tab was an exercise in ‘Huh?’ But I found it!

It’s Ctrl+Alt+M (that’s intuitive… Not!)

If you go looking for it yourself in the keyboard shortcuts list, you’ll find it under InsertAnnotation in the list of Review tab commands.


  1. Hi Rhonda, That one was well worth a coffee That issue has been drving me nuts for some time. Cheers Jane

  2. Glad I could help, Jane! It’d been driving me bats for ages too, and it was really easy once I bothered to go hunting for it.

    Thanks for the coffee!


  3. Well found Rhonda. I was trying to do it with a macro, but this solution is much better.

  4. Thanks Rhonda for sharing

  5. Great help Rhonda! Thanks you so much.

  6. Who needs Christmas presents when there’s help like this? After an exceptionally unproductive crawl through the Office help system, Sergey+Larry+Rhonda saved the day. Thank you! = Fyodor

  7. Thank you that has been driving me crazy for a long time (c:

  8. doesn’t work on Mac

  9. I’m not surprised — as far as I can recall (from about 2000, the last time I touched a Mac), there’s no Control key on a Mac. There may be another keyboard shortcut for it, though. Try hovering over the icon and see if the tooltip tells you what it is.


  10. Hi Rhonda,

    Thanks for this – I have been looking for this for a while.

    Greetings from N Ireland.

  11. mac is cmd+option+a by default in word 2011

  12. Thank you Mike! I appreciate the information.

  13. This is Great!
    How do you get back the document without leaving the keyboard?

  14. Hi Joe

    I don’t know that you can. I tried Ctrl+Shift+Alt+M but that didn’t work. I just click back in the doc with the mouse, but that’s not much use to someone who only uses the keyboard.


  15. THANK YOU! Finally.

  16. If you want to get back to the document just click ESC.

  17. thx

  18. You’re an Angel Rhonda !!

  19. perfect! Your site has save me so much time, I don’t know why short cuts are so counter-intuitive lol

  20. Thanks so much!


  22. Thank you very much! New laptop, struggling to remember how I had solved this problem last time.

  23. thanks

  24. You saved me a lot of time. Thank you!

  25. Thanks so much Rhonda! You’ve helped both me and my maths teacher big-time!

  26. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! This has been driving me insane for so long. What was wrong with the old shortcut Alt+I, M? They don’t even appear to be using it for anything else. And *obviously* they would call it InsertAnnotation rather than InsertComment or AddComment — and include something called InsertInkComment just to confuse us.

  27. Wow! I am SO glad to have found your blog…two solutions I *desperately* needed today in less than 15 minutes!!! Our IT dept. periodically rolls out updates that require us to recreate all of our custom settings (and really, there are only a few of us who have them…), and I couldn’t for the life of me remember what command I needed to set my own “insert a comment” kb shortcut — Thank you!!!!! (InsertAnnotation…sheesh. why DO they insist on breaking things that were just fine to begin with?)

    The other thing you helped me with today was the Styles pane. I do NOT have “Keep track of formatting” checked, and yet ALL of the direct formatting in this document was showing up in the Styles pane…and I couldn’t find *anything* about getting rid of it. Your post about “Recommended” styles got rid of most of them — thank you!! And I just found another article about turning off “Paragraph level formatting” and “Bullet and numbering formatting”, also in the Style Pane Options dialog box.

    Thanks again, Rhonda — I’m definitely bookmarking your site!!

  28. Thank you so much. InsertAnnotation saved me. For those who use Word for Mac 2011, the shortcut is Command + Option + A.

  29. thanks a lot. Command+option+a. Great!! it saved me many hassles.

  30. Thank goodness for browsers. And thank goodness for kind people who share their finds. Been annoying me for years that I did not know the shortcut. Now I do! From sunny South Africa.

  31. Alt + I + M also inserts a comment. (So glad to have found the “Esc to return to main text” tip!)

  32. Hi

    The shortcut Ctrl + Alt + M doesn’t work on my version of word 2007. All I get is this: µ. Any ideas to another shortcut to add a new comment?


  33. Hi Soren

    It sound like someone has re-assigned that shortcut combination for that mathematical symbol. You can reassign the default one (or another one of your choosing) for adding a comment by following these steps: https://cybertext.wordpress.com/2010/08/30/word-assign-a-keyboard-shortcut-to-a-task/

    And if you use mathematical symbols, then turn on the autocorrect function for them and use \mu for ‘mu’ instead: https://cybertext.wordpress.com/2011/07/04/word-insert-mathematical-symbols/


  34. I have used ctrl+alt+m for years to add a comment. For some reason in the last few weeks it has stopped working. I’m on the same version of Word 2010. It now indents the copy. Does anyone know what I need to do now? Thanks.

  35. Actually, I’ve just realised that I think the Alt key has stopped working. The other Alt GR is working. I have solved my own problem.

  36. Thanks for the tip.

    Do you know how to get back into the comment from the keyboard (edit comment)?

    I also add lots of comments to my documents, and dislike having to go to the mouse to edit the contents after ESCaping.

  37. Thnx for d info really helpful

  38. Really nice and useful.I have been cracking my head for this answer

  39. Thanks for posting this. I had actually found the Ctl+Alt+M before I found your blog, but all it did was open a new document. Esc didn’t take me back to the original document, nor did the comment appear in the document. However, the Alt+I+M that Mike posted in May did work. So, thanks to you too Mike! So glad to have discovered this shortcut.

  40. Thank You!

  41. Thanks a lot!

  42. Hi there! Thanks so much for the information. Although this is a little old, I still use the old Word :P

  43. Bless you! Life just got easier. :)

  44. Amazing. Thank you!! Looked all through Review Tab but never thought it would be called Insert Annotation. (I pictured Annotations being hand drawn.)

  45. Rhonda: you’re my hero, too. Add another free cup of coffee from me to your list. Ferd

  46. Thanks! this helped :)

  47. Thanks – I can add that in the Norwegian (and probably other multi-language versions of Word) it’s . Luckily has the same function :-)

  48. Thank you so much….it saved so much of my time.

  49. many thanks for your help!

  50. What a savior, thank you very very much

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