Software

Insert voice comments into a Word document

When written words just won't do, provide a personal touch by inserting a voice comment into a Word document.
We use Word to share information and ideas via the written word, but there's more to Word than that. When something doesn't lend itself well to the written language, you can insert a voice comment. For instance, you might want to include a personal greeting or clarify a point. Of course, this feature is dependent upon the creator and the recipient having the appropriate hardware, so it won't work for everyone. The creator needs a microphone and the recipient needs speakers. If you can't control the recipient's hardware, you might want to skip this option. It won't help to insert a voice comment the recipient can't hear. Hardware issues aside, inserting a voice comment is easy:

  1. Display the Reviewing toolbar: From the View menu, choose Toolbars and then select Reviewing; or right-click the background of any toolbar and select Reviewing.
  2. If the Insert Voice icon isn't visible, add it: Click the Reviewing toolbar's drop-down arrow (at the right end) and choose Add Or Remove Buttons. Then, select Reviewing and select Insert Voice. In Word 2007, click the Office button and then click Word Options. Select Customize and then select Commands Not In Ribbon from the Choose Commands From drop-down list. Select Insert Voice and click Add and then click OK.
  3. After you add the Insert Voice button, you're ready to record a comment. Position your cursor where you want to insert the comment or highlight a word or phrase if you want to attach the comment to content.
  4. Click the Insert Voice button.
  5. When Word displays the Sound Object dialog box (which seems to take a while the first time), click the Record button (that's the red button at the right end).

  6. Start talking.
  7. When you're finished, click Stop (that's the rectangle to the left of the Record button).
  8. Close the Sound Object dialog box .

Word will insert a comment balloon that looks just like any other comment. However, instead of text, the comment balloon will display a speaker icon. To play the voice comment, simply double-click that icon.

About

Susan Sales Harkins is an IT consultant, specializing in desktop solutions. Previously, she was editor in chief for The Cobb Group, the world's largest publisher of technical journals.

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