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Word 97 - Delete non-authored comments

By BMcKenzie ·
Running Word 97 Pro SR-2 in a mixed 2000/NT environment, and we have a contract template which one person has marked up extensively with comments. However, for the purposes of sending the actual contract out to clients, we need for other users to be able to delete (or completely hide so the clients can't see them) the comments. Apparently Word won't let you do this - only the user who created the comments can delete them. Any ideas for a workaround?

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Word 97 - Delete non-authored comments

by DKlippert In reply to Word 97 - Delete non-auth ...

What happens when you go to Tools>Protection? Turn protection off if possible.
You could also copy to another document.

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Word 97 - Delete non-authored comments

by BMcKenzie In reply to Word 97 - Delete non-auth ...

Nope, tried them both - the document is not protected and copying to a new doc doesn't work.

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Word 97 - Delete non-authored comments

by kees.valkenswaard In reply to Word 97 - Delete non-auth ...

Maybe it is not clear to me what you did. I made a document in Word 97. After finishing it I use Tools, Track changes, Highlight Changes? check Track changes while editing, OK and next save the document. This is what I always do before I give any document to somebody else for review. I went to another machine [as a different user]with Word 97 and added a lot of comments and also made changes in the text. These changes would be clearly marked. Next I saved the document.
Next I logged on again as a third user on the first machine and opened the document. So at that moment I was neither the originator, nor the reviewer. Again Tools, Track Changes and Accept or Reject Changes? I reject everything. So, all changes and comments have disappeared. I could switch off the Highlight changes, make a copy, switch off fast saving and anything else an extra safeguard.
Maybe you worked in a different way. In that case clarify your situation. Maybe you used that in my view very dangerous workgroup system? I would really have to look into that. It is years go I saw it and decided this is not for me. Since then I use the option above which has the disadvantage that the document goes from one person to the other. By the way, I use always a (simple) pass word to protect the document for tracked changes. If I know the pass word I can use it as any user in order to remove the protection for accepting or rejecting changes.
Good luck.

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Word 97 - Delete non-authored comments

by BMcKenzie In reply to Word 97 - Delete non-auth ...

I am not talking about Tracking Changes, that is a separate function. Word also has a Comments function (Insert>Comment, which can then be viewed by going to View>Comments), which is the one I am talking about. The Comments in this feature allow you to add notes to the doc that do not actually show in the text. However, they can always be viewed by going to View>Comments, which is the whole problem. I need a way to either delete these comments without having to recreate the whole document, orhide them from external (i.e., client) viewing.

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Word 97 - Delete non-authored comments

by kees.valkenswaard In reply to Word 97 - Delete non-auth ...

If you would have made the documents in the way I described the comments could easily be removed! That is what I am trying to say!
Now you will have a lot of work. First select the complete document, go to Tools, Language, (no proofing). This is tomake sure that right clicking will not result in the spelling checker to come up with suggestions.
Next, start at the top of the document. Click on the little dot between the two buttons with double arrows and choose Browse by Comment[the yellow note].
Once it is at a comment, right click with the mouse and select delete comment. Go to the next comment [with the two double arrows on the button right below, pointing down wards and now blue] Repeat right click with he mouse, etc.until all comments have been removed. Have fun. [Do it next time perhaps my way?]
Reset the dot button by opening again and clicking on page [top right of all the pictures] and save the document. Do not use fast save!
During Friday [office hours] I will not be in. So, if you want to reject this answer as well, rather than clarifying the situation below your own posting it is up to you. Do not expect further help from me in that case.

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Word 97 - Delete non-authored comments

by Shanghai Sam In reply to Word 97 - Delete non-auth ...

In retrospect we now know we should have done it differently. Unfortunately now we're stuck with it for the time being. I tried this solution and it did not work. I have tested the idea (above) that only the user who created the comments can delete them, and this is still true. For these comments (not authored by me) I click "Delete Comment" and nothing happens. When I make my own comment and then delete it, it works. (I am rejecting this answer because it didn't help. However I will try your other solution, below. Thank you for trying, whatever happens.)

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Word 97 - Delete non-authored comments

by kees.valkenswaard In reply to Word 97 - Delete non-auth ...

OK One other possibility. Save the document as a .txt file [not .rtf !]

Close it and open it again. You will see [userinitials#] behind a lot of text and the same stuff at the bottom with the comments visible.

Delete first all comments at the bottom.
Next do replace with CRTL H
Search string [userinitials^?]
Replace with nothing [leave replace box empty]
Replace all.
If there are many comments again:
Search string [userinitials^?^?] and if more than 100 comments add for the third time another ^?

Next replace two spaces [blanks] with one. Continue until with replace all 0 replacements.
Perhaps do auto format.
If it is a contract you probably should have used (multi level) auto paragraph numbering. That is lost by this trick. Auto format can improve the layout a little bit.

NOTES
^? Stands for any character
Userinitials stands for what you see when you move your mouse across the comment or when you look into the comment.
# is a sequence number
Spaces will be left in the document, therefore the repeated replacements of double spaces by a single one.
Auto format is under format
Save each time the intermediate result under a different name [just in case something is not improving your result].
Do not forget to save the end result again as a Word document.
So you will have to use Save as? every time.
1.1.2 numbering which is not auto numbering is in my eyes rather unprofessional. I used it already with good old WordPerfect [4.2, 5.0 and 5.1] You probably know better.

It may seem superfluous to add all these notes. However, your first comments make me believe that it may have some merit.

Good luck.

PS the TechRepublic system does me not allow to see my second answer, likely due to strange caching.

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Word 97 - Delete non-authored comments

by Shanghai Sam In reply to Word 97 - Delete non-auth ...

Okay, I'm trying this, and it does appear to be working. You were right, it is a huge pain in the ***. However I'm not sure that Track Changes would meet our needs. How else could we have done this so as to be able to have a template with many comments that do not alter the text that could be easily removed by other users? Or should we just make the other users log in as the author to use the comments? (Your solution did work, however I am leaving it open for more comments.)

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Word 97 - Delete non-authored comments

by BMcKenzie In reply to Word 97 - Delete non-auth ...

See, the problem with using Track Changes is that the clients use it for Legal to redline their changes. So I don't see how we could use Track Changes for our purposes. Our comments are meta-stuff like "Delete this paragraph if client has not purchased X services", etc. - instructions for us to use in preparing the contract to send to the client. Hope this helps.

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Word 97 - Delete non-authored comments

by DKlippert In reply to Word 97 - Delete non-auth ...

Turning Protection on and off should free the comments for deletion. Here's a macro I picked up in the WOPR forum:

Public Sub RemoveCommentsByAuthor(strAuthor As String)
Dim n As Long
Dim oComments As Comments
Set oComments = ActiveDocument.Comments
For n = oComments.Count To 1 Step -1
If LCase(oComments(n).Author) = strAuthor Then
oComments(n).Delete
End If
Next 'n
Set oComments = Nothing
End Sub

Sub TestIt()
RemoveCommentsByAuthor "joe ****"
End Sub

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