I have a lot of documents that I must comment on. The documents come to be in Word (.doc or .docx) format and I often type in the same comments again and again.

What I mean by this is that 95% of the comments I make are going to be from a list of 20 different canned comments like: "this reference does not exist" or "citation required" or "this is too general, please be more detailed."

Ideally, I would love a Word add-in (or I guess it could be an editor other than Word) that would allow me to enter my comments, then I would see a list of comments on the right that I could just drag and drop or perhaps highlight some text then double click the comment and have it added, something like that.

To be clear, I want to add comments not text to the body of the document.

Free would be great but I'm happy to pay a reasonable price as I would use it quite frequently.

3 Answers 3


Here are two ways to achieve what you want. I recommend the latter.

1) Word's autocorrect feature. If you want to insert "must try harder", just tell the spell checker to auto correct mth to must try harder, etc, etc

2) to be able to do the same in other applications, ditch MS's lousy clipboard & get a decent clipboard handler. I searched for years, and nothing can beat Ditto.

It will remember the last 50 things you copied to the clipboard (ever notice how, with MS only remembering one item, it's always the one before that that you want), and will also let you define boilerplate text.

Just press the hotkey to bring up Ditto, lick on the appropriate boilerplate text and it is no one clipboard, for you to paste into your Word document.

It also handles images.

  • Easy to use interface Search and paste previous copy entries
  • Keep multiple computer's clipboards in sync
  • Data is encrypted when sent over the network Accessed from tray icon or global hot key
  • Select entry by double click, enter key or drag drop
  • Paste into any window that excepts standard copy/paste entries
  • Display thumbnail of copied images in list


Why not use built in Copy bins in Office or VS.Net

  • VS.Net only collects pastes from inside Visual studio
  • No way to paste to external app
  • Can't search past clips
  • Limited storage of clips
  • Clips do not persist after closing Visual Studio

enter image description here

The software is stable, well maintained, free, and you can also search through & edit your clips. I have used it for years, and it is one of the three programs which I install first on any new PC.

  • 1
    Thanks for the idea. The clipboard replacement is interesting but the other solution would just add text to the body of the document when what I want is to add comments (notes that stick out on the side of the document).
    – John
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 11:55
  • Sorry. I must have missed that :-(
    – Mawg
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 12:01

I don't have MS Word on this computer but I think you could easily write it yourself as two macros.

First create a document that lists the comments that you want to be able to insert and save it.

Now, load one of the documents that you want to be able to annotate. Position the cursor where you want the comment to be placed.

To create the first macro, start the process for saving it and execute the keystrokes and mouse gestures needed to flip to the list of comments. Now stop saving that macro and give it a designation as a combination of keystrokes that is otherwise unused (perhaps Ctrl-Shft-7).

Select the comment you want and copy it to the clipboard.

Now to create the second macro, start the process for saving it and execute the keystrokes and mouse gestures needed to flip back to the original document, open a comment, paste the clipboard into it and return to the document. Stop recording the macro and give it a different keystroke designation (say Ctrl-Shft-8).

This sequence should be fairly close to what you need.

Now, whenever you need to enter a comment from the list, Ctrl-Shft-7, copy the comment to the clipboard, Ctrl-Shft-8.

  • Thanks Bill. You actually inspired me to write my own add-in.
    – John
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 11:56
  • I hope you enjoy doing it.
    – Bill Bell
    Commented May 17, 2017 at 13:31

Sounds like you are looking for something to grade class essays? There are tools out that that can address this, such as eMarking Assistant which has a Word plug-in to create/reuse a bank of comments, have rubrics, and other features. See the video on that page.

  • The features seem fine but $40 per year, every year is insanely high.
    – John
    Commented Jan 4, 2017 at 9:59

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