The first way, hidden text, is text you write inline into the manuscript itself. This may mess with your spacing.

Write your sentence, then put the note you want next to it. Highlight the note, right click the mouse, click format, check the hidden box. It will now have little dots under it. Go to Words Menu>Word Options>Display> and then toggle back and forth between hidden to make it appear and disappear.

When you send this to others to read, they will only see it if they have the hidden toggle on (doubtful), but you can easily get rid of all the hidden notes by making another copy so you don’t lose yours, select Replace>More Options>Format>Font>Hidden, then click replace all and every hidden note will disappear.

But I don’t like the spacing problems this might create, plus they aren’t the easiest to see unless you highlight it, adding more steps. However, this method keeps you from accidentally erasing your notes when you don’t see your notes.

Hidden Text

Pro: Cannot be accidentally erased when working with your document if you can’t see the note, You can send a copy of your document to others and most likely no one will think to look for hidden text though they could if they wanted to.

Con: Have to press quite a few mouse clicks, Can mess with your spacing depending on how you highlight your hidden text, Not as easily seen unless you color them before hiding them, Still have to make a clean copy if you absolutely don’t want anyone to find your notes.

So, can comment bubble notes be hidden? Yes, in a different manner.

Write your sentence and then highlight. In the review tab, click new comment. Write your information in the bubble. Now you have a note, but you can see it. In the tracking section of your review tab, click “Show Markup” check or uncheck “Comments” to toggle between seeing notes and not seeing notes. This way of hiding research notes will not mess with your formatting, but every time you add a new note, you’ll have to toggle “Comments” in “Show Markup” to hide them again if you don’t want to see them if they bother you while typing.

But I’d choose to leave them visible, because if you delete the word, you can accidentally erase the note that goes with it. You can, however, cut and paste, and the comment bubble will move with it.

Now, sending it to others requires you to make another copy again where all of your notes will show up, but you only have to press one button to get rid of them. In the review tab, press the little arrow button under the “delete” comment. The menu has “Delete all Comments in Document.”

Comment Bubble Shown in Markups

Pro: Does not create spacing issues, looks more organized, very few mouse clicks

Con: Can accidentally be deleted when messing with the document if you don’t see the note, You must make a clean copy for others because the notes by default will show up when the document is opened

I had thought I’d looked up the date of a word in my WIP, but I guess I hadn’t because it was wrong. Now, I’m going to add comments into my manuscripts of my research, internet links, etc. to prove my sources for what I’ve looked up connected right to the text I needed the research for, and I’ll be able to see instantly if I haven’t tied research to something someone may call into question. Then when I send the manuscript off for an edit, I’ll just make a clean copy for them.

So not exactly super smart, making research notes but still having to make a clean copy for critiquers or editors so they won’t see your personal comments, but it will work for me, I think. I’ll see!