Inline those Word Comments with iwc

Inline those Word Comments with iwc

Microsoft Word has a somewhat repugnant feature called “comments”.  The concept of comments is not so bad, but the implementation in Word is definitely annoying.  Why?  Because to read the comments you basically need to be in Word with the document open and either use their awful “bubble” interface to read the comments (where the comments are shown in the margin), hover your pointer over the (nearly imperceptible) comment markers () or open up the comment pane at the bottom.

The upshot is that printing the doc and reading it in a more comfortable setting is a no no. If you *do* print it out, the comments are unhelpfully located right at the end of the document so you need to back-and-forth from the text to the comments.

So I wrote myself a short script to inline those damnable comments (GPLv3).  It requires the command line and is written in Python.  If there is a modicum of interest it wouldn’t be much trouble to write a simple GUI frontend.

The process is:

* using Word, “save as” the document to a .txt file (choose ‘unicode – utf8’ but default should also work)

* python -i infile.txt -o outfile.txt

* open up outfile.txt with your favourite editor

Be warned – the quid pro quo for doing this is you lose a lot of your formatting :( Try using Word’s compare to see the markup between the original.doc and outfile.txt to show the comments.

Click here (or the link above) to get the script


0 Responses to “Inline those Word Comments with iwc”

  1. Leave a Comment

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Blog Stats

  • 247,852 hits

OSWALD Newsletter

If you would like to receive OSWALD, a weekly open source news digest please send an email to oswald (with the subject "subscribe") at

%d bloggers like this: