Inserting Comments in an Outlook 2007 Message Body

As you probably already know, Microsoft Office Outlook 2007 uses a lean version of Microsoft Office Word 2007 as its email editor. Word 2007 has an extensive array of features, many of which are used by only a small percentage of the user base. One fairly commonly used feature in Word is the ability to highlight or point to content from a serially numbered comment inserted to the right of the text. There is no menu option in a new message form in Outlook 2007 to insert such a comment; however, the keyboard shortcut to insert a comment in Word 2007 still works.

When creating a new HTML message, you can insert a comment by using the keyboard shortcut CTRL-ALT-M. This works just as it does in Word. Figure 1 shows a new comment in the body of an email using Outlook 2007. If the recipient uses Microsoft Outlook 2007 and does not convert all inbound email to plain text, then the comments remain intact and can be acted upon if necessary. When viewing a message with a comment using the preview pane, the comment is visible with a mouse over. When the message is opened in a separate window, the comment is shown as it is in Word 2007. This may be viable as a private commenting feature for companies. Emails that go back and forth between users collaborating on message content may find this useful. I suspect there may be other uses for this feature, but I’ll leave that up to the reader. I do have to give credit to Outlook MVP, Michael Bednarz for pointing this feature out.

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