Issue 6193 - Notes hard to see and edit
Summary: Notes hard to see and edit
Alias: None
Product: Writer
Classification: Application
Component: viewing (show other issues)
Version: OOo 1.0.0
Hardware: All All
: P3 Trivial with 117 votes (vote)
Target Milestone: ---
Assignee: eric.savary
QA Contact: issues@sw
: 9772 9773 9774 23467 34755 39285 45788 46658 56091 66759 82190 (view as issue list)
Depends on:
Blocks: 23465
  Show dependency tree
Reported: 2002-06-28 01:00 UTC by lorrin
Modified: 2019-10-09 14:39 UTC (History)
34 users (show)

See Also:
Latest Confirmation in: ---
Developer Difficulty: ---

Screenshot of an example comment (42.31 KB, image/png)
2005-09-06 21:33 UTC, netdragon
no flags Details
my comments and screenshots for testing notes in OOo 3.0 (97.18 KB, text/plain)
2008-05-11 07:22 UTC, gvsa123
no flags Details
line connectors in the notes to create a smooth path to the traingle (11.73 KB, text/plain)
2008-05-11 08:48 UTC, gvsa123
no flags Details

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Description lorrin 2002-06-28 01:00:05 UTC
In MS Word, notes are associated with a section of text. It looks like in
OpenOffice they are treated as seperate items between the characters on a line.
That's fine, but the little yellow box that signifies the note is hard to see
and has no right-click support for modifying or deleting the note.
Comment 1 prgmgr 2002-07-14 20:19:19 UTC
Thanks for your comments Lorrin.

I've escalated your comments as an enhancement request.
Comment 2 stefan.baltzer 2002-11-28 17:34:16 UTC
Reassigned to CJ.
Comment 3 magrawal 2003-03-14 14:35:28 UTC
I would like to add that a very useful feature in word regarding 
comments (or notes in openoffice) is that notes are visible all the 
time along the side of the document like regular text along with the 
name of the author of the note. In the current form in writer, we need 
to place the mouse over the note to read it. 

When we exchange documents among each other, we often place the notes 
to think loud for the other author. Therefore, it is very intuitive 
for the notes to be seen as callouts on the sidebar. It is also very 
helpful to be able to right-click the note and delete or edit the 
note. In fact, if a second author adds comments to the note, they 
should be distinguished by name and color.
Comment 4 gvfarns 2003-03-16 20:14:27 UTC
I agree with the note-in-the-margin idea.  

A temporary improvement that could be implemented quickly would be to
display the initials of the person who made the note inside the box
(thus making it more visible).  Also, when viewing the notes after
double clicking the box, some kind of word wrap should be enabled so
we can read the whole note without having to scroll to the side.
Comment 5 christian.jansen 2003-03-24 07:55:44 UTC
Reassiged to Bettina.
Comment 6 ingenstans 2003-04-05 09:03:19 UTC
Adding word wrap to the note window should be a very simple 
enhancement which would make it _much_ more usable. At the moment, 
ti's very frustrating to use a window that can't be resized and 
doesn't word wrap.

Comment 7 Unknown 2003-04-08 07:49:29 UTC
Additionally, it's not obvious how to delete a Note.  In fact it's 
not even clear that it can be done.  We've used it as group 
collaboration (in MS Word Comments) but now have problems doing so.
Comment 8 opherdonchin 2003-04-24 17:11:23 UTC
I'd just like to say what my priorities on the different aspects of
this issue are (in order of decreasing priority):

1) Clear way to delete
2) Word wrap
3) Visibility in text
4) Appearance in margins
Comment 9 vitg 2003-09-04 18:33:11 UTC
If i put the comment into the MSWord doc and after that import this
file into the openOffice, it does not show this comment as a Note.

Actually Notes/Comments is a must have for a prime time business use.
From my practice this is essential tool for collaboration and
discussing documents. The latest implementation as in MS Office XP
when comments are shown as bubbles on margins is perferct. OpenOffice
must have the same. Moreover, context menu should have Notes actions
(like add/remove).
Comment 10 leechenhwa 2003-09-28 07:32:59 UTC
I agree with a note style as bubbles on margins.

And it will be more convenient if the note text can be set colour and
font styles.
Comment 11 hgunz 2003-12-01 18:14:37 UTC
I agree with the above suggestions. Notes are very important in 
academic life, too -- we're always scrawling all over each others' 
papers, and the current OOo implementation just doesn't make this easy 
to do (or see). Do we know the status of this enhancement request?
Comment 12 swagato 2003-12-10 21:05:38 UTC
actually, msword has some features that make working with
 comments/notes easier - and i think writer could also use them ;)
 1. word after some version (at least version 10 does it that way)
 really shows comments on the page. it shows in the text where the
 comment begins, then a line leads to a bubble/box to the right side of
 the page where the comment can be found. of course, this disrupts page
 formatting, but there are cases when that is not so important (for
 example, when some bigger document has to be made by several people).
 writer could implement it so that this behaviour can be switched
 on/off for whole document and for individual notes (you could hide
 longer ones and display shorter ones, for example) + different colours
 for different authors (i think word does this), ability to customize
 fonts, lines etcetc
 also this allows to print document with notes neatly positioned
 besides corresponding text.
 btw, is it possible to print notes in writer and how does that look ?
 i tried setting tools -> options -> text document -> print -> notes
 (the same window as file -> print -> options - as mentioned in help),
 but page preview doesn't show any note to be printed. must this be
 done differently or is this impossible ? (or is it a bug and notes are
 not displayed in page preview ? :) )
 2. when you select some text in writer, then insert a note, this text
 is replaced by note.
 when you do the same in word selected text is indicated by coloured
 brackets and comment is inserted for the whole text block. such an
 approach allows
          a) comment on some particular part of the text without
          rewriting that you comment on those 3 words not 4 etc;
          b) easier access to the comment - usually it is slightly
          harder to position mouse over comment block than over whole
          word or sentence :)
          also it is easier to notice longer block than one yellow
          little box :)
 this is one of the features that i miss in writer :)
Comment 13 lohmaier 2003-12-11 17:49:35 UTC
*** Issue 23467 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 14 apienk01 2003-12-15 09:27:54 UTC
For me, signalling notes on a margin is not important, as long as the notes are
clearly visible on a page. I strongly recommend to do it the way it is done in
MS Word - by assigning a note to a range of text. I suppose this will require a
major re-design, because current solutions of note editing (double click) and
note deleting (with a cursor) obviously will not be feasible with ranged notes.
Comment 15 byte 2004-01-25 03:31:06 UTC
Let's get word wrap working as well.
Comment 16 temcat 2004-04-03 11:16:16 UTC
Please, please, please make the comment balloons optional! I personally find the
way comments are implemented in Word XP just plain unusable. The reason is that
most of the time I work in Normal mode (text is wrapped to the window border,
zoom can be arbitrary). This mode allows me to concentrate on the content and
have large text which saves my eyes. But to edit comment in the ballon, I have
to switch to page layout mode; this is very inconvenient. Yes, I can hover the
mouse over the commented range and edit the comment via context menu, but the
red parentheses marking the comment in Word XP are hardly visible. In addition,
I cannot close the frame with comment content using the keyboard...

To me, Word 2000 implemented comments just wonderfully: comments are clearly
visible, perfectly accessible in Normal mode and manageable from the keyboard.
Please make this an option, too.

Thank you.
Comment 17 walrus 2004-04-27 01:24:33 UTC
I've been using OpenOffice since two years as my only word processor. Recently,
I began working as an author for a publishing house, so I'm now using a bunch of
things I wasn't using before... like the note function !

I'm able to work easily with my co-authors (who work with various versions of
Word), except for the note thing... Here are the major stoppers I've seen after
working on some hundred pages (without repeating what's already been said).
Working on OOo 1.1.1

-Seeing the notes if you print them
 -all at the end of a document
 The way it works now, there is no way to know where the note you print belongs
to. The line numbers refer to a total of line (on a 40 pages document, pretty
useless to know that you comment is on line 498). Having something (like the
author of the note in [] like MS Word does) could be useful (and optional, or
just while printing them)
 -after each page
 This wastes a lot of paper ! and has the same problem as the other way...

-Knowing what the note refers to
 This has been said in another comment (the part of the text the note is
refering to is underlined in word document and is not in OOo)

Plus, some bugs already mentioned (word wrap, not seeing the notes in the print

The way the notes work for now may be a problem trying to convince people in the
publishing house to use OpenOffice...

Please make this work for (one of the) next milestone... :-)

Keep up the good work, the rest of OOo is fantastic !
Comment 18 walrus 2004-08-16 18:30:38 UTC
Is this issue considered in any way for OOo 2.0 ?

Notes are not being used by the majority of users, but those who use it consider
it an essential feature of MS Word, it would be nice if it could be corrected
for the next 2.0.

Comment 19 vitg 2004-08-17 08:22:26 UTC
I agree with walrus
Does anybody know if Notes is included in OOo 2.0 plan?
Comment 20 vitg 2004-08-17 08:28:34 UTC
BTW, why this issue blocks 	23465?
To my mind in facct these both issues are about the same feature.
Comment 21 lohmaier 2004-08-17 22:02:45 UTC
no, these issues are not identical. This one basically is about not knowing
where the note refers to since it is only displayed as small yellow box "[]" in
the text.
The other issue is bout having notes/comments displayed permanently, without
hovering over the indicator with the mouse.

But since these issues are related I linked them. This issue doesn't really
"block" issue 23465, but there is no better field to "combine" issues.
Comment 22 lohmaier 2004-10-14 17:52:46 UTC
*** Issue 34755 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 23 lohmaier 2004-12-20 18:02:31 UTC
*** Issue 39285 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 24 lohmaier 2004-12-20 18:04:10 UTC
adding keywords, reassigning.
Comment 25 michael.ruess 2005-04-05 07:27:57 UTC
*** Issue 46658 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 26 rsearjeant 2005-04-05 19:51:32 UTC
Just to add my 'two-cents' on this.
Notes are, IMO:

1) Too hard to delete!  In fact, after 5 minutes trying to locate a way to do 
this, including looking in the help file, can someone please tell me how to do 

2) Horrible to add and edit.  MS Word does this much better, using callouts 
and direct editing.

3) As someone else pointed out, improved printing support is also important.

I will vote for improvements here.
Comment 27 ingenstans 2005-06-12 21:12:51 UTC
I really ought to add the interoperability keyword here. I have been working 
with someone who uses Word to annotate documents, and, while the annotations are 
carried over between formats, the notes put in with Word are invisible in the 
main writer screen (I can see them witht he Navigator) and very hard to read. 

It is nearly four years since I opened this issue. 
Comment 28 ingenstans 2005-06-12 21:14:27 UTC
Comment 29 alphagremlin 2005-06-15 01:05:36 UTC
This is the one feature that is keeping me from switching entirely from Word to 2.0 beta for my writing: the lack of ability to read comments along side
the text.
It is SO much easier when editing, to be able to simply scroll down the page and
look at the comments at the side. I think this is very intuitive, since the
margin is where people would write comments normally.
Comment 30 zerohalo 2005-07-01 17:45:57 UTC
There are a number of issues concerning the Notes implementation that need
fixing, and I'd like to submit a proposal for how to implement them that IMO
would make the experience even better than in Word. 

However, since better implementation of Notes is not likely to make it into
version 2.0 at this stage, would it be possible to AT LEAST fix the bug whereby
a notes window doesn't have word-wrap? I can't tell you how frustrating that bug
is and has almost single-handedly turned off all my co-workers to OOo. It should
be very easy and simple to fix, and then we can tackle the bigger issues (like
not being able to see the notes easily, notes not saving in RTF format, etc.) 
Comment 31 edgimar 2005-07-07 22:16:11 UTC
Here's a proposal for what the commenting functionality in OpenOffice might look like:

First, every comment will have a beginning and ending position associated with it (these are positions in the actual document, not of the comment).  These beginning/ending positions are used to highlight the region of text/etc. which the comment applies to, if such highlighting is enabled.

Each comment can be represented in up to 2 places: the actual text the comment refers to (highlighted), the margin (next to the line(s) which the comment refers to).  All comments can always be viewed in a separate "comment-list" window which the user can open up from a menu item. (so, technically, comments can be represented in 3 places)

For the highlighted-text representation, and the margin representation, these representations can have different appearances:

highlighted-text options: (Color of highlighting) AND ((Appears as normal highlighting) OR (Appears as "auto spellcheck" style highlighting, underneath the text))

margin options: (Appears only as an unobtrusive indicator which when hovered over displays comment) OR (Text of comment appears in margin)


Secondly, whether appearing in the margin, as highlighted-text, or in a comment-list, the comment can be right-clicked, and a context menu will appear which includes the following items:

- Edit comment
- Delete comment
- Comment properties

When a user clicks on comment's properties, a properties window opens up containing the following:

- Show in margin? [checkbox]
- Highlight corresponding region in document? [checkbox]
- Highlighting style:  <full highlighting> or <spellcheck-style highlighting> [radio buttons]
- Highlighting color [color chooser]

These properties can be set individually for each comment.

Of course somewhere in the main openoffice settings, the user should be permitted to set the defaults for these settings as they apply to newly created comments.


Lastly, there should be a means of re-defining which region in the original document a given comment is associated with (permitting the possibility of 'none').  Preferably this would be some sort of graphical interface, such as placing small handles on each end of the comment-highlighted region so that the handles could be dragged to change the beginning/ending positions associated w/the comment.


Naturally, as has been mentioned, the comment text needs to be properly line-wrapped, but that I think is obvious -- it is a bug which needs fixing, not a feature which needs adding.

I hope these ideas are helpful.
Comment 32 lorrin 2005-07-13 06:42:56 UTC
I think edgimar's suggestions are insightful. I would, however recommend one change: how comments are 
viewed should be seen as a preference of the user and not a property of the document. It would be tedious 
if two users kept thrashing the comment view back and forth while working on a document.
Comment 33 netdragon 2005-09-06 21:33:29 UTC
Created attachment 29356 [details]
Screenshot of an example comment
Comment 34 netdragon 2005-09-06 21:46:56 UTC
Are bug 9772, bug 9773, bug 9774, bug 9775, bug 9776, and bug 1981 duplicates of
this bug?
Comment 35 mjensendk 2005-10-06 17:07:02 UTC
I've been checking up on this issue regularly the last 2 years to see if
anything was happening and I finally decided to register just for the simple
purpose of commenting on this issue (in the hopes that someone would accelerate
this as it's been existing since 2001 from issue 1981):

I've tried to present the writer to more than 20 different people ranging from
co-employees to people from the academic community. Everyone loves it until they
see how bad the commenting functionality is working. 

Within the academic circles and related businesses that I work the lack of
proper support of this makes the introduction of OO impossible. This is first
and foremost because a better alternative in form of MS word exists.

The editing of notes as they are right now is quite acceptable, but the
“readability†of them is horrible. If the problems with the excellent
suggestions above are that they will take too long to integrate I would suggest
a simple solution. Implement an “on mouse over†that works just like the simple
“hints†when you hold your move over a button in one of the toolbars. This
should at least make it easier to read the notes until a better solution is
Comment 36 haggholm 2005-10-12 18:18:15 UTC
Has this issue been worked on at all in the past three years?

Is it assigned to an active developer?

(I have no familiarity with the OpenOffice code base or the file formats
concerned, and lack a machine suitable for compiling this rather large piece of
software or I'd get straight on it myself, homework or no homework. As it is ...
well, this sounds to me like it would be a rather minor enhancement, and it has
been in the works for over three years. Surely it cannot be a dramatic amount of
work to fix it?)

See also issues 5487 and 55801.
Comment 37 ingenstans 2005-10-13 07:23:12 UTC
The answers to your question are "No" and "No". Welcome to the reality of 
OpenOffice development. No work on the core competences of the programme ever 
gets done except by Sun employees. Very little work anywhere gets done by 
amateurs -- there is some done by professionals employed by some Linux companies 
but most of that is, obviously, aimed at making the programme fit better with 
their own product. 

As you've noticed, this is because it is pretty much impossible for anyone who 
is not a professional even to compile the program, let alone to change anything 
about it. 

Parts of Sun are extraordinarily responsive and helpful. Other parts seem 
completely overwhelmed. I think this is the most egregious example in IZ of 
something that has been simply ignored forever. At some stage they will have to 
determine what goes into version 3. This might make it in then, but we'll still 
have to wait eighteen months. 
Comment 38 mjensendk 2005-10-13 10:38:50 UTC
Damn shame anyway since a good implementation of this feature has been included
in the spreadsheet for ages. One would belive it would be pretty easy to reuse
that code for this purpose - but I guess thats it is 2 different groups working
on the writer and the spreadsheet. 
Comment 39 Regina Henschel 2005-10-16 16:03:11 UTC
*** Issue 56091 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 40 planetthoughtful 2005-11-04 00:32:20 UTC
For what it's worth, and given that this issue has been around since before Adam
took a liking to apples, I'd like to add my plea to the development team to
enhance the Notes feature to emulate the way comments are treated in MS Word 2003.

As a creative writer I heavily depend on leaving notes to myself on areas in a
story where plot development is required, or where I need to pay extra attention
in a future draft etc.

In MS Word, the Comments feature makes this extremely easy and useful. Writer's
implementation of Notes, however, is currently the only feature in OOo that
makes me think about using MS Word again.

Much warmth to all,

Comment 41 jpeake 2005-11-18 21:09:16 UTC
Still hoping this gets resolved soon.  Crazy thing is that comments/notes 
actually work pretty well in Calc.  I'm amazed that it's so different in 
Writer.  Why not just reuse the code.
Comment 42 ostashenko 2005-11-19 17:52:18 UTC
Please do add line wrap and resize features to the Notes dialog at least! 
Comment 43 wolfchri 2005-12-19 21:09:16 UTC
Please add finally a decent comment function as described here! (Notes and
changes visible on the margin part of the document) Folks, in our company
(60,000 employees, a bank) OOO will not have the SLIGHTEST change to be
considered as a MS Office replacement as long there is no comment function as in
Winword and a Tracking function for changes in the document! 

I appreciate the work you did, folks, but you are damaging the reputation of OOO
as a serious MS Office challenger as long such BASIC features for modern office
environments are missing! I Beg, I ask, I pray, I wish - PLEASE get it done
finally! This missing feature IS A SHOWSTOPPER !!! 
Comment 44 jwalter 2006-01-09 18:56:30 UTC
see newest Adobe Acrobat for a quite nice notes/comments system
Comment 45 webdeuser 2006-01-09 20:45:56 UTC
If you want to see how notes/comments are done right, have a look at the new
version of Textmaker (Textmaker2006), it will also be available for Linux soon.
However, while with a low pricetag (EUR 59?), it is not free, and it can
currently only import, but not export to the OpenDocument format, which is
essential for me.  (no, I have no relation to them, it
just looks very promising)

I have given up hope that OpenOffice will have a useful comment functionality
anytime soon. Obviously a project driven by programmers, not by users.The
developers have never worked in a office environment - marketing workflows
require comments, for us counsels it is essential as well - you can not have a
document based workflow without a working comment function. No real live testing.

I wonder if Sun really wants Star Office to be sucessful? They will never break
in the office environment as long as such basic features are missing.
Comment 46 aredshaw 2006-03-13 01:21:17 UTC
I use the comments on MS Word regularly to show my class (I am a teacher)
particular comments I have made about parts of a text. It is therefore vital to
be able to see the comments along side the text and to see what part of the text
that comment refers to. I would love it if OpenOffice would have notes that
could be seen along side a text (like Word) and to be able to show what part of
the text that note is referring to. 

Will this happen any time soon? I see this thread is quite old.
Comment 47 temcat 2006-03-13 09:53:45 UTC
I've too given up hope for comments being implemented in OOo. To everybody that
needs this feature (and there's plenty of them) I recommend TextMaker 2006. Its
Word compatibility is perfect, and comments work as they should, though the
implementation is not optimal (but at least it preserves all Word's comment data).
Comment 48 mjensendk 2006-05-26 19:33:19 UTC
In 7 days this problem with oo has it's 5th year birthday as not being dealt
with (counting from issue 5487 which deals with the same problem). 

This issue is among the 15 highest voted in the issue tracking system.

It is is the single biggest show stopper in the entire oo suite of programs for
regular academic and office users. 

If this feature in the program is considered irrelevant I would strongly suggest
the notes feature be removed entirely as it does more harm by confusing users
than it does good by being present at the moment. 



Comment 49 akkana 2006-05-26 22:10:53 UTC
"Metoo". Comments are by far the most painful aspect of trying to use OOo to
collaborate with MS Word users.

My priorities are:
1. Word wrap both in the navigator and the comments field, since those are the
only ways of actually reading comments.

2. Some way of seeing comments in their location in the document, preferably
colored differently according to who made the comment. I don't really care if
it's balloons in the margins or some sort of highlighting in the text, I just
want some way of telling they're there. (Sometimes now there are tiny yellow
boxes, but often if they're there at all they're no more than one pixel wide;
anyone who can see that when scrolling down through a document has better eyes
than I do.)

3. As long as the navigator is the only way of seeing notes, please keep the
order of comments there constant (unless the user specifies otherwise).
Currently they periodically jump to new positions without warning, which makes
it very difficult to step through comments one by one making sure each one has
been addressed. Ideally, even make it possible for the user to specify the order
(order by position in the document, by creation date or by last modified date),
though always ordering by position in the document would be enough.
Comment 50 bryancole 2006-07-01 21:29:50 UTC
It's clear there are some really quite simple things that could be done to
hugely improves the notes functionality in Writer: 

1) make all areas where note-text is displayed/edited wrap text autometically
(the  pop-up tool tip in the navigator window, the editor dialog, the navigator

2) make the editor window non-Modal and (even better) dockable like

3) make the mouse-over popup windows (which are text wrapped, thankfully) more
persistent (maybe with a keyboard shortcut to 'stick' them and a close-button to
clear it), so the user stands a chance of reading it.

Others have described more sophisticated functionality which would indeed be
wonderful, but even small changes could bring great useability improvements,
particularly if they can be implemented sooner.
Comment 51 zerohalo 2006-07-03 04:35:44 UTC
I second bryancole's suggestions. While there are solutions to this that would
be ideal, and even outshine MS Word's comment implementation, if at the least
the three points bryancole brings up could be implemented, it would make
comments useable in OO in a work environment (which they are currently not). 

I would add two points to his list:

4) When two or more comments are right next to each other (especially common
when someone comments on someone else's comment), the mouse-over will only
reveal the first, and not the second (in fact, it's even hard to notice there is
a second one). Somehow it needs to show both (or several) comments and allow the
user to view either one or all.

5) When adding to someone else's comment (via the editor) OO changes the
authorship of the note to the current author. That is a bug, since the identity
of the original comment maker is lost. Instead, the person adding to the
original comment should add their name before their comment (which can be done
with the author button). This is especially important when having to
inter-operate with MS Word users. 
Comment 52 michael.ruess 2006-07-14 14:10:57 UTC
*** Issue 66759 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 53 lohmaier 2006-08-03 21:15:51 UTC
*** Issue 67173 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 54 utomo99 2006-11-10 10:30:33 UTC
This issue already more than 4 Years old. But until now there is nobody taking 
care this issue. 
I hope somebody take care and implements it. espacially this have  
ms_interoperability, rfe_eval_ok, usability
Comment 55 parmruss 2006-11-13 16:31:01 UTC
As an added note, this issue now has 101 votes, which should place it somewhere
around 5th or 6th place in the top 20 overall at
Comment 56 Mathias_Bauer 2006-12-11 13:37:39 UTC
*** Issue 9772 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 57 Mathias_Bauer 2006-12-11 13:39:18 UTC
*** Issue 9773 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 58 Mathias_Bauer 2006-12-11 13:40:40 UTC
*** Issue 9774 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 59 temcat 2006-12-11 13:43:48 UTC
"Issue 9772 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue.
Issue 9773 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue.
Issue 9774 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue."

Nice to see that my old issues are not forgotten :-)
Comment 60 dylanmccall 2007-01-28 03:55:37 UTC
Has the Notes feature been addressed at all lately?

Even when it isn't compared to Word, the current feature is useless.
The actual Notes editor does not do word wrapping or spell checking, the notes
are tiny yellow boxes that could easily be mistaken for little graphics glitches
(really, the pointer doesn't even change when placed over them!), the Notes can
easily be removed by accident...
Everything that Notes do seems like a bug, and when I first discovered the
feature I thought that I was looking at the wrong thing and started looking for
'the real Comments feature', only to later discover (to my horror!) that
Insert->Note was actually it.

I cannot see many people (or, considering how popular this feature request is,
any people) using today's Note feature.

I find that a shame, because it seems to have some potential. For example, those
Notes keep track of who created them and when. A basic feature, but a nice one

Mostly, this feature needs some sign that notes are present. An icon and a
simple swapping to the "You are hovering over a button" pointer at the
appropriate time could very well work wonders.

Improving this thing is probably a lot easier than some other features that the
developers are working on!

(And I guess I should say since this is my first thing written here and I seem
quite ungrateful: OOo is a great piece of work, and the fact that the only thing
I can find wrong is the Notes feature shows just how good it is).

I, for one, think that Word's comments are equally imperfect. They at least show
up, but at the same time they are very obtrusive. (Ugly, too!)

I like the idea of having Notes show up at the bottom of pages; it makes that
sort of stuff really easy and consistent to do.
That is one way that I think a revised Notes could work well, and I have
outlined it below:

In this example, I am including the text of a poem in a text document.

-There are some portions of this poem which are difficult to understand, so it
is necessary to add comments to certain words and lines. Conventionally, one
needs to do this 'by hand', adding the subscript numbers beside words and small
notes into the footer.

-However, OpenOffice is not a conventional word processor! I select a word and
use Insert->Note to add a note to that word (or line, or whatever). A number is
added beside it (and an indication appears to tell me that it is in fact a note
and not just a number added by myself). I can then edit that note in the Note
editor, and its text will appear in the footer.

Of course, that basic example is not really the full potential of a cleaned up
Notes feature. What if, instead of Notes content just going in the footer,
Autotext fields for Notes were added? (With different formats available, and
perhaps some entirely different fields to choose from; one for 'Notes on this
page', one for 'every note in the document'). Then one could have Notes on a
side bar, in the footer for each page, or at the end of the document.
Or, complicating further, what if Styles could be applied to notes? Joe wants
notes marked with numbers, Bob wants notes marked with underlines or bold text,
and Mark wants words that have notes applied simply not marked at all (but still
quietly clarified in the sidebar).

Room for expansion beyond that. What if Notes could have different
classifications? Some could be specifically aimed at an Index, some could be
intended for the side of the page in the final version, and then some could be
intended as temporary notes for a draft.

Of course, those thoughts there are for the most part Way Beyond just a basic
adjustment to the Notes feature. I do think, though, that it would be a good
step from 'Useless feature' to 'Extremely useful feature that goes beyond the
norm'. OpenOffice is well deserving of such a treatment, and I think it has a
lot of room.
Comment 61 josef80 2007-02-09 08:10:10 UTC
I would like to encourage raising the priority for this bug. It even happened 
to me that sometimes the small yellow notes boxes are not visible at all, 
while a double-click on the right margin reveals them. My current 
(collaborative) editing consists of having a printed-out version of the draft 
text from a colleague using MS Word. One could argue whether notes are a 
necessary feature at all, but over time I've come to like them since they 
provide out-of-band information which cannot easily be forgotten in the draft 
If displaying them as part of the document is too hard, then an alternative 
could be to display them as small icons on the side line similar to what an 
IDE does for tracepoints and warnings, and to provide a summary of all added 
notes somewhere.
Given that the type of this issue is still ENHANCEMENT, maybe something can be 
done about it. Otherwise, I think it would be more correct to acknowledge the 
current display behaviour as a bug.
Comment 62 Mathias_Bauer 2007-03-01 22:34:01 UTC
Thanks for all your comments. We have a lot of issues that seem to be important
and we can't work on all of them at once. 

Fortunately this issue seems to be something that a clever C++ developer should
be able to implement even without a deep knowledge of the Writer internals, so
we ask all interested people with development capabilities in C++ to help us
with this enhancement. 

Of course some teaching will be necessary in the starting phase but support from
our side is guaranteed. Perhaps somebody would like to implement this in the
next Google Summer of Code?
Comment 63 cprgmswr2 2007-04-18 15:14:51 UTC
I know c++ fairly well and I been programming in c since I was 13. I am now a
college student in my junior/senior year. I would love to contribute to an open
source project, but it seems every attempt to work on open source projects fails
before I can even get to the coding part. I have extensive win32 API knowledge
and this seems like a very simple project that wouldn't take more than two weeks
to program once I understand how to interface the code. 

I am using Gentoo Linux and have had difficulty in compiling openoffice by
downloading the source code manually, but I can compile it through portage. If I
can get help, I will be willing to attempt this feature.
Comment 64 cjwhrw 2007-04-18 18:02:33 UTC
Could someone please let me know how to sign off from this issue? I have nothing
further to contribute.

Colin W.
Comment 65 lohmaier 2007-04-18 20:18:40 UTC
You voted for this issue. Remove your vote for this issue (use "Vote for this
issue" link and insert 0 votes in the edit-votes page) and you won't recieve
further notifications.
Comment 66 cjwhrw 2007-04-18 22:29:49 UTC

Many thanks.

Very simple, once you know the ropes.

Colin W.

Comment 67 cjwhrw 2007-04-18 22:30:34 UTC

Many thanks.

Very simple, once you know the ropes.

Colin W.

Comment 68 Mathias_Bauer 2007-05-05 14:14:30 UTC
assigned to mod
Comment 69 max.odendahl 2007-05-05 18:42:25 UTC
Work on a new notes implementation has started
Comment 70 pobbz 2007-05-07 07:38:56 UTC
"Work on a new notes implementation has started"


And it took only 5 yrs.... Duh. I guess it's better late than never.
Comment 71 zerohalo 2007-05-07 21:12:25 UTC
Wonderful news! If implemented properly, this feature could help OOo provide an
advantage to MS Word. 

I used comments A LOT in my line of work (for which I currently switch from OOo
to MS Word), and some critical features, IMO, are (some of these are mentioned
below already:)

- The portion of the text the comment refers to is highlighted when the comment
is selected or moused over. 
- Comments can be displayed in three places: A tool-tip when moused over (please
include the author name, currently missing), A balloon in the margin (as in MS
Word 2003), and a Comment window (please make it a separate window, not at the
bottom of the current window as in MS Word).
- Threaded comments! Missing from MS Word and very important. Adobe Acrobat
comments implements this nicely. Right clicking on a comment should include a
"Reply" option, and the comments are nested accordingly. 
- Comment window: Like the Navigator window, lists all comments, in a threaded
display. Comments can be selected, and using right click, presents users option
to delete, reply, edit. When selecting a comment in the Comment Window, cursor
is automatically positioned to where that comment is in the document. 
- In balloon mode or comments window, comments are highlighted with the color of
the reviewer. Makes it easy to spot comments from a certain person. 

Comment Window feature: The ability to filter comments by reviewer (show only
comments from a certain reviewer). MS Word has this. However, in addition - and
this is something MS Word doesn't have - the ability to filter comments by
document version. The point is this: You add comments to a file. You send to
co-worker. They add more comments. You look at the file, but you really only
want to see their latest comments, not all of the old comments that have already
been resolved. If you could filter by document revision, then it would only show
the comments since the document was last saved. If that's not possible, then at
least a date filter (comments since such-and-such a date). 
Comment 72 Mathias_Bauer 2007-05-17 18:43:58 UTC
As work has started it's now time for target 2.x.
Comment 73 utomo99 2007-06-14 04:08:00 UTC
Good news for all of us, when this already started. 

But it will be Better if it can be considered for OOo 2.3
As we all know this has many votes, and also already 5 years.  
just my 2c.


Comment 74 eric.savary 2007-06-15 14:05:21 UTC
Just correcting some flags in this issue.
Comment 75 gvsa123 2007-07-12 09:50:01 UTC
I agree that this should already be implemented in the next version. I was
surprised to see the discussion dated way back 2003.

I was intended on reporting the word wrap function in Writer Notes, but also
came across issues about notes being printed "on the side" of the document. I
experienced this actually when I printed a document made in OOo in Word. I
thought all along that it was possible when printing directly from OOo. It does
make for a sound enhancement as notes should be visible in the print out (for it
to read, otherwise it would be rendered useless), but not "part" of the text in
the document itself. 

It would also be a good feature to have them appear as "callouts" (to appear as
'speech ballons'[?]) when the pointer hovers above. While functionality can be
obtained by simply double-clicking on the yellow box to view the note, it's good
aesthetically - otherwise, OOo might be left behind in the aesthetics
department, which is undeniably one aspect that attracts the average user.
Although I do think aesthetics should be well balanced, as it could lead to the
suite being bloated (don't know really - i'm no programmer), it should always be
considered in an application - to appeal to the senses.

We seriously have to get this going in the next release! 
Comment 76 utomo99 2007-07-13 06:04:12 UTC
It is not 2003. It is 2002. 
So It already 5 years. 

If this REALLY cannot go into the 2.3, I hope we can make the baloon first, so 
people can see it better instead of many people mis about the notes, because 
it is too small. 
Comment 77 gvsa123 2007-08-06 15:30:46 UTC
i checked in just to see whether this would be implemented along with the PDF
import capability targeted at v.3.0. but i saw that the target is with version
2.4. cool. i hope they get this working. if i knew how to program, i'd help myself.

i didn't read through the entire discussion again, but i hope that they do fix
all the suggested enhancements and fixes regarding notes.

1. word wrap
2. change cursor into arrow pointer or something
3. a pop-up balloon when hovering over the cute little yellow boxes
Comment 78 Mathias_Bauer 2007-08-17 10:22:25 UTC
For all interested in this issue:
Comment 79 gvsa123 2007-08-17 12:00:01 UTC
as an end user, i think it's pretty good. 
things i found to be impressive:
- color-coded scheme for different authors
- scroll bars
- formatting and spell checking
- (if i got this right) notes adjusting their position in case they overlap in
the pane. great work!

some additional pointers:
- maybe a fade effect on the color of the notes would add for good user experience

-rounded edges of course

- fine broken lines to separate the author and date from the actual note content
maybe? just to give them a section-type effect. the scroll bar looks
"incomplete" because one looks at the author and date as part of the note
itself, and it looks/feels like the scroll bars didn't extent the entire note. 

- NEW - an option to have them displayed on top of the document itself maybe?
like post it's sticked on paper, in it's exact position, such that they all
appear on top of the document? and then an option to view them on the side pane
of course (animated and all-at-once movement maybe?) when user wants to work
with the document already. just thought it would be a nice user experience also.
i have this widget ("forget me not") from yahoo that has a little transparent
tape-like thing on top of the "post it". i think it would look nice to have the
notes look like actual post it's placed on paper (the document), including the
tape (well post it's don't have tape, but i think it would look good though).
also it would be an original OOo feature.

- the flash for the connecting lines are nice also, but i'm not sure it would be
nice to have them constantly moving like neon night lights in vegas or bars
though. maybe it could be done in such a way that they become animated only when
the user is finished writing on/to the notes, or while the user is typing. it
might be considered a bit of an annoyance to have them flashing all the time. :)

- export to PDF i think shouldn't be missed

that's all i can think of as of now. i hope it adds to the brainstorming of how
to improve notes. to  add, it's good that OOo is coming with it's own rendition
of notes (comment/annotations). i think it far exceeds the others also.
Comment 80 robertf 2007-08-18 12:46:08 UTC
My comments on :

I'm not sure I understand 'when to show vertical scrollbars if all notes
need it due to a full page ...'. Presumably a scrollbar should always
be displayed in all notes which need it.

I think that the author's name and date/time should be with the note, not in a
tooltip or the navigator. There should be some visual distinction between the
main scrolled part and the unscrolled meta information, perhaps a fine line as
suggested by gvsa123.

Special appearance when being edited: not colour or intensity because it will be
difficult to be tasteful but effective when combined with multiple
(author-specific and/or user-customizable) colours; changing connector line from
dashed to solid line seems adequate. Or maybe make note outline thicker?

Connector line: no flashing, please, except perhaps when editing; dashed, then
solid when editing, sounds good.

I would argue against rounded corners, for consistency with main page display
and with PostIt note analogy.

I think the use of gradients is unnecessary, and it complicates the choice of
colours that provide adequate contrast.

Anchor: should be a triangle, not a circle as shown in one mock-up
Comment 81 zerohalo 2007-08-22 18:02:29 UTC
Great to see this coming along! 

A few comments on the display of the notes (based on wiki proposal):

- Author name and datetime should be included in the sidebar note as shown in
the mockup. However, maybe it should be at the top of the note instead as it's
one of the first things you'll look for. Also, the metadata portion of the note
could be a darker shade to differentiate from the rest of the note.
- The connectors to the target text area are good. But please no animated or
flashing connectors; that would be very annoying.
- When mousing over the target area (in instances where the notes sidebar is
turn off), a tooltip should appear (as it currently does in OOo) with both the
note and the author/time metadata. 
- Also when mousing over a target area, with notes sidebar visible, maybe the
note itself could blink a couple of times. That way if there are a lot of notes
in a paragraph, and it's not so obvious which connector lines connect to which
notes, it would be easy to identify the note in question.

A general request regarding useability.

- Please include the possibility "reply" to notes, or at least to link one note
to another; that way if user B comments on something from user A, it's obvious
which note he's referring to. (In MS Word, if you're clicked inside a note, and
then click "add note", the new note that is created has an id # that references
the original note that the user was inside.) 
Here's how I suggest OOo implement this: If user is inside a note (in the
sidebar) and clicks on "add note", then a new note is created. Part of the
metadata of that new note would contain a "reply to ###" where ### is a
hyperlink to the original note (a bit how discussion forums often do this). That
way you don't need any sort of lines or structure connecting the two. 
Comment 82 Mathias_Bauer 2007-08-24 16:08:56 UTC
Thanks for the comments and also for the appreciations. That's encouraging. :-)
We will discuss your ideas when the team will be complete again (currently mod
and christophnoack are still on vacation).
Comment 83 eric.savary 2007-10-04 01:19:08 UTC
*** Issue 82190 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 84 max.odendahl 2007-12-03 16:35:31 UTC
fixed in CWS notes2

There are probably some features/wishes not included in this new feature, if
this is the case, please open a new enhancement request after integration of the
new notes.

And you can now use your votes on other stuff :-)
Comment 85 max.odendahl 2008-01-16 17:13:53 UTC
reassigned for verification
Comment 86 eric.savary 2008-02-01 16:37:19 UTC
Verified in cws notes2 (from 2008-01-31)
Comment 87 rettops 2008-03-28 18:24:52 UTC
This fix doesn't seem to be in the new OO 2.4.  Does anyone know what version it
will be in?
Comment 88 max.odendahl 2008-03-28 18:28:42 UTC
This will be included in OpenOffice 3.0, coming around 10/08. If you want to
have a look, please check out the latest developer snapshots, it is already
included there.

You could also check out:
Comment 89 Mathias_Bauer 2008-03-28 22:19:46 UTC
What do you think that "Target milestone OOo 3.0" could mean? ;-)
Comment 90 norbert2 2008-04-16 21:20:14 UTC
Please have a look at  Issue 88362.
Comment 91 norbert2 2008-04-16 21:26:03 UTC
Please have a look at  Issue 88363.
Comment 92 andreschnabel 2008-05-03 17:58:35 UTC
found this issue integrated in BEA300_m2 -> closed
Comment 93 smilingj 2008-05-07 10:48:54 UTC
In the actual OOo 3.0 Beta I'm missing the feature that I can associate one or
more words with an annotation, as it is to see in
In that picture there's a selection of text marked, which is associated with a
note. will that be possible in ooo 3 final (or any Beta/RC earlier)?
Comment 94 smilingj 2008-05-07 10:51:16 UTC
In the actual OOo 3.0 Beta I'm missing the feature that I can associate one or
more words with an annotation, as it is to see in
In that picture there's a selection of text marked, which is associated with a
note. will that be possible in ooo 3 final (or any Beta/RC earlier)?
Comment 95 max.odendahl 2008-05-07 10:57:33 UTC
here is the according issue, target is 3.1 right now, but it could also happen
that this is shifted towards a later release due to other work on notes such as
Comment 96 gvsa123 2008-05-11 07:22:53 UTC
Created attachment 53545 [details]
my comments and screenshots for testing notes in OOo 3.0
Comment 97 christoph 2008-05-11 07:59:51 UTC
@gvsa123: Thank your very much for having a look at the notes! My comments...
> 1. Round Edges / Margin around / Shadow
There was a hard discussion about that. We decided to save space (every pixel is
valuable) and to integrate the notes into the right page border and the side
pane border. In this case, rounded edges cannot be used (issue with border line
integration) - and they are not common on these little sticky notes.
"Some" shadow indication is used for focus indication. Unfortunately, the OOo
framework does not yet provide the necessary capabilities. Example: Issue #88232
or issue #88234

> 2. Encircled Arrow
Sorry, I do not seem to understand this question. What I can say is, that the
anchor is not yet final. Here we finally will use a double arrow (one triangle
below, one above the "point") with some background color. Again, OOo does not
yet provide the ability of this colored background.

> 3. Glossy Button Design
This example seems to be taken from a page with very few of these "buttons". It
looks nice, but does have hard contrasts, dark backgrounds, ... We need provide
a robust solution (here in terms of visual clearance) to let the user focus on
the document (some users have about 20 Notes on one text page). The current
Notes are a compromise in terms of design (e.g. the luminance of all notes
colors and the side pane background is nearly equal).

By the way, I hope that we will provide the look given in:

> 4. Anchors to whole words
Already answered in a comment above: So, any software developers out there??? :-)

> 5. No indication of Notes if the Notes Side Pane is switched off
Yes, you're right. Because of that we will show the notes if a document is
opened and this document contains notes. The user may decide to change the view
afterwards. In the latter case we respect the setting by the user and show
simply nothing. (But OOo still provides: Navigator, Go To Notes, ...)

Thanks again for testing and commenting! Christoph
Comment 98 gvsa123 2008-05-11 08:48:41 UTC
Created attachment 53547 [details]
line connectors in the notes to create a smooth path to the traingle
Comment 99 gvsa123 2008-05-13 04:14:21 UTC
regarding the notes panel, it is possible to delete a note from the document 
when the notes pane is not present. Therefore, this could cause users to 
accidentally delete notes, if there isn't a marker present in the document when 
the notes pane is out of view... i must be missing the little rectangular 
yellow boxes... lol
Comment 100 max.odendahl 2008-05-15 01:50:54 UTC
*** Issue 45788 has been marked as a duplicate of this issue. ***
Comment 101 David 2019-10-09 14:39:29 UTC
Confusion between the terms Notes and Comments. I only use OO, but edited a document for a customer who apparently only has MSWord. I inserted comments in OO, but can no longer see them, and my Edit pulldown does not have the View Comments check-box mentioned in Help. My customer does not know how to hide or get rid of the comments I made on the finished copy I emailed to him.