How to Use Mentions in Microsoft Office 365 Comments

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When you add comments to a Word document, Excel spreadsheet, or PowerPoint presentation, Office 365 lets you mention another user using the “@” sign (like most chat apps). Here’s what Office 365 endorsements are for, and how to use them effectively.

Mentions only make sense when working with other people, so although you can use them with a personal Office 365 (O365) subscription, you will need to add other people to that subscription for they are very useful. This means that mentions tend to be more useful in an organization where everyone has an O365 license.

You will never use Word, Excel or PowerPoint as chat applications, but that does not mean that you want to leave the file you are viewing to send a message to the author. Previously, you could add comments to an Office file so that anyone who has access to the file can read them, but it depends on them to open the file and read the comments. With endorsements, you can proactively send a message to someone.

This message can be a question (“Sandra, can you confirm that these numbers are correct?”), A modification (“John, this section is too verbose, can you please reduce it.”), Or just a comment (“John, I love this slide, it’s really effective”). Anyway, a note will automatically send that person an email alert with a link to the comment. ‘wait for someone to open the file “just in case”, you have added a comment!

We will demonstrate this with Word, but the process is exactly the same in Excel and PowerPoint.

Select the text you want to comment on, then click Insert> New Comment (or right-click the highlighted text and select “New Comment” from the context menu).

In the comment box that appears, type “@” and the name of the person you want to mention. Write the rest of your message, then click the “Publish” button.

A comment with the highlighted mention.

And that’s it, you mentioned someone.

The person you mentioned will receive an email alert that will show your comment, the text you commented on, and a button to bring them directly to your comment in the document.

An example of the comment alert email.

General mentions work in mobile applications, Web applications and Microsoft desktop clients for Word, Excel and PowerPoint.

The email alert has additional features that will also display any comment thread, the context of the surrounding document, and allow you to respond to the email comment.

This additional functionality is available in mobile and web applications for Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, and in the Excel client (version 1911 or later for Windows, version 16.31 or later for Mac). Word and PowerPoint client email alerts will benefit from this additional functionality in the course of 2020.

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