Announcing PowerPoint modern comments for enterprise general availability

This release (currently in preview) will update the comments feature in PowerPoint to the new PowerPoint modern comments experience. Modern comments help improve users collaborative experience with features such as resolving comments, anchoring comments to objects and text, and improved @mentions.

Key points:

  • Microsoft 365 Roadmap ID 82731.
  • Timing:
    • Targeted release (entire org and specific users): will begin rolling out in early September and expect to complete rollout late October.
    • Standard release: will begin rolling out in late October and expect to complete rollout late January.
  • Roll-out: entire org and user level
  • Control type: admin control
  • Action: read over the tenant admin and end user-facing documentation to understand all expected changes.

How this will affect your organization:

The new modern comments experience will affect files where the first comment was added after your organization has the tenant admin setting enabled. Existing files with comments will not be affected

Modern comments can’t be read by PowerPoint 2019 or older, including subscription and perpetual versions. End users will be notified about unsupported comments in their presentations, with a prompt to open the file in PowerPoint for the web to review the modern comments. A full breakdown of experience by PowerPoint version is available in the tenant admin documentation.

The new commenting experience answers several popular feature requests and significantly improves collaboration.

  • A comment will now anchor to objects. If users move the object, the comment moves with it.
  • Comments can now be anchored to text. This feature will be rolling out to Production Windows and Mac builds between June and August of 2021. Users on web and Insiders builds may have this feature earlier.
  • Comments in the margins on web. Comments will appear to the right of user’s slides by default on web, keeping their comments closer to their content.
  • Users can now mark threads of comments as resolved. Resolved comments won’t appear in the margin but can still be seen in the Comments Pane.
  • Modern comments can only be edited by the person who created them.
  • Improved notification emails let recipients see the context of the comment and reply directly from the email.

PowerPoint modern comments are available today behind a tenant admin setting which is off by default.

  • This update will change the default setting from off to on.

Anchoring Comments with Text
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Anchoring comments with text

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What you need to do to prepare:

The following steps are recommended to prepare for this change:

  • Understand the experience on different versions of PowerPoint via the table provided in the tenant admin documentation. Determine if this experience is suitable for the needs of your organization.
  • This update will roll out to end users according to their channel. This means different users in your organization may be on different comment experiences until rollout is complete across all channels. If you’d like your tenant to turn on modern comments all at once, please enable the feature via OCPS or group policy.
  • If you’ve already explicitly set the PowerPoint modern comments tenant admin setting, that state will be respected. If you do not wish to receive this update, please make sure this feature is set to off in your tenant admin settings.
    • If you decide to disable the feature, we’d love to understand more about why. You can send us feedback at pptcommentsfeedback@microsoft.com. 

Message ID: MC280615


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I've been working with Microsoft Technologies over the last ten years, mainly focused on creating collaboration and productivity solutions that drive the adoption of Microsoft Modern Workplace.