Off-Topic: Microsoft Word styling of change tracking balloons & text

winwordI just got hit by a strange behavior in Microsoft word: the comment and format change “balloons” that pop up next to the text when using change tracking and viewing changes started to overflow their allocated balloons. The font used look very funny too. The issue was that a document contained a format specification for these balloons that used a font not present on my system, which in turn caused Word to use something like Courier to display it. Which did not look nice. However, it was easy to solve.

Turns out there are two special styles that control the look of those balloons, and they can be edited by a user. They are just like regular word styles, but hidden by default. There is “Balloon text” that controls the text that Word generates, and there is “Comment text” that controls the text that a user enters in a comment balloon.

Here is how it can look when you change the balloon text (click for full size):


So, the next time a review balloon looks odd, you know what to do about it.

As can be seen from the screenshot, this was tested in Word 2010.

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