Any time you add a comment in Google Docs (Google Drive), the text selected becomes highlighted:

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If you don't select any text, you either will not be able to leave a comment or the nearest word will be highlighted. This is problematic for documents that are heavily commented, as the document becomes one big highlighter-yellow sheet.

Is it possible to disable highlighting so that one can leave comments without painting colors all over a document?

2 Answers 2


I don't think there is a way to turn off the highlighting and still leave the comments as shown in your example pic. However, there are a few alternatives that may work for you. First is that you can mark comments as resolved. This will remove the highlighting, but will also hide the comment. You can show the resolved comments along with all other comments and any discussion history from them by clicking the Comments button in the upper-right part of the screen.

This Comments button also provides another possibility, which is that you can leave comments without highlighting text. At the top of the Comments pane is the option to create a new comment. This comment will appear without an associated text, so it will not highlight anything on the page. The downfall again is that it does not appear on the side as shown in your example, but instead it is limited to displaying only when the comments pane is visible (i.e., you pressed the Comments button).

  • Thanks, this is helpful. Lemme know if you or anyone else comes up with another solution here. Mar 19, 2013 at 15:03
  • I know this is really old but this was the first link that comes up on google. It's not an ideal solution but you can add a space at the end of the sentence or paragraph you want to comment on. Then highlight the space and hit the Add Comment button. It will just highlight the space which is unobtrusive while still letting you know what the comment is referencing.
    – bigbucky
    Apr 3, 2021 at 19:08

Bit late, but I have found that you can mark the comments as resolved, then go back and re-open them when you want to see them.

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