How to add comments to Excel worksheet cells

I am a heavy user of Excel and it always amazes me how few people there are add comments to their Excel spreadsheet! Adding and using comments in Excel is a great way to explain formulas, cells, and other data in the spreadsheet itself, thus saving you time on the phone with colleagues! It is really easy to add comments to cells in Excel and I will explain how you can do so in Excel XP/2003, Excel 2007, Excel 2010, and Excel 2013.

Comments are basically notes that can be inserted into any cell in Excel. It’s useful for reminders, notes for others, and for cross-referencing other workbooks. Note that newer versions of office have an option called Ink display inside Comment toolbar and this is only useful for tablets. Basically, this feature allows you to handwrite a comment instead of typing a comment. However, on desktops and laptops, it’s only useful for viewing handwritten comments made on tablets.

In addition, you can do many other things with comments after adding them to the worksheet like format, change the shape, change the size, etc. Scroll to the bottom of the post for those tips.

Add comments to Excel 2013 cells

Excel 2013 looks a bit different from 2010, but overall it’s pretty much the same. To add a comment, click the Review tab and click New Comment once you have selected the desired cell.

comment excel 2013

Now just type your comment and when you navigate away from that cell you will see a small red triangle in the upper right corner of the cell indicating that the cell has a comment.

comment oh

Add comments to Excel 2010 cells

In Excel 2010, adding comments is super easy and just like 2013. Just click the Review tab and you’ll see all the commenting tools. Click on the cell where you want to add a comment and then click New comment.

see new comments

A small dialog window will appear where you can start entering text. You’ll also notice a small red triangle at the top right of the tile, which indicates that the tile has a comment.

Added comment

You can quickly see all the comments on the sheet by clicking Show all comments button. This is useful if the sheet has a lot of comments. You can also click Before and Next to review comments one by one.

Add comments to Excel 2007 cells

The procedure for Excel 2007 is the same as above. The first thing you want to do is click on the cell where you want to insert the comment. Click Review on the ribbon to see the comment editing tools.

excellent review

inside Comment group, click New comment. In the Excel spreadsheet, a comment text box will appear where you can enter your new comment.

add comment

Type your comment and click outside the text box when you’re done. You’ll notice that there’s a small red arrow at the top right of the cell, indicating that the cell has a comment. Click the auto-show comment box.

add excel comment

Add a comment to an Excel XP/2003 cell

In Excel 2003 and XP, you have several more options for inserting comments into a cell because there is no ribbon. You can use the menus at the top, the context menu of the mouse, or the evaluation toolbar.

Add comments using the menu bar

First, you need to click on the cell where you want to insert the comment. Then click Insert options menu and select Comment.

insert comment

Just like 2007, a text box will appear next to the cell where you can enter your comment. Additionally, a red triangle appears in the upper right corner of the tile.

Add comments using the mouse context menu

Another simple yet nifty way to insert a comment into an Excel cell is to simply right click on the cell and select Insert comment. This actually works in both Excel 2007 and Excel 2003.

add comments to excel

Add comments using the review toolbar

Finally, you can use the Review toolbar in Excel to add comments to cells. To open the Reviews toolbar, go to View, Toolbars and select Evaluate.

toolbar review

The first icon on the far left is the New Comment button. Click on it and a new comment box will appear in the currently selected cell.

new comment

Resize a comment

Now let’s talk about some of the things you can do with comments once they’ve been added. First, let’s simply resize the comment. To do that, click and drag one of the handles in the corners or edges of the comment box.

change comment size

Format a comment

By default, comments have no formatting, but what if you want to change the font or increase the size of the text? To format a comment, you first click the cell and then click Edit comment. Then you right click anywhere inside the comment and select Comment Format.

comment format

Now you will be able to change the font family, font style, font size, font color and font effects. Now you are free to make your comment look as ugly or beautiful as you like.

comment option format

Change the shape of the comment

By default, the comment box is a rectangle, but you can actually change the shape of the comment. It would be great if they added that option Comment upper part Review but for some reason it’s not there. Instead, you must add a shape button to the quick access toolbar.

To do this, click File and then click Option.

excel option

Now you need to click Quick Access Toolbar on the left hand side first. At the top you will see a Choose command from drop down; go ahead and choose All commands from list. Scroll down until you see Shape editingclick it and then click More >> button.

more shape editing

To change the shape of the comment, click the cell and click Edit comment First. Then click the Edit New Shape button in the quick access toolbar and you’ll see a whole bunch of shapes that you can select.

change comment shape

Copy comments into different cells

If you want to copy comments from one cell to another, it’s pretty simple too. Just select the cell and then press CTRL + C to copy the contents. Next, go to another cell, right click and select Special stickers.

paste special comments

Select Comment from the list and only comments will be inserted in the new cell. Anything else currently residing in the cell will be preserved.

Change your Windows user to your own name

You may have noticed in the screenshot above that some of the comments start with “Windows User” and that’s because your copy of Office is registered with that name by default. You can change this by going to Fileclick Option and then click Shared.

office username

You can leave it blank if you want nothing to appear in the comment or change it to whatever text you like. This will appear at the top of all comments by default.

Remove comment indicator from cell

Finally, what if you want to hide those little red triangles from the top tiles even if a comment exists? Well, that’s easy, too. Go File, Option And after that Advanced.

show hide comments

Scroll down Display and then you will see a section called For cells with comments, show: and here you can choose from three options: No comment or index, Indicators and comments on hover only or Comments and stats.

That’s all you can do with comments in Excel, so hopefully this will make you look like an Excel expert in your office. If you have any questions, feel free to post a comment. Interesting

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