Adding Comments to Cells –
Documentation that explains certain elements in the worksheet can often be helpful. One
way to document your work is to add comments to cells. This feature is useful when you
need to describe a particular value or explain how a formula works.
To add a comment to a cell, select the cell and use any of these actions:
- Choose Review ➪ Comments ➪ New Comment.
- Right-click the cell and choose Insert Comment from the shortcut menu.
- Press Shift+F2
Excel inserts a comment that points to the active cell. Initially, the comment consists of
your name, as specified in the General tab of the Excel Options dialog box (choose File ➪
Options to display this dialog box). If you like, you can delete your name from the com-
ment. Enter the text for the cell comment and then click anywhere in the worksheet to
hide the comment. You can change the size of the comment by clicking and dragging any of
its borders. Figure below shows a cell with a comment.
Cells that have a comment display a small red triangle in the upper-right corner. When you
move the mouse pointer over a cell that contains a comment, the comment becomes visible.
You can force a comment to be displayed even when the mouse is not hovering over the
cell. Right-click the cell and choose Show/Hide Comments. Although this command refers
to “comments” (plural), it affects only the comment in the active cell. To return to normal
(make the comment appear only when its cell is activated or the mouse pointer hovers over
it), right-click the cell and choose Hide Comment.
Formatting comments –
If you don’t like the default look of cell comments, you can make some changes. Right-click
the cell and choose Edit Comment. Select the text in the comment and use the commands
of the Font and the Alignment groups (on the Home tab) to make changes to the comment’s
For even more formatting options, right-click the comment’s border and choose Format
Comment from the shortcut menu. Excel responds by displaying the Format Comment dialog
box, which allows you to change many aspects of its appearance, including color, border,
Changing a comment’s shape –
Cell comments are rectangular, but they don’t have to be. To change the shape of a cell
comment, make sure that it’s visible (right-click the cell and select Edit Comment). Then click the comment’s border to select it as a Shape (or Ctrl+click the comment to select it as
a Shape). Type Change Shape into the Tell Me What You Want to Do box, and choose a new
shape for the comment. Figure below shows a cell comment with a nonstandard shape.
Reading comments –
To read all comments in a workbook, choose Review ➪ Comments ➪ Next. Keep clicking
Next to cycle through all of the comments in a workbook. Choose Review ➪ Comments ➪
Previous to view the comments in reverse order.
Hiding and showing comments –
If you want all cell comments to be visible (regardless of the location of the mouse), choose
Review ➪ Comments ➪ Show All Comments. This command is a toggle; select it again to
hide all cell comments.
To toggle the display of an individual comment, select its cell and then choose Review ➪
Comments ➪ Show/Hide Comment.
Editing comments –
To edit the text in a comment, activate the cell, right-click, and then choose Edit Comment
from the shortcut menu. Or select the cell and press Shift+F2. After you make your
changes, click any cell.
Deleting comments –
To delete a cell comment, activate the cell that contains the comment and then choose
Review ➪ Comments ➪ Delete. Or right-click and then choose Delete Comment from the