Excel Comments

Excel comments can explain ambiguous data to readers.

Cells with comments are marked to let readers know comments exist.

Adding A Comment In Excel

Comments in Excel are a useful way for the author to explain the origins of a cell's data to readers. This explanation might include what the cell's data should be used for, or how the formula that calculated it works, for example. To add a comment to a cell, first of all select the cell. The insert comments command is not on the Insert tab as most people would guess. For some reason, Microsoft have positioned it on the Review tab. Click Review > Comments > New Comment. A comment text box appears close to the cell with a tiny arrow pointing to the cell that indicates what the comments relate to.

Adding comments to a cell in Excel

Start typing in the comments box. You can add carriage returns by pressing enter - pressing Enter doesn't commit your changes like it does in other areas of editing. To complete the addition of your comments, click anywhere on the Excel spreadsheet. After you've added some comments, you'll notice a small red triangle in the top right corner of the cell. This is the way you can quickly identify what cells have comments.

You can identify cells with comments by the red flag

To add comments more quickly, you can dispense with the ribbon entirely and use the right click menu. Right click on the cell > Insert Comments

Right click on a cell to add comments

Editing Excel Comments

To view a cell's comments, all you need to do is hover your mouse over the cell. The comments will appear like a tooltip does. At the top of the comment box you can see the author who added those comments. When you move the cursor away, the comment box vanishes.

Viewing comments in Excel

Your user name appears at the top of the box to let readers know who added the comment.

To amend existing comments, you can either right click > Edit Comment or you can use the Edit Comments button in the ribbon (Review tab > Comments). The same comment text box appears in which you can make your changes. Similarly, options exist to delete comments - right click > Delete Comment or the quivalent button in the Comments group. The Comments group in the Review tab is home to all the comment commands.

The comment group in Excel 2007

You can step through all the comments in the spreadsheet by using the Previous and Next buttons in the Comments group.

If you want to see all comments in the spreadsheet at the same time, click the Show All Comments button. You could have guessed that, couldn't you? This button acts as a toggle, so clicking it again will hide the comments.

Show all comments in Excel 2007