About Computers for Newbies & Everyone Else

January 4, 2011

Excel Tricks, Comments

Comment marker, the small red triangle in the cornerI know you have seen them in Excel workbooks before and wanted to add our own.  You know what I am talking about, those little red triangles in the upper right corner of a cell.

Hover over a cell with a Comment Additionally, when you hover your mouse over that cell a yellow box pops up with a red arrow pointing to the cell.  Oh yeah, that box has text in it concerning that cell.

The little triangle indicates that there is a "Comment" for the reader in the cell.  You already know how to read the comments but how to add, edit, remove and print them may not be in your skill set…yet.  Cell comments are useful for explaining information in a cell, explaining a formula you have in a cell, or just merely making a general comment about a cell for someone else to read.  One comment may only be added to each individual cell. Consider the recipients of the spreadsheet …too many red triangles will make the data confusing.

imageTo create a comment, right click on the cell in which you wish to leave a comment and choose Insert Comment (you may also use the quick keys, SHIFT + F2).  The yellow box opens up with the licensed owner of Office pre-entered which may be deleted.  Type whatever you wish in the comment: any characters, numbers, letters, spaces, symbols, etc.  To close the comment box, click anywhere outside the comment box.

Position your mouse pointer over this cell and the comment pops up.

To edit a cell comment, right click on the cell that contains the comment you want to edit.  Choose Edit Comment from the menu that pops up and edit all you wish.  You may also change the size and location of the box.  Play with the edges of the box and experiment.

Now to delete a comment, once again right click on the Cell that has the "offending" comment.  Choose Delete Comment from the menu that pops up.

If you want to see the comments automatically while the sheet is opened, right click the commented cell once more and choose, "Show/Hide Comment".  It acts like an on/off switch so to hide it again repeat the previous step choosing "Hide."  Any "shown" comment will show up if you print the sheet, so make sure it isn’t hiding any data on the spreadsheet before printing.

You most likely realize that comments (unless revealed using above steps) do not print in a worksheet so you will have to change the print settings.  To make them print using version 2007 + go to Page Layout tab, Page Setup group, lower right corner arrow.  For pre-2007 versions click File, Page Setup and continue, click the Sheet tab and under Comments select whether you want them to print "as displayed on sheet" or "at end of sheet".

Go ahead, make some comments in your next worksheet.

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