Annotate a worksheet by using comments

You can add notes to individual cells by using comments to give your reader additional context for the data it contains. When a cell has a comment, a red indicator appears in the corner of the cell. When you rest the pointer on the cell, the comment appears.

Example of a comment in a worksheet

  1. Select the cell that you want to add a comment to and do one of the following:

    • On the Review tab, in the Comments group, click New Comment.

  2. In the body of the comment, type the comment text.

  3. Click outside the comment box.

    The comment box disappears, but the comment indicator remains. To see the comment, hover over it. To keep the comment visible, see the Display or hide comments on the worksheet section.

    Note: When you sort data in a worksheet, comments sort together with the data. However, in PivotTable reports, comments do not move with the cell when you change the layout of the report.

  1. Select the cell that contains the comment that you want to edit.

  2. On the Review tab, in the Comments group, click Edit Comment.

    Click Edit Comment on the Review tab

    Keyboard shortcut     You can also press Shift+F2.

    Note: If the cell that you select does not have a comment, the Edit Comment command is not available in the Comments group. Instead, the New Comment command is available.

  3. Double-click the text in the comment, and then in the comment text box, edit the comment text.

Click the cell that contains the comment that you want to delete and do one of the following:

  • Right-click the cell and then click Delete Comment.

  • On the Review tab, in the Comments group, click Delete.

By default, text in comments uses the font Tahoma in font size 9. You can't change the default font that is used, but you can change the format of the comment text in each comment. You can also change the shape of a comment. For example, you can use an oval callout instead of a rectangular comment. For more information, see the Change the shape of a comment section.

Format comment text

  1. Select the cell that contains the comment that you want to format and do one of the following:

    • Right-click the cell and then click Edit Comment.

    • On the Review tab, in the Comments group, click Edit Comment.

      Click Edit Comment on the Review tab

      Keyboard shortcut     You can also press Shift+F2.

      Note: If the cell that you select does not have a comment, the Edit Comment command is not available in the Comments group. Instead, the New Comment command is available.

  2. Select the comment text you want to format, and then do one of the following:

    • Right-click the selection, click Format Comment and then, in the Format Comment dialog box, select the formatting options that you want.

    • On the Home tab, in the Font group, click the formatting options that you want.

      Note: The Fill Color and Font Color options in the Font group are not available for comment text. To change the color of the text, you can right-click the selected comment text, and then click Format Comment.

  1. Click the File tab, then click Options. In Excel 2007: click the Microsoft Office Button Office button image , and then click Excel Options.

  2. Click the Quick Access Toolbar category.

  3. In the Choose commands from box, click All Commands.

    In the list, select Edit Shape, click Add, and then click OK.

    This adds the Edit Shape button to the Quick Access Toolbar, which is located in the upper-left corner of the Excel window.

    Edit Shape option on the Quick Access Toolbar

  4. In the worksheet, select the cell that contains the comment for which you want to change the shape.

  5. To display the comment on the worksheet, on the Review tab, in the Comments group, click Show/Hide Comment.

    Show All Comments option on the Review tab

  6. Click the border of the comment.

  7. On the Quick Access Toolbar, click Edit Shape, and then click Change Shape.

  8. Click the shape that you want to use.

  1. Right-click the cell that has the comment that you want to change, and then click Show/Hide Comments.

  2. Click the comment box border so that sizing handles appear. Make sure that the pointer is not in the comment.

  3. Do one of the following:

    • To move the comment, drag the border of the comment box, or press an arrow key.

    • To resize the comment, drag the handles on the sides and corners of the comment box.

  1. Select the cell or cells that contain the comments that you want to copy.

  2. On the Home tab, in the Clipboard group, click Copy Button image .

    On the Home tab, click Copy

    Keyboard shortcut     You can also press Ctrl+C.

  3. Select the upper-left cell of the paste area.

  4. On the Home tab, in the Clipboard group, click the arrow below Paste, and then click Paste Special.

    Keyboard shortcut     You can also press Ctrl+Alt+V.

  5. In the Paste Special dialog box, under Paste, click Comments, and then click OK.

  6. To cancel the moving border, click another cell or press Esc.

Notes: 

  • Do not press Enter after you click OK. If you do, cell contents are copied to the paste area in addition to the comment.

  • Copied comments replace any existing comments in the destination area.

By default, Excel displays an indicator only when a cell contains a comment. You can control how Excel displays comments and indicators in cells by changing the default settings to always show or hide the comments.

Comment box and its red triangle indicator

Button image Indicator

Callout 2 Comment

Change the default display settings for comments

  1. Click the File tab, then click Options. In Excel 2007: click the Microsoft Office Button Office button image , and then click Excel Options.

  2. In the Advanced category, under Display, do one of the following:

    • To hide both comments and indicators throughout the workbook, under For cells with comments, show, click No comments or indicators.

    • To show indicators but display comments only when you rest the pointer over their cells, under For cells with comments, show, click Indicators only, and comments on hover.

    • To always display both comments and indicators, under For cells with comments, show, click Comments and indicators.

Display or hide comments on the worksheet

Click the cell or cells that contain a comment indicator and do one of the following:

  • Right-click the cell and then click Show/Hide Comment.

  • On the Review tab, in the Comments group, click Show/Hide Comment

  • On the Review tab, click Show/Hide Comment

Display or hide all comments on the worksheet

  • On the Review tab, in the Comments group, click Show All Comments.

    Show All Comments option on the Review tab

    Tip: Clicking Show All Comments again will hide all comments on the worksheet.

Excel labels each new comment by using a name that you specify in the Options dialog box. You can change that name as needed.

  1. Click the File tab and then click Options. In Excel 2007: click the Microsoft Office Button Office button image , and then click Excel Options.

  2. In the General category, under Personalize your copy of Microsoft Office, type a name in the User name box.

    Note: If the User name box is empty, when you add a comment, Excel automatically sets the value of the User name box to your user name, and uses that name for the label.

Tip:  Although you can’t suppress comment labels, you can remove labels from comments by deleting them.

  1. On the worksheet, click the first cell that contains a comment that you want to review.

  2. To review each comment, on the Review tab, in the Comments group, click Next or Previous to view comments in sequence or reverse order.

    On the Review tab, click Next or Previous

If your worksheet contains comments like the one shown here, you can print them, either as they appear on the sheet or at the end of the sheet.

  1. Click the worksheet that contains the comments that you want to print.

  2. To print the comments in place on the worksheet, display them by doing one of the following:

    • To display an individual comment, right-click the cell containing the comment, and then click Show/Hide Comments on the shortcut menu.

    • To display all comments in the worksheet, on the Review tab, in the Comments group, click Show All Comments.

      Show All Comments option on the Review tab

  3. If necessary, you can move and resize any overlapping comments. To do this, click the border of the comment box so that handles appear.

    Click the edge of the comment box to move or resize it

    To move the comment, drag the border of the comment box. To change the size, drag the handles on the sides and corners of the box.

  4. On the Page Layout tab, in the Page Setup group, click the dialog box launcher to start the Page Setup dialog box.

    Click the arrow in the bottom right corner of the Page Setup group

  5. Click the Sheet tab.

  6. In the Comments box, click As displayed on sheet or At end of sheet.

    On the Sheet tab, pick an option under Comments

  7. At the bottom of the dialog box, click Print. That takes you to the File tab and the Print category, where you can click Print again to print the document, or change settings such as page orientation before you print.

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