How to Use Cell Comments in Excel - dummies

By Conrad Carlberg

When you use Cell Comments, you can make notes about the contents of a worksheet cell. You can document where the information came from, how confident you are of its accuracy, whether it might need revision and when. All this information can be important in building a baseline for a forecast.

If several people are entering data and formulas in a workbook, Cell Comments are really helpful. You don’t have to see them unless you want to, but when you want to see them, they can provide great backup.

To enter a Cell Comment, follow these steps:

  1. Select the cell where you want to make a comment.
  2. Either right-click the cell and choose Insert Comment, or choose New Comment from the Comments group in the Ribbon’s Review tab.
  3. Type into the comments box anything that will help explain what’s in that cell and click another cell in your worksheet to close the comment. Now the cell will have a small triangle in its upper-right corner, signifying that a comment is there.

To read a comment, you can just hover your pointer over the cell with the comment in it, and the comment pops up for you to read.

You can deal with comments in a variety of ways. Start by going to the Review tab. In the Comments group, you have several actions available:

  • Click New Comment (if the active cell has no comment) or Edit Comment (if the active cell has a comment).
  • Delete: Click the Delete icon to delete the comment from the active cell.
  • Previous and Next: Choose one of these to show the previous or the next comment.
  • Show/Hide Comment: Use this toggle to show or hide a comment in the active cell.
  • Show All Comments: If you can see the text of all comments on a worksheet, click this to show the comment indicators only (the comment indicator is the triangle in the cell’s upper-right corner). If you see the indicators only, click to show the comments themselves.