Excel: Change the Appearance of Cell Comments

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Problem: I typed a very long comment in a cell. The comment is longer than the comment box will display. How can I read the entire comment?

  1. Initially, the comment box is fairly small.

    Strategy: Use the resize handles while editing the comment to enlarge the comment.

    Excel also gives you complete control over the size and appearance of the comment box. When you are editing the text within the comment, the border around the comment is diagonal lines. If you press Press Ctrl+1 at this point, you can only control the font.

  2. Only one tab out of eight appears.

    To get the complete set of formatting options, you must first left-click the diagonal lines border. This will change the diagonal lines to dots. While the border is dots, press Ctrl+One. Excel will display the complete Format Comment dialog with all the tabs.

  3. With a dotted comment border, the Format dialog offers all.

    Additional Details: You can change the yellow background. In the Format dialog, choose Colors and Lines. Open the Fill dropdown and choose Fill Effects from the bottom of the list.

  4. Change the comment background.

    You can insert a gradient and even change the transparency of the comment so that the underlying cells can show through.

  5. Add a gradient to the comment.

    Result: The comment will appear with formatting different than 99.9% of the comments that people are used to seeing.

  6. Larger comment, with formatting.

    Additional Details: It is possible to globally change the default color of all future comments, but I don't recommend it. The comment color is drawn from the Tooltip color in the Control Panel. You can edit this with Start, Control Panel, Personalization, Window Color, Advanced Appearance Settings. Open the Item dropdown and choose Tool Tip. Open the Color 1 dropdown and choose Other.... You can enter RGB values to build any color.

    Gotcha: You will be amazed how many tool tips there are in Windows. The new color of the tool tips was too distracting for me. I wanted to change the color back, but the original light yellow is not offered as a standard color in the dropdown. If you want to go back to the original yellow, use these settings:

  7. Edit the comment color here.

  8. Use this color codes to go back to the light yellow.

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