Excel: Leave Helpful Notes with Cell Comments

This page is an advertiser-supported excerpt of the book, Power Excel 2010-2013 from MrExcel - 567 Excel Mysteries Solved. If you like this topic, please consider buying the entire e-book.


Problem: I have figured out how to write a confusing formula in Excel. I want to add a note to the worksheet to remind myself how the formula works.

Strategy: You can use cell comment to leave notes in a worksheet. In addition to having 17 billion cells on a worksheet, you can also store a comment for each cell. Typically, a cell comment is indicated by a red triangle in the corner of the cell. If you hover the mouse over the cell, the comment will appear.

  1. Add a note about this formula.

    Here's how you add comments to a worksheet:

    1. Select the cell where you want to add a comment. Select Review, New Comment. A comment box appears, with your name in bold on line 1.

  2. Excel adds your name.
    1. Type a comment.
    2. Click the mouse outside the comment box to complete the entry of the comment. A red triangle remains in the cell to indicate the presence of a comment there.

  3. Type a note.

    When you hover your mouse over the cell with the red triangle, your comment box will pop up like a ToolTip.

    Additional Details: To delete a comment, you select the cell and then select Review, Delete. To edit a comment, you select the cell and then Edit Comment will be available in the Review tab.

  4. Hover to show the comment.

    The information here is based on the assumption that you are using the default settings for comments. There are additional settings available in the Advanced tab of the Excel Options dialog. On this tab, for example, you can suppress the appearance of the red comment indicator or force all comments to be shown at all times.

  5. You can hide the red triangles, or always show comment.

    Gotcha: If you have a comment in a row above the Freeze Panes line, you will notice a bug. The comment will appear normally if you have scrolled the worksheet to the top. However, if you have scrolled down to other pages in the worksheet, the comment will be truncated.


For more resources for Microsoft Excel