Excel Comments

Serves to explain a formula in a cell, add reminders or notes for other users, or cross-reference to other workbooks

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What are Excel Comments?

When creating an Excel workbook, users can use Excel comments for various reasons. One of the feature’s uses is to explain a formula in a cell, especially when other people will use the Excel file. Also, Excel comments can also be used to add reminders or notes for other users, as well as for cross-referencing with other Excel workbooks.

Once a comment’s been added, Excel provides users with the flexibility of resizing, changing the shape, as well as formatting the comments to their preferred style. An Excel user should master the ways of managing the comments in order to make maximum use of them.


  • Excel comments are used to add a note or explain a formula in a cell.
  • Excel provides users with the flexibility of editing, deleting, and showing or hiding comments on an Excel worksheet.
  • Users can also resize and move the Excel comment box.

How to Add Excel Comments to a Cell

While there are different Excel versions, adding comments in all the versions is done in almost the same way. To add a comment to a cell, start by placing the cursor on the cell you want to add a comment, right-click on the cell, and scroll down the list to the Insert Comment command.

How to Add Comments

Alternatively, follow the following steps:

  • Click the Review tab to expand the commenting tools and then click on “New Comment.” A new text box will appear, and it contains the name of the user and an insertion point located at the start of a new line below the user name.
  • Add your text in the text box.
  • Then, click on the outside of the cell to close editing. An inverted small red triangle will appear at the right corner of the cell. The triangle makes it easy to locate the cell with a comment.
  • To view the comment, hover your mouse pointer over the cell with a small red triangle.

How to Show or Hide Excel Comments

By default, Excel is designed to keep the comments hidden, and each comment can be viewed by hovering over the cell with the comment. If you want to hide or show the comment in each cell, do the following:

  • Right-click somewhere on the cell and select either show or hide the comment. Alternatively, click the review tab to open the commenting tools and click the show/hide comments.
  • If you want to show all the comments in the workbook, click the Review tab and then the Show All Comments button. To hide all the comments, click Show All Comments again to undo the previous action.

How to Show or Hide Comments

N.B. The Show All Comments option shows all the comments on all worksheets in the workbook, and the workbooks you create while the option is active. Use the previous/next buttons to preview the comments one by one. Clicking the Show all Comments option makes the comments permanently visible until the option is turned off. Excel does not include a function that allows users to show comments on only one worksheet in a workbook.

How to Move or Resize a Comment

Excel also allows users to resize the comment box or move the comments to another cell in a worksheet. Resizing and moving comments is important when some comments are blocking other cells or comments in the adjacent cells.

To move a comment to another cell, click the Show All Comments option under the Review tab so that the comments display without hovering over the cells. Next, move the mouse pointer over the border of the comment box until the pointer changes to a cross cursor with arrows. Then, select the specific comment box you want to move, and then click and drag the box to your preferred location. Before dragging the box, you must confirm that sizing handles are visible on all corners of the comment box.

If you want to resize a comment box, move the mouse pointer to one of the sizing handles on the corners or sides until it turns into a plus sign with arrows. Then, click and drag one of the handles to resize the comment box to your preferred size.

How to Edit or Delete a Comment

After adding comments to your Excel workbook, you may want to make changes to the added comments. To edit a comment, you can do either of the following:

  • Right-click on the cell where you want to edit and choose Edit Comment in the dropdown list that appears.
  • Open the Review Tab and click the Edit Comment command under the commenting tools.
  • Press Shift+F12.

How to Edit or Delete a Comment

Once editing is activated, enter the text you want to add or review the existing comment to make changes to it. Once you are done editing, click anywhere outside the cell but within the worksheet to stop further edits.

If you want to delete a comment from a cell, you can do either of the following:

  • Move the cursor pointer to the cell with the comment and right click. Then, choose Delete Comment from the dropdown list.
  • Go the Review tab and click Delete under the commenting tools.

How to Format a Comment

Excel also allows users to format comments to their desired style. By default, the comments use Tahoma font and font size of nine.

To change font style or size, first right click on the cell (with the comment you want to format) and click Edit Comment. Then, select the text you want to format and right-click on the highlighted text and click Format Comment. A Format Comment dialog box will appear, and it allows you to change the font, font style, size, color, and effects.

How to Format a Comment

More Resources

Thank you for reading CFI’s guide to Excel Comments. To keep learning and advancing your career, the following CFI resources will be helpful:

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