Contextures

Excel Comments - Tips

How to change user name in Excel comments, change comment shape, and more tips. Short videos and step by step written instructions

Change the User Name

Instead of showing the user name at the start of an Excel comment, you can change to something generic, such as "Note:" However, this change affects the User Name in all Microsoft Office programs, so you may want to reset the name before you exit Excel.

Name at top of comment

To change your User name:

  1. At the top left of the Excel window, click the File tab
  2. Click Options, and in the Options window, click the General category
  3. Scroll down to the section, "Personalize your copy of Microsoft Office"
  4. Delete the existing User Name, and type a new entry
  5. Click OK

change User name in Excel

Copy Comment to Other Cells

If you want the same comment in multiple cells, you can copy and paste an existing comment.

  1. Select the cell with the comment that you want to copy
  2. Press Ctrl + C, to copy the cell
  3. Select the cell(s) where you want to paste a copy of the comment.
  4. On the Ribbon's Home tab, click the Paste button, and then click Paste Special
  5. In the Paste Special window, under Paste, click Comments
  6. Click OK

    Paste comments

Change the Comment Shape

Add a bit of interest to a worksheet, by changing the comment shape from a rectangle.

change the comment shape

Watch the video, to see the steps for in Excel 2007 or later. Written instructions are below the video. Click here to go to the instructions for Excel 2003.

Change a Comment Shape

First, add the Change Shape command to the QAT

  1. At the right end of the QAT, click the drop down arrow
  2. Click More Commands
  3. In the Choose Commands From drop down, click All Commands
  4. In the list of commands, click Change Shape, and click Add, to move it to the Quick Access Toolbar
  5. Close the Excel Options window.

Next, follow these steps to change the comment shape

  1. Right-click the cell which contains the comment.
  2. Choose Edit Comment
  3. Click on the border of the comment, to select it.
  4. On the QAT, click the Change Shape command, and click on a shape to select it.
  5. When finished, click outside the comment.

To change the comment shape in Excel 2003:

  1. Right-click the cell which contains the comment.
  2. Choose Edit Comment
  3. Click on the border of the comment, to select it.
  4. On the Drawing toolbar, click the Draw button
  5. Choose Change AutoShape, and choose a category.
  6. Click on a shape to select it.
  7. When finished, click outside the comment.

Database

Add Picture to Comment

To see how to add a picture to a comment, watch the steps in this short video. The written instructions are below the video.

Add Picture to Comment

NOTE: These instructions are for Excel 2007 and later versions. See below for Excel 2003 steps.

Instead of text, you can show a picture in an Excel comment.

Comment Picture

  1. Right-click the cell which contains the comment.
  2. Choose Show/Hide Comments, and clear any text from the comment.
  3. Click on the border of the comment, to select it.
  4. Choose Format|Comment
  5. On the Colors and Lines tab, click the drop-down arrow for Color.
  6. Click Fill Effects
  7. On the picture tab, click Select Picture
  8. Locate and select the picture
  9. To keep the picture in proportion, add a check mark to Lock Picture Aspect Ratio
  10. Click Insert, click OK, click OK

Add Picture to Excel 2003 Comment

Instead of text, you can show a picture in an Excel comment. Watch the steps in this short video, and the written instructions are below.

To add a picture to a comment in Excel 2003:

  1. Right-click the cell which contains the comment.
  2. Choose Show/Hide Comments, and clear any text from the comment.
  3. Click on the border of the comment, to select it.
  4. Choose Format|Comment
  5. On the Colors and Lines tab, click the drop-down arrow for Color.
  6. Click Fill Effects
  7. On the picture tab, click Select Picture
  8. Locate and select the picture
  9. To keep the picture in proportion, add a check mark to Lock Picture Aspect Ratio
  10. Click Insert, click OK, click OK

Comment Picture

Change the Default Font Size

You can change the font size of new Excel comments by changing the settings in your Control Panel.
(Instructions for Windows XP)

  1. Right-click on the desktop, and choose Properties
  2. On the Appearance tab, click Advanced.
  3. From the Item dropdown, choose Tooltip
  4. Choose a font Size, click OK, click OK

(Note: selecting a font type here will not affect the default font used in Excel comments)

Change the Comment Indicator Colour

Comment indicators are red, and there's no option to change that setting. As a workaround, you can draw triangular shapes over the indicators, and fill them with a different colour from the palette.

For instructions, see Excel Comments -- VBA

Indicator Colour

Alternative to Excel Comments

Add a comment to a Data Validation Input Message, and it can be displayed when you tab to the cell.

Input Message

  1. Select the cell in which you want to see the message
  2. On the Ribbon's Data tab, click Data Validation
  3. Click on the Input Message tab to activate it
  4. Add a check mark to 'Show input message when cell is selected'
  5. Type your message heading text in the Title box. This text will appear in bold print at the top of the message.
  6. Type your message in the Input message box.
  7. Click OK

More Tutorials

Excel Comments Basics

Excel Comments VBA

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Last updated: August 9, 2016 4:04 PM