How to add pop-up picture in pop-up Excel comments. Change user name for comments, choose different shape, and more tips. Short videos and written steps. These tips are for yellow pop-up comments (notes).
Tip: For Excel 365 comments, see details on working with threaded comments.
Depending on which version of Excel you're using, a comment can be either:
Yellow Pop-Up Comments
The tips and tricks on this page are for the little yellow pop-up comments that you can add to a worksheet cell.
This screen shot shows a yellow pop-up comment, and the cell has a comment indicator at the top right corner of the cell - a little red triangle.
Excel Versions: This type of pop-up comment is available in most versions of Excel, such as Excel 2019, Excel 2016, Excel 2013 and older versions. Those are non-subscription versions - they don't update automatically, month after month.
The subscription version of Excel - Excel 365 - has threaded comments. They're like conversations within the workbook, instead of a one-off note.
When you use the New Comment command in Excel 365, a threaded comment is inserted into the cell. Later, more comments can be added to the thread, as shown in the screen shot below.
Yellow Pop-Up Notes
In Excel 365, yellow pop-up are still available, but they're called Notes.
Convert Old Notes to Threaded Comments
If an Excel 356 workbook has yellow pop-up notes, you can use a command to convert them to Threaded Comments.
However, some of the tips and tricks on this page will not work with threaded comments, so you might lose some of the yellow pop-up features, such as inserting a picture.
See the Threaded Comments Warning section at the end of this page, for more details.
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.
To change your User name:
If you want the same comment in multiple cells, you can copy and paste an existing comment.
Add a bit of interest to a worksheet, by changing the comment shape from a rectangle.
NOTE: Shapes are not available with Threaded Comments.
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
Next, follow these steps to change the comment shape
To see how to add a picture to a comment, watch the steps in this short video. The written instructions are below the video.
NOTE: Pictures are not available with Threaded Comments.
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 Pictures - Sheet Preview
To make navigation easier in a large workbook, you might create a menu sheet, with a list of sheet names, hyperlinked to those sheets. Then, to help people select the right sheet, add a comment picture for each sheet, showing a small preview of the sheet contents.
To create the pop up navigation list, follow these steps:
Get the sample file in the download section.
You can change the font size of new Excel comments by changing the
settings in your Control Panel.
(Note: selecting a font type here will not affect the default font used in Excel comments)
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
Add a comment to a Data Validation Input Message, and it can be displayed when you tab to the cell.
Threaded Comments - WARNING
Before you use Threaded Comments, instead of old-style (Legacy) comments, be sure to understand what features you will lose.
Legacy Comment Icons
The old-style (Legacy) comments will still be available, but the icons to create and edit them might be hidden.
To continue working with Legacy comments, add the following icons to the Quick Access Toolbar, or to the Excel Ribbon:
Get Sample File
Last updated: September 1, 2022 7:00 PM