Adding Comments to Excel Worksheets

If you and your co-workers share access to Excel workbooks, you’ve probably experienced a situation where one person has entered incorrect data into a cell, or changed the contents of a cell that was meant to be generated via a formula. While there are a number of techniques that can be used to control what users can (or should) enter in a given cell, one of the easiest methods to ensure that data is entered correctly is decidedly old-fashioned: by adding the equivalent of a “sticky note” to the cell in question.

In Excel, the digital equivalent to a sticky note is known as a Comment. You may have already seen Comments in action – when a cell has a small red triangle in the lower right-hand corner, it means that a comment is present. When a user hovers their mouse pointed over a cell that includes a comment, a bubble message associated with that cell appears. Comments can be used to issue directions, reminders, or literally any message that you need to convey to other users (or even reminders for yourself for that matter!).

To add a comment to a cell, right-click on the cell in question and choose Insert Comment. Enter the message comment that you want associated with the cell, and then click on another cell outside of the comment box. Hover your mouse over the cell to see the comment.

To edit or delete the comment, right-click on the commented cell and choose Edit Comment or Delete Comment.

You may notice that the “name” associated with the comment is not your own. The name that appears can always be edited, but if you want to change it such that your name always appears in new comments, see Changing the Name Associated with Excel Comments.

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.