How to use comments to document the sheet in microsoft excel? Step-by-step guide

The comment function in Microsoft programs is an excellent idea to do a quick review of the document, give some indication or a brief explanation of a specific section of a work .

In the case of Excel, if you want to insert simple comments and notes, you just have to perform a series of quick steps and that’s it. In this way, you can have notes on your document on hand for your personal use or share them with other people who work with the same spreadsheet .

Throughout this post, we will tell you everything related to how to use comments to document your Excel sheet and get the most out of it.

What is the usefulness of comments and notes in Excel and why should you use them?

The use of comments is much more common in Word than in Excel, however, the benefits of using this resource are practically the same in both cases.

Some of the main utilities of comments and notes in Excel are:

  • They allow you to add a clarification, data or reminder.
  • They do not take space from your document.
  • They improve teamwork .
  • They are used to document changes to the file without altering it.
  • It is very easy to do .
  • Comments can be customized or modified .

These are just a few points in favor of using comments or notes within Excel . Remember that if you make correct use of them, you can have your annotations without altering the organization of the document .

What are the differences between a note and a comment in Excel?

Although in general lines it might seem the same, really the notes and the comments in Excel are different . This is more easily evident when we delve into the functionality of each one .

Specifically in Office 365, the functionality of both is:

  • Notes: as their name implies, they are used to take notes or annotations regarding the data reflected in the document . In addition, they do not have the answer box so they are ideal for clarifying or other details within the spreadsheet.
  • Comments: In new versions of Office, comments are chained and allow users to have discussions or interact with others about the data . They include a reply box, and when others reply, the conversation is displayed with all connected comments .

It should be noted that in previous versions of Excel, notes were taken as comments, but these did not include a response box .

To create a note in Excel you have to:

  • Click New Note in the context menu.
  • You can also enter Notes / New note in the Review tab .

Learn step by step how to use comments in your Excel spreadsheets

Comments are a perfect option to maintain active communication with other users who work on the same spreadsheet in Excel . Within them, you can add a comment and an indicator will be displayed in the corner of a cell .

This way, when you hover over it, the comment is displayed . There are different ways to use them and they vary depending on what you need and the operating system you have.

We will explain it to you in detail below:

Insert comments to create conversations

First of all, you should know that all users with edit access to your file have the power to edit the comments .

In the case of Windows, the way to insert threaded comments to create conversations is as follows:

  • Right click on the cell and then click on New comment .
  • Write what you want.
  • Select the Publish button , or press Ctrl + Enter .
  • If other users have something to add, they should right click on the cell and choose the Reply to comment option .

To do it on macOS, you must:

  • Right click on the cell and then choose the New comment option .
  • Write your comment.
  • Press the Publish button , or the combination of Command + Enter .
  • For those who want to reply, they should right click on the cell and select Reply to comment .

On the other hand, there are other actions that can be performed in the comments on both Windows and Mac .

These are:

  • To edit a comment or threaded reply: you have to hover over the cell, then over the comment text and click Edit . You can only edit comments that you have created yourself .
  • To remove a linked comment: please right – click the cell and then press on Delete comment .
  • To delete an answer: hover over the cell, then over the text, and click Delete .
  • To mark the comment thread as resolved: hover over the cell and choose the Resolve thread option . Keep in mind that the comment will still be visible, but no further additions can be made unless it is reopened .

Insert simple notes

To insert simple notes in Windows Excel you have to:

  • Right click on the cell .
  • Then press on Insert note, or also using Shift + F2 .
  • Write your annotation.
  • Click outside the cell .

To edit a note, you must right-click on the cell and click on Edit note . For its part, to delete it, right click and choose Delete note . On macOS, you cannot insert simple notes within Excel.

Copy notes or comments to other cells and worksheets

To copy notes or comments on Windows or MacOS, you need to follow the following procedure:

  • Select the cell or cells that have the comments to copy.
  • Press Ctrl + C (on Windows) or Command + C (on mac) .
  • Within the Home tab , click the arrow under Paste and then select Paste Special .
  • Under Paste Special, click Comments and then click OK .
  • To cancel the moving border, select another cell or press ESC.
  • Mac, selects the target cell and then press Command + V .

Apart from that, there are some details that you should keep in mind to avoid errors in the process . One of them is to avoid hitting Enter after clicking OK, because the contents of the cell will be copied into the paste area in addition to the comment.

Also, you should know that the copied comments will replace the comments that already exist in the destination area .

Show or hide comment and note indicators

Another functionality very interesting in the notes or comments, is to choose if you want to show or hide indicators . By default, Excel displays an indicator when a cell has a note or comment . However, you can change these settings to specify whether or not you want it to be displayed.

To do this in the case of Windows you have to go to the File tab and then go to Options .

Within the Advanced category, just below Show you can choose between:

  • Hide comments and indicators throughout the workbook: Below cells with comments, Show, select No comments or indicators .
  • See indicators but show comments only when the cursor is resting on the cell: below cells with comments, Show and then click on Only indicators and comments when activated .
  • To always show comments and indicators: Below cells with comments, Show, click Comments and indicators. In Office 365, these settings apply to notes, but not to threaded comments .

For MacOS, the configuration is different . First you must enter Excel / Preferences / View (in Creation) . Inside the View dialog box , in the comments section – show.

You can choose between:

  • Hide comments and indicators throughout the book: by clicking No comments or indicators .
  • View indicators and show comments when the cursor is placed on the cell: click on the Only indicators and comments option when activating .
  • Always show comments and indicators: click on Comments and indicators .

Change the default name of a note or comment

Finally, there is the possibility of modifying the default name that is assigned to a note in Excel . In the case of comments, the program labels them with the name of the person who is currently logged in to their account and cannot be changed .

Consequently, to change the name of a note in Windows you have to:

  • Click on the File tab and then on Options .
  • Within the General category , under Personalize your copy of Microsoft Office, type a name in the Username box .

As an additional piece of information, you should know that if the Username section is empty, Excel automatically assigns your username as the value of the Username box , so it will use it for the label.

Also, although note tags cannot be removed, they can be erased . The same applies for macOS computers .

Consequently, to change the default name of comments in macOS here you have to:

  • Go to Excel / Preferences / General .
  • Within the dialog box corresponding to General, specifically in Personalize, proceed to type a name in the User name box .

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