How to Easily Insert, Edit, Delete, Show and Hide Comments in Excel Workbooks

by Avantix Learning Team | Updated November 24, 2019

Applies to: Microsoft® Excel® 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019 and 365 (Windows)

There are all kinds of things you can hide in Excel – worksheet tabs, formulas, rows, columns and even notes. You can insert notes or comments in Microsoft Excel using Excel’s comments feature or by entering notes directly within a formula. Although you can also insert text boxes with notes, we’ll forgo that method in this article. If you insert comments in cells (not in formulas), you can edit, show and hide comments. You can also delete all comments quickly using Excel’s Inspector.

Recommended articles: How to Hide Excel Worksheets [3 Ways] and How to Hide Formulas from Clients, Colleagues and Other Users

Setting options to manage the display of comments and indicators

If you are using the comments feature within Excel, the first thing you should do is specify options as to how you want comments to display. By default, when you insert comments in cells, Excel will display indicators as red markers in cells with comments.

To control the display of comments and indicators through Excel’s Options:

  1. Click the File tab in the Ribbon.
  2. Click Options. An Options dialog box appears.
  3. Click the Advanced category in the left panel.
  4. In the right panel, scroll down to the Display section.
  5. In the area For cells with comments, show, choose the desired option. Check No comments or indicators if you do not want the red markers to display. Check Indicators only, comments on hover to display the red markers. Check Comments and indicators if you wish comments and indicators to display.
  6. Click OK.

Setting options for comments in Microsoft Excel.

Inserting a comment

You can insert a comment in a cell using the Ribbon:

  1. Click the cell where you wish to enter a comment.
  2. Click the Review tab in the Ribbon.
  3. Click New Comment in the Comments group.

Add comment button on the Ribbon in Mictosoft Excel.

You can also right-click on a cell and choose Insert Comment from the drop-down menu that appears.

Once you have inserted a comment, you can enter text in the comment box and drag the borders of the comment to move it or the handles to resize it.

Showing all comments using the Ribbon

Assuming that you have set the display of comments to show red markers and comments on hover, you may want to show all comments when you are working on them and then later hide the comments to display the red markers again.

To show all comments using the Ribbon:

  1. Click the Review tab in the Ribbon.
  2. Click Show all Comments in the Comments group.

Show All Comments button in Excel.

Hiding all comments using the Ribbon

Assuming that you have set the display of comments to show red markers and comments on hover, you can hide the comments and display the red markers.

To hide all comments using the Ribbon:

  1. Click the Review tab in the Ribbon.
  2. Click Show all Comments in the Comments group to hide the comments.

Editing comments

To edit comments easily:

  1. Click the Review tab in the Ribbon.
  2. Click Show all Comments in the Comments group to show the comments.
  3. Click in the comment you wish to edit and change the content, formatting, size and/or position.

You can also right-click on a cell with a comment and choose Edit Comment from the drop-down menu that appears.

Hiding all comments and indicators using Options

You can use Excel Options to hide comments and indicators:

  1. Click the File tab in the Ribbon.
  2. Click Options. An dialog box appears.
  3. Click the Advanced category in the left panel.
  4. In the right panel, scroll down to the Display section.
  5. In the area For cells with comments, show, check the No comments or indicators.
  6. Click OK.

This can be very dangerous if you don’t know there are comments in a workbook and it’s sent to a client or third party with the hidden comments.

Deleting all comments

You can delete all comments in a workbook, hidden or not, using the Inspector. It’s not a bad idea to run the Inspector before sending any workbook to a client or third party.

To delete all comments using the Inspector:

  1. Save the workbook.
  2. Save a copy of the workbook (assuming you want to save the original with the comments).
  3. In the copy, click the File tab in the Ribbon.
  4. Click Info.
  5. Click Check for Issues and then Inspect Document from the drop-down menu. The Inspector appears.
  6. Ensure Comments and Annotations is selected. Deselect the other options.
  7. Click Inspect.
  8. If comments are found, a red exclamation mark appears beside Comments and Annotations.
  9. Click Remove All (this cannot be undone) and click Close.

Delete comments in Excel using the Inspector.

The Inspector is a very important tool and can be used to prevent sensitive information from being sent to a client or third party.

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Summary
Hiding Notes in Excel (Inserting, Editing, Deleting, Showing and Hiding Comments)
Article Name
Hiding Notes in Excel (Inserting, Editing, Deleting, Showing and Hiding Comments)
Description
You can insert, edit, delete, show and hide comments or notes in Microsoft Excel using Excel’s comments feature. Notes can also be entered directly in a formula. Notes or comments are hidden by default unless you click on a cell. You can quickly delete all comments using the Inspector.
Author
Publisher Name
Avantix Learning

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