Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Better Control with Comments

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Now to today’s topic, “Better Control with Comments”. Cell Comments (or “Notes” as they are sometimes called) are the Excel equivalent of the ubiquitous Post-It Notes that have been popular in businesses for so many years. Cell Comments can do so much more, however!

The reason you want to use Comments is simply that of Control. Workbooks can become overwhelmingly complex and, what may seem straightforward and obvious when you create the spreadsheet may be bewildering in the future (especially for other users) if you do not have a few built-in directions. Here is where Comments shine!

As with so many things Excel, there are a variety of ways you can insert and format comments. I have, however, been a long-time believer in using the Right-Click option (“Right-Click is Our Friend” is a phrase in my classes) with your mouse, as it is intuitive and context-sensitive.

To insert a Comment, simply Right-Click on a cell and choose Insert Comment.

• This will insert a comment with the Username of the PC automatically included in the textbox (you can overwrite the username or change it under your general settings)
• A Small Red Triangle will appear in the upper corner of any cell that includes a comment
• You can edit the comment at any time by right-clicking the cell and choosing Edit Comment
• To display a comment in a Static manner, right-click and choose Show/Hide Comments

You can do More, however! Let’s suppose that you different types of data in your worksheet and you want to Customize the Look of your comments for various groupings. Here is what you do:

1. Right-click the cell and choose Edit Comment
2. When the comment appears, right-click the edge of the textbox and choose Format Comment
3. Choose the Colors and Lines tab and customize your special look for the comments by changing Fill Color, Transparency, Line Color and Style

Comments can be a useful tool in your Excel Best Practices regimen, and they don’t have to be boring! If you haven’t been doing so, start using comments today, and add a Little Color and Pizzazz to Liven Them Up!

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