Wednesday, November 25, 2015


Most of us would agree that Lack of Communication is one of the core obstructions in the conducting of most businesses.  This is typified by the sometimes exasperating experience professionals have with some Excel workbooks.

Over time, workbooks can become overwhelmingly complex and, what may seem straightforward and obvious when you create a spreadsheet, may be bewildering in the future (especially for other users). This is where Cell Comments shine!  These are built-in Excel equivalents of the still-used Post-It Notes that have been popular in businesses for so many years.

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 evangelist of using the Right-Click option with your mouse, as it is intuitive and context-sensitive.

To insert a Comment, simply Right-Click on a cell and choose Insert Comment from the dropdown menu.

·       This will Insert a comment with the Username of the PC automatically included in the textbox (which you can delete or change under your general settings)

·       You can edit the comment and insert your directions at this time (or any time) by right-clicking the cell and choosing Edit Comment 

·       Subsequently, a Small Red Triangle will appear in the upper corner of any cell that includes a comment

Now every time the user of the workbook will see the customized Comment pop up whenever they hover their mouse over the modified cell.  Pretty Cool!

You can do More, however, as a great deal of formatting options are available for your comments.  For instance, suppose that you have 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

Using Comments is most certainly a Best Practices recommendation in Excel. It’s all about Communication, and if you haven’t been doing so, consider the use of comments today.  Future users of your workbooks (including yourself) will Thank You.

Happy Thanksgiving All!

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