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Keyboard Shortcut for Comments

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Keyboard Shortcut for Comments.

Larry often adds comments to cells in his worksheets. He wonders if there is a keyboard shortcut for adding those comments.

Normally you would insert a comment by selecting the cell you want, choosing the Insert menu, and then clicking the Comment option. If you prefer to not take your hands off the keyboard, however, Excel does provide two different ways you can insert comments.

The first method is actually a keyboard equivalent for invoking the Comment option on the Insert menu. All you need to do is press Alt, I, M. The Alt key is used to activate the menus, then the following two keystrokes select the Insert tab and the Comment command, in turn. (You don't need to hold down the Alt key as you press the two keys after it.)

The third method to insert a comment is to simply press Shift+F2. This shortcut produces the exact same result as the previous one—it opens a comment box in the current cell. (If one already exists in the cell, then it is opened; if one does not exist, one is added and opened.)

You should note that the Shift+F2 shortcut works just fine in Excel 2003, but it is unclear whether it works in earlier versions of Excel, such as Excel 97. If it doesn't, just remember that the Alt, I, M approach will work in your case.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12316) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Keyboard Shortcut for Comments.

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Comments for this tip:

Mahesh    04 Apr 2016, 09:22
This is simple and great Dave.
Willy Vanhaelen    06 Oct 2015, 06:04
Simply by pressing [Esc] (Excel 2007)
Vishal    06 Oct 2015, 02:16
okay Shift+F2 allows you to enter a comment in a cell but once you have finished writing your comment, how we exit the comment bubble using a keyboard shortcut, without having to click away from the cell with the mouse?
Barry    13 Feb 2015, 06:34
The following macro will copy the contents of the Comment to the clipboard:

Sub CopyToClipboard()
    Dim MSForms_DataObject As Object
    On Error GoTo Quitsub
    Set MSForms_DataObject = CreateObject("new:{1C3B4210-F441-11CE-B9EA-00AA006B1A69}")
    MSForms_DataObject.SetText Selection.Range("A1").Comment.Text
    Set MSForms_DataObject = Nothing
End Sub

This macro should be copied into a VBA code Module, and for ease of access I suggest assigning a shortcut key e.g. Crtl+Shift+C.
DaveK    12 Feb 2015, 09:35
Interesting challenge, Stephen! I'm working on it...
stephen fein    12 Feb 2015, 04:54
Why doesn't Ctl+A work on the text in a comment box. I am a university teacher and I make notes on Notepad during my classes, then insert the notes as a comment on the date of the class.

Is there another way to copy the contents of a comment box without going inside and highlighting all the text?
Ross    06 Mar 2013, 05:51

That's great; thank you!

DaveK    05 Mar 2013, 09:16
To exit the comment box, hit the Esc key twice.

The first press leaves the comment box selected and allows you to move it using the up, down, left and right arrow keys.

The second press returns you to the cells in the spreadsheet.

You can return to the comment to edit it some more if needed by selecting the cell and using Shift+F2 again.

Hope this helps!
Ross    05 Mar 2013, 04:46
Shift+F2 allows you to enter a comment in a cell but once you have finished writing your comment, how do you exit the comment bubble using a keyboard shortcut, without having to click away from the cell with the mouse?
DaveK    19 Nov 2012, 02:45
Shift+F2 works fine in Excel 97 also.

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