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: Linking Comments to Multiple Cells.

Linking Comments to Multiple Cells

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated July 30, 2021)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


When you insert a comment into a worksheet, that comment is associated with a single cell. There may be times when you want to have a single comment associated with two or more cells. Unfortunately, Excel doesn't provide this capability—there is a strict one-to-one correspondence between comments and cells.

You can, however, use a workaround—create your own comments. You can do this using a text box to contain your comment, and then draw lines between the text box and whatever cells the comment applies to. If you normally want your comments hidden, then you will need to use a macro that takes care of making the text box and lines visible or invisible.

For instance, assume that you create a comment in a text box named Text Box 1. Further, assume that you have two lines leading from the text box to the cells to which the comment applies. The first line, named Line 1, leads to cell C15. The second line, named Line 2, leads to cell F7. You could add the following macro to the worksheet's object:

Private Sub Worksheet_SelectionChange(ByVal Target As Excel.Range)
    Shapes("Text Box 1").Visible = False
    Shapes("Line 1").Visible = False
    Shapes("Line 2").Visible = False

    If Target.Address = "$C$15" Then
        Shapes("Text Box 1").Visible = True
        Shapes("Line 1").Visible = True
    End If
    If Target.Address = "$F$7" Then
        Shapes("Text Box 1").Visible = True
        Shapes("Line 2").Visible = True
    End If
End Sub

Anytime a selection is made on the worksheet, the three objects are hidden. If cell C15 is selected, the textbox and the line appropriate line are made visible. Similarly, if cell F7 is selected, the textbox and its line are made visible.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2393) 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: Linking Comments to Multiple Cells.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Hiding the Reviewing Toolbar

Does the Reviewing toolbar keep popping up whenever you create a document? Here's a possible reason, along with what you ...

Discover More

Pin Items to the Start Screen

You can improve your efficiency at launching applications by using the Start Screen. This tip shows you how to pin items ...

Discover More

Removing Borders

Need to get rid of the borders around a cell? The shortcut in this tip can make quick work of this formatting task.

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Viewing Comments

There are three different ways that Excel allows you to display any comments that are in your worksheet. Here's how you ...

Discover More

Moving Comment Background Pictures to Cells

When formatting comments, you can use a graphic as a background for the comment box. If you later want to move this ...

Discover More

Counting Comments in a Worksheet

Need to know how many comments are in a worksheet? You can figure out the count manually, or you can apply the handy ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 8 - 7?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.