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: Formatting Text in Comment Boxes.

Formatting Text in Comment Boxes

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 9, 2015)

2

Adding comments to the various cells in a worksheet can be quite helpful, particularly when it comes to documenting the organization and content of your worksheet. As you start adding more and more information as comments, you may wonder if there is a way to easily format the information in a comment box.

Text in a comment box can be formatted in much the same way as you format text in a text box: select the text, then choose one of the formatting options available from the Formatting toolbar or through the menus. You can easily change typefaces, font sizes, and character attributes, as desired.

If you want to format your text so that various elements line up with each other, your formatting options are a bit more limited. One good approach is to make sure the text you want aligned is formatted using a monospace typeface (such as Courier or Courier New), and then insert spaces in your data to align information on different lines. (Inserting spaces to align text on multiple lines can be tedious, so you may want to actually align the text in a text editor, such as Notepad.)

If your data doesn't have many columns in it, you can also align text by using Ctrl+Tab between columns. This doesn't actually add the tab character to your data; instead it inserts four of five spaces into the text, thereby helping to align data between rows. The number of spaces added is whatever is necessary to move the insertion point right by some multiple of eight characters. (The "column spacing" cannot be changed in Excel.) You can easily notice, if you are using a monospace font, how this lines up the columns in your text.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2563) 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: Formatting Text in Comment Boxes.

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

Indent and Justify Command

WordPerfect users are familiar with the F4 command, which indents and justifies a paragraph. Word does not have an ...

Discover More

Displaying Negative Times

Excel allows you to perform math using times as operands. If you subtract a later time from an earlier time, you should ...

Discover More

Displaying Nonprinting Characters

Nonprinting characters are a great boon when you are editing a document. Turn them on and you can easily see what ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Copying Comments to Cells

Need to copy whatever is in a comment into a cell on your worksheet? If you have lots of comments, manually doing this ...

Discover More

Printing Comments

Comments can be a boon when you want to annotate your worksheets. If you want, you can instruct Excel to print the ...

Discover More

Finding and Replacing Text in Comments

Excel allows you to add comments to individual cells in your workbook. Unfortunately, Excel doesn't provide a way to ...

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}] 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 one less than 7?

2019-10-15 09:17:41

John Mann

This tip is slightly confusing - it starts of about comments (presumably cell comments), then switches to refering to text boxes. I use both, often in the same worksheet.

I use Excel to keep the accounts of a small non-profit group to which I belong for which I prepare a report to the Exeuctive each month. I use a cell comment to mark the last entry for my report, which makes it easy to see where to start my next report. In my report I use a text box to contain my comments, after presenting the financial data.

Since I like to format my remarks in the report in bulleted point form, I have found it easier to prepare them using Word, then copy/paste them into my report in Excel using the "keep source format" option. On the other hand, the cell comments used to mark the end of each report are brief, and really only need possible font size adjustment.

In the spreadsheet in which I do my family financial planning, I have both cell comments and text boxes on the same sheet. Cell comments provide brief supplementary info (this payment to Mugwump Insurance is for the car, while another to Mugwump is house insurance as examples). Text boxes are used to note some special situation such as bank transfer is only part of what is needed, and the remainder should be doneby a particular day. Those text boxes usually get deleted next month, if not sooner.


2015-05-13 13:12:29

Katie Pasteur

I use this comment box feature frequently. I do have a problem with it "flattening" down and I have to expand the box because it will turn into a match sized box and must be expanded before it can be read with any accuracy. Can you tell me what I can do to prevent this from happening? Thank you.
Katie


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.