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: Searching Comments.

Searching Comments

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 3, 2013)


When I am creating a worksheet, it is not unusual for me to add all sorts of comments to various cells. This is a great way to keep notes and to document exactly what is going on in the worksheet. There have been workbooks I have created that include scores of comments.

If you are like me, then what is out of sight is often out of mind. This means that I can forget what I put in all the comments or—worse yet—I may remember that something is in a comment, but I don't remember the cell to which that comment is attached. Subsequently finding the right comment can be perplexing.

Fortunately, Excel makes it quite easy to search through comments in a worksheet. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+F to display the Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  2. Click the Options button, if necessary, to make sure that the dialog box displays all the searching options. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  4. In the Find What box, enter what you want to find in the comments.
  5. Using the Look In drop-down list, select Comments.
  6. Click on Find Next.

Excel locates any cells that have comments that include the desired text. The cell is selected, but the comment is not displayed. You will need to close the Find and Replace dialog box and then display the comment for the cell.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2945) 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: Searching Comments.

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. ...


Determining If a Number is Odd or Even

If you need to know whether a particular value is odd or even, you can use this simple formula. Designed to be used in a ...

Discover More

Date Last Edited

When adding headers or footers to your worksheets, you may want to include the date that the workbook was last edited. ...

Discover More

Entering Negative Times

Do you need to enter negative times into a worksheet? Excel doesn't really provide a way to do that, but understanding ...

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)

Zooming In On Your Worksheet

If you have trouble seeing the information presented in a worksheet, you can use Excel's zooming capabilities to ease the ...

Discover More

Switching Editing Location

Excel allows you to edit the contents of a cell in two places—the cell itself or in the Formula bar. If you want to ...

Discover More

Turning Off Automatic Capitalization

Type some information into a worksheet, and you may notice that Excel automatically capitalizes some of your information. ...

Discover More

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

View most recent newsletter.


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 4 + 4?

2016-11-22 04:53:28


Is there a possibility to find out the date when the comment was added?

2016-03-24 09:47:10

Roger Nunes

Simple and straight to the point. Thanks!

2015-12-26 02:45:42

Ashok Kumar

Thanks. It is very useful.

2015-12-15 02:02:58


Thank you, it is very useful.
Its helped me to find the text in comments by less time

2015-07-26 00:18:20


Thank you, it is very useful for me :)

2015-07-09 16:15:18


This doesn't work in Excel 2000.

2015-04-09 16:25:34

David Nguyen

The instruction is very helpful. It works for mine excel 2010. I used to use macro with older excel version and did not know the option available in excel 2010.

2014-02-06 21:12:20


thnk (y)

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

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.