Setting the Default Font Size for Comment Balloons

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 30, 2021)

When you insert a comment into a worksheet cell, Excel places the user's name on the first line of the comment balloon in bold type. The insertion point is then at the beginning of the next line, ready for your to type. What you type is inserted, by default, in 8-point Tahoma.

If you want a larger font used for your comment, you can change the character formatting of anything within the comment itself. Just select the text, then use the controls on the Formatting toolbar or by choosing Comment from the Format menu.

Excel does not provide a way for you to change the default font specifications for comment balloons, across the board. You can change them individually (as already mentioned), but not universally within Excel. You can make a change in Windows that will affect the comment font, however. Follow these general instructions:

  1. Right-click anywhere on the desktop. Windows displays a Context menu.
  2. Choose Properties. Windows displays the Display Properties dialog box.
  3. Make sure the Appearance tab is selected. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Appearance tab of the Display Properties dialog box.

  5. In some versions of Windows you should click the Advanced button. Windows displays the Advanced Appearance dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  6. Figure 2. The Advanced Appearance dialog box.

  7. Using the Item drop-down list, choose ToolTip.
  8. Using the other controls in the dialog box, change the font specifications as desired.
  9. Click OK, as necessary, to close all the open dialog boxes.

In case you didn't figure it out from these steps, the font used in the comment balloons of Excel is determined by the ToolTip font used by Windows. Changing the ToolTip font changes the comment balloons, but it also changes things in other applications besides Excel, as well. (Of course, if you think the font is too small in the comment balloons, you also probably think the font is too small everywhere else the ToolTip font is used.)

If you prefer to not change the ToolTip font, you can create an Excel macro that will step through all the comments in a worksheet to make changes.

Sub FixComments()
    Dim cmt As Comment

    For Each cmt In ActiveSheet.Comments
        With cmt.Shape.TextFrame.Characters.Font
            .Name = "Arial"
            .Size = 12
        End With
    Next cmt
End Sub

This macro changes the font to 12-point Arial for all comments. You could easily change the font and font size by making a change to the appropriate two lines of the macro.

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 (2974) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003.

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

Error Message about WRS File

Error messages in Word can be frustrating. For instance, if you see a message that says something about WRS files, it can ...

Discover More

Reducing File Sizes for Workbooks with PivotTables

Need to reduce the size of your workbooks that contain PivotTables? Here's something you can try to minimize the ...

Discover More

Checking for Either of Two Text Values

Using a formula to find information in a text value is easy. Using a formula to find either of two text values within a ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Adjusting Row Height when Wrapping Text

If you have some cells merged in a worksheet, and you wrap text within that merged cell, Excel won't automatically resize ...

Discover More

Displaying Negative Percentages in Red

Excel includes quite a few different formats you can use for the information in a worksheet. One format that isn't as ...

Discover More

Adding a Custom Format to those Offered by Excel

Adding a custom format to Excel is easy. Having that custom format appear in all your workbooks is a different story ...

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 three less than 3?

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.