Setting the Default Font Size for Comment Balloons

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 12, 2016)

5

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.

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

Deleting Footnotes and Endnotes

Deleting either footnotes or endnotes is a simple process. Just select the reference mark and delete it. Assuming you are ...

Discover More

Wrapping Text Around a Graphic

Place a graphic in your document, and you may want to make sure that your document text "wraps" around the edges of the ...

Discover More

Transposing Two Paragraphs

Need to swap two adjacent paragraphs? Your editing arsenal can include a command to do this is you use the macro in this tip.

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)

No New Fonts Error

Sometimes Excel does things that may appear just plain wacky. This particular tip deals with an issue that could crop up when ...

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

Professional Looking Fractions

Professional typesetting has, in many ways, spoiled us. One way this is evident is in the preference we show for making ...

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 8Mpixels. 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 6 - 3?

2016-07-12 19:03:59

Tim

What is the variant on this for Windows 7?

The Win 8.1 option in the comments doesn't work.

I think using the macro is the best option but I would like to know.

Thanks.


2016-02-26 20:12:23

Chris Bus_Assist

Brilliant assistance on global comment font change.
Note that excessive scroll rows can be due to oversized comment fonts, solution found in very easy to instal VBA scripts saved the day, immediately scrolling was limited back to just the work book:
http://www.extendoffice.com/documents/excel/1572-excel-autosize-comments.html#a1


2015-08-03 19:17:15

Willie

I find that in Win 8.1 right click desktop, choose personalize..
Then Display in lower left
Then tooltips in the dropdown.
select desired font size.

I have not an option for the font name.


2015-01-07 17:24:52

steven

why suggest editing all comments individually, or changing system font before the macro solution? The macro solution is the fastest and only needs to run once, keeping users from modifying their system font.


2013-11-26 07:44:30

Matime

My windows 8 does not have features to edit my tooltips for the insert comment function in Excel 2010. How do I do this?Thanks


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.