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: Copying Comments to Cells.

Copying Comments to Cells

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated April 4, 2016)

Hector has a large worksheet containing approximately 600 rows and 70 columns. Spread throughout these 43,000 cells are about 200 cells with comments. Hector wants to extract the comments and place them into cells to the right of the main body of the data table. If a comment, for instance, is attached to cell C43, then he'd like the text from that comment to end up in cell CC43 and the original comment to be deleted.

You might think that you could use Paste Special to perform the task, but that doesn't work. If you copy the original cells and then use Edit | Paste Special | Comments, then only the comments are pasted to the target cells. They are still comments, and not text in cells, which goes against Hector's goal.

The only way to handle this type of extraction is to use a macro. The following, when run on a selection of cells, will extract the comments, move the comment text, and then delete the original comment.

Sub CommentsToCells()
    Dim rCell As Excel.Range
    Dim rData As Excel.Range
    Dim sComment As String

    ' Horizontal displacement
    Const iColOffset As Integer = 78

    ' extract comments from selected range
    If TypeName(Selection) = "Range" Then
        Set rData = Intersect(Selection, ActiveSheet.UsedRange)
        For Each rCell In rData.Cells
            On Error Resume Next
            sComment = rCell.Comment.Text
            If Len(sComment) > 0 Then
                rCell.Offset(, iColOffset).Value = sComment
                rCell.Comment.Delete
            End If
            sComment = ""
            On Error GoTo 0
        Next
    End If
End Sub

The macro uses the iColOffset constant to specify how many cells to the right a comment's text should be moved. In this case, the offset (78) is equal to three "alphabets" (26 * 3), so the text of a comment originally in column C will end up in column CC.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2981) 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: Copying Comments to 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. ...

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