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: Adding Pop-Up Documentation to a Cell.

Adding Pop-Up Documentation to a Cell

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 24, 2011)

15

Want a neat trick you can use to make your worksheets more helpful to users? How about adding a pop-up window that displays documentation whenever the cell is selected? To add such a feature, follow these steps:

  1. Select the cell for which you want the pop-up to appear.
  2. Choose Validation from the Data menu.
  3. Make sure the Input Message tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Input Message tab of the Data Validation dialog box.

  5. Make sure the Show Input Message When Cell is Selected check box is selected.
  6. In the Title box, enter a title for the pop-up window. (This title appears in bold at the top of the pop-up window.)
  7. In the Input Message box, enter the text of the documentation you want to appear in the pop-up window.
  8. Click OK.

There are, obviously, other ways you can use the Data Validation feature of Excel to check and limit the data that is entered in a cell. However, if you follow the steps above, all data is still accepted, and Excel displays a helpful message whenever the cell is selected.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3361) 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: Adding Pop-Up Documentation to a Cell.

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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Comments for this tip:

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. 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 more than 2?

2017-03-05 05:26:20

TJ

Hey, I wanted a pop-up box to appear based on a value in a cell which derives its value from another formula. I tried using the "list" option in data validation with the text. This works only if it is typed out and does not work if it comes automatically. Anyway we can fix this?


2016-10-18 07:15:20

mac lee

without clicking when I put mouse over sheet tab, I want to see pop up sheet

how can I make this to code?


2016-06-20 11:02:46

Graham Armstrong

The POP Up Documentation Seems to only have 7.5 lines. How do I increase to 18 lines ?


2015-11-10 01:25:34

Shady Mohsen

Check this trick also for using hyperlinks to create a popup text documentation on hover.

http://eng-shady-mohsen.blogspot.com.eg/2015/11/excel-hyperlink-as-comment.html


2015-11-10 01:23:50

Shady Mohsen

Very nice trick.


2015-08-11 05:43:20

Rui

Great tip!
Is there any way that instead of a fixed text we may use a variable text? For example, a cell reference where the text to display is stored.
This way it would be easier to manage help texts
Thanks.


2015-07-30 10:43:29

Sean

awesome...more tips to come!!!


2014-12-19 03:28:20

Carmel Reid

Thanks for this tip - it works beautifully but for some reason the pop up for each column heading appears only in one place on my screen - can I change this so it pops up beside each cell I click on? It did to start with but I'm wondering if I clicked on something to make it static (staying in one place) thanks, Carmel


2014-10-31 03:15:30

Dhaiva

Yearly Jan Feb Mar Total
10 5 5
10 10
10 0 0 15 15

the yearly should be equal to total figures and if not agree I receive a pop up message in excel 2007

can anyone help


2013-10-25 06:33:39

Fadzil

I want to have a pop-up of image like tool_tip when the mouse move over the cell...
can anyone give me tips...


2013-05-28 11:16:24

jose

Allen
Your tip was short and to the point..just what I needed..
thanks for sharing
jose


2013-02-07 10:50:43

Gopi

Really which is very helpful. . .thanks a lot


2012-12-28 06:38:24

pratik

Hi

I want to insert a pop-up table in an excel cell. Please let me know how can I do it.
Example: If i select a cell I want an editable pop up table with some fixed values and editable values. Is that possible ?
Please let me know at the earliest.

Thanks
Pratik


2012-04-12 04:35:51

Galina

WOW! Thanks a lot! Finally, I found the info I needed! As simple as it is, took me forever in Google to find an answer


2011-12-27 06:59:20

Alan

Hi Allen
You can achieve a similar result using cell comments. I've used this method to add pop-up help to column headers on flat data entry sheets.
Cheers
Alan


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