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)

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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