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 April 20, 2019)

1

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Automatic Numbers with Leading Zeroes

Word's automatic numbering formats allow you to easily create lists that have one leading zero. If you want more than one ...

Discover More

Fixing "Can't Find Files" Errors

If you get errors about unfindable files when you first start Excel, it can be frustrating. Here's how to track down and ...

Discover More

Generating a List of Macros

Got a workbook that has lots and lots of macros associated with it? Here's a way you can get a list of all of those ...

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)

Don't Allow Empty Cells

Data Validation is a great way to limit what a user can enter into a worksheet cell. It may not stop a cell from being ...

Discover More

Specifying a Data Validation Error Message

Data validation is a great tool for limiting what can be input into a cell. Excel allows you to specify what should ...

Discover More

Limiting Entries to Numeric Values

When creating a worksheet, you may need to limit what can be entered into a particular cell. Using data validation, you ...

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}] (all 7 characters, in the sequence shown) 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 nine minus 1?

2020-08-28 11:24:02

Chad C.

Question for you Allen. Is there any possible way I could make it so that anytime I hover over a cell it would show a date? I guess more importantly would there be a way to do this without manually going through and entering the date manually into each cell's comments field?

I'd like to do this because in my spreadsheet I have a 'Week of' row for each week of the year. Then columns for Mon, Tues, Weds, etc., in which I enter the hours that employee worked that day. But I'd love if I could hover over the cell for a moment, even if the hours have been entered, to quickly make sure I'm actually entering it on the correct date.

Thank you!
-Chad


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.