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: Filtering for Comments.

Filtering for Comments

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 9, 2017)

Robert has a worksheet that has comments included in various places. He wonders if it is possible to filter the rows in a data table so that only those rows that include comments in a particular column will be displayed.

The filtering capabilities of Excel don't provide a way that you can automatically check for the presence of comments, but there are a couple of ways you can approach a solution. One possible solution is to follow these general steps:

  1. Make a copy of the column that contains comments to be filtered.
  2. Select the duplicate column.
  3. Press F5 to display the Go To tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  4. Click Special. Excel displays the Go To Special dialog box.
  5. Click the Comments radio button and then press Enter. Only those cells containing comments are selected.
  6. Type any number, character, or phrase not already present in the column.
  7. Press Ctrl+Enter. All the selected cells (those with comments) should now contain what you typed in step 6.
  8. Use AutoFilter to display only those rows that contain whatever you typed in step 6.

If you prefer, you can create a user-defined function that will let you know if a particular cell has a comment associated with it. The following is a simple way to make such a determination:

Function CellHasComment(c As Range)
    Application.Volatile True
    CellHasComment = Not c.Comment Is Nothing
End Function

Now you can use a formula such as the following within a worksheet:

=CellHasComment(B2)

When the formula is executed, it returns either True or False, depending on whether cell B2 has a comment or not. You can then use Excel's filtering capabilities to display only those rows that have a True returned by the formula.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3508) 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: Filtering for Comments.

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

Status Bar Icons

Near the center of the status bar Word displays a number of different icons. This tip describes the meaning of each possible ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Empty Rows after Importing

Import data into a worksheet (or paste it there) and you may find that you end up with a group of blank cells you need to get ...

Discover More

Checking Lock Status of Cells

When you first create a worksheet, all the cells in that worksheet are formatted as locked. As you unlock various cells on ...

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)

Recalculating when Filtering

Filter a large worksheet, and Excel will helpfully recalculate every time you apply a different filter. This can get ...

Discover More

Filtering Columns

The filtering tools provided in Excel make it easy to filter a data list so that only certain rows are displayed. What if you ...

Discover More

Removing Duplicates Based on a Partial Match

Some types of data may have certain fields that contain partially identical information. In such cases you may want to delete ...

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 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 3 - 2?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.