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: Finding and Replacing Text in Comments.

Finding and Replacing Text in Comments

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 15, 2014)

Gerry has a workbook containing 22 worksheets. Each worksheet has about 20 comments. Some of the comments make reference to a company division. He would like to do a mass search and replace of the comments to find each reference (for example, "ABC Division") and replace it with something else (for example, "XYZ subsidiary").

There is no way to do this without using a macro. The regular Find and Replace capabilities in Excel don't allow you to find text within comments, but you can use macro commands. The following is a simple macro to do the replacing:

Sub ReplaceComments()
    Dim cmt As Comment
    Dim wks As Worksheet
    Dim sFind As String
    Dim sReplace As String
    Dim sCmt As String

    sFind = "ABC Division"
    sReplace = "XYZ subidiary"

    For Each wks In ActiveWorkbook.Worksheets
        For Each cmt In wks.Comments
            sCmt = cmt.Text
            If InStr(sCmt, sFind) <> 0 Then
                sCmt = Application.WorksheetFunction. _
                  Substitute(sCmt, sFind, sReplace)
                cmt.Text Text:=sCmt
            End If
        Next
    Next
    Set wks = Nothing
    Set cmt = Nothing
End Sub

The key lines here are those that set the sFind and sReplace variables. You should set those to reflect what you are searching for and what you want it replaced with, respectively. The macro steps through each comment in each worksheet of the current workbook and makes the changes anywhere they are located.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3534) 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: Finding and Replacing Text in 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. ...

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