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: Keyboard Shortcut for Comments.

Keyboard Shortcut for Comments

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 29, 2017)


Larry often adds comments to cells in his worksheets. He wonders if there is a keyboard shortcut for adding those comments.

Normally you would insert a comment by selecting the cell you want, choosing the Insert menu, and then clicking the Comment option. If you prefer to not take your hands off the keyboard, however, Excel does provide two different ways you can insert comments.

The first method is actually a keyboard equivalent for invoking the Comment option on the Insert menu. All you need to do is press Alt, I, M. The Alt key is used to activate the menus, then the following two keystrokes select the Insert tab and the Comment command, in turn. (You don't need to hold down the Alt key as you press the two keys after it.)

The third method to insert a comment is to simply press Shift+F2. This shortcut produces the exact same result as the previous one—it opens a comment box in the current cell. (If one already exists in the cell, then it is opened; if one does not exist, one is added and opened.)

You should note that the Shift+F2 shortcut works just fine in Excel 2003, but it is unclear whether it works in earlier versions of Excel, such as Excel 97. If it doesn't, just remember that the Alt, I, M approach will work in your case.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12316) 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: Keyboard Shortcut 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. ...


Changing Months in a Workbook

When you copy a worksheet and then need to make changes to information in that worksheet (such as changing month names), ...

Discover More

Printing Non-Printing Characters

Serious users of Word often display non-printing characters on-screen so they can see them easier. If you want those ...

Discover More

Word Marks Mixed Case Acronyms as Incorrect

Many acronyms (such as DoD) are considered correct when they used mixed uppercase and lowercase. Word may not seem them ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Counting Comments in a Worksheet

Need to know how many comments are in a worksheet? You can figure out the count manually, or you can apply the handy ...

Discover More

Anchoring Comment Boxes in Desired Locations

Want your comment boxes to appear someplace other than the right side of a cell? You may be out of luck, and here's why.

Discover More

Formatting Text in Comment Boxes

Want to make your worksheet comments appear a certain way? It's easy to do using techniques you already are familiar with.

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


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 4 + 4?

2017-12-21 04:39:26


With the cell selected, press the key with the three horizontal lines in a box. (I don't know its proper name.)

That key opens up the context menu, just like right-clicking with the mouse. Use the up and down arrows to select the action that you want, such as edit, delete, show/hide comments.

2017-12-20 02:10:18


i can add comment by using Shift+F2 but i need to click on any other cell by using my mouse to close the comment. is there any other shortcut to close the comment without mouse?

2016-04-04 09:22:22


This is simple and great Dave.

2015-10-06 06:04:53

Willy Vanhaelen

Simply by pressing [Esc] (Excel 2007)

2015-10-06 02:16:30


okay Shift+F2 allows you to enter a comment in a cell but once you have finished writing your comment, how we exit the comment bubble using a keyboard shortcut, without having to click away from the cell with the mouse?

2015-02-13 06:34:24


The following macro will copy the contents of the Comment to the clipboard:

Sub CopyToClipboard()
Dim MSForms_DataObject As Object
On Error GoTo Quitsub
Set MSForms_DataObject = CreateObject("new:{1C3B4210-F441-11CE-B9EA-00AA006B1A69}")
MSForms_DataObject.SetText Selection.Range("A1").Comment.Text
Set MSForms_DataObject = Nothing
End Sub

This macro should be copied into a VBA code Module, and for ease of access I suggest assigning a shortcut key e.g. Crtl+Shift+C.

2015-02-12 09:35:27


Interesting challenge, Stephen! I'm working on it...

2015-02-12 04:54:36

stephen fein

Why doesn't Ctl+A work on the text in a comment box. I am a university teacher and I make notes on Notepad during my classes, then insert the notes as a comment on the date of the class.

Is there another way to copy the contents of a comment box without going inside and highlighting all the text?

2013-03-06 05:51:59



That's great; thank you!


2013-03-05 09:16:05


To exit the comment box, hit the Esc key twice.

The first press leaves the comment box selected and allows you to move it using the up, down, left and right arrow keys.

The second press returns you to the cells in the spreadsheet.

You can return to the comment to edit it some more if needed by selecting the cell and using Shift+F2 again.

Hope this helps!

2013-03-05 04:46:09


Shift+F2 allows you to enter a comment in a cell but once you have finished writing your comment, how do you exit the comment bubble using a keyboard shortcut, without having to click away from the cell with the mouse?

2012-11-19 02:45:48


Shift+F2 works fine in Excel 97 also.

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

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.