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Excel spreadsheets are an excellent tool for data storage, transformation, and analysis. When used with the rest of Microsoft Office 365 tools, it can become a key component in your business workflow. Excel spreadsheets are the basis for collaborative work in any sector that requires working with datasets, i.e., human resources, finance, marketing, sales, etc. For example, Excel Co-Authoring helps your team boost productivity levels, regardless of the size.

This article will explain how Excel comments and notes work in the 365 version. You’ll learn how to add comments and notes in Excel, how to edit comments and notes in Excel, and how to delete comments and notes in Excel.

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Excel Notes vs. Threaded Comments

Microsoft Office 365 allows users to add Excel “Notes” and “Threaded Comments”. In this version, “Threaded Comments” are comments that can be addressed to specific users via “@mention” feature. On the other hand, “Notes” are like sticky notes, the equivalent of “Comments” in Excel 2019 or 2016. For more information on this topic, visit the Microsoft Support page.

How to Add Comments in Excel?

Although adding a comment in Excel is simple, it can become a powerful feature if you learn how to apply it fully. This is how you can insert a comment in Excel.

How to Insert Comments in Excel?

In Excel 2016 or 2019, you can add a comment by pressing Shift + F2. In Excel 365, there are two ways to add your comment:

  1. 1. Open your Excel spreadsheet and right-click on the cell where you want to insert the comment. Then, select “New Comment”.
Add Edit Delete Comments and Notes in Excel Right click to insert
Add, Edit & Delete Comments and Notes in Excel - Right-click to insert
  1. 2. The other option is to go to Review > New Comment.
Add Edit Delete Comments and Notes in Excel Insert from Review
Add, Edit & Delete Comments and Notes in Excel - Insert from Review
  1. 3. The comment window displays the name of the user who created the comment. To address the comment, start by typing “@” and search for the user you would like to address it to.
Add Edit Delete Comments and Notes in Excel Enter or mention
Add, Edit & Delete Comments and Notes in Excel - Enter or mention
  1. 4. Click on “Post” icon to send.
Add Edit Delete Comments and Notes in Excel Post comment
Add, Edit & Delete Comments and Notes in Excel - Post comment

You can also add a comment or note in an Excel formula by adding +N("comment") to the formula. For example, the comment or note in =SUM(C2:C101)+N("Only estimated according to proposed dates") would only be visible if you click on the cell formula.

How to View and Reply to Comments in Excel?

There are two simple ways to view a comment:

  1. 1. Hover over any cell containing a purple ribbon in the upper-right corner.
Add Edit Delete Comments and Notes in Excel View cell comment
Add, Edit & Delete Comments and Notes in Excel - View cell comment
  1. 2. Or, go to Review > Show Comments.
Add Edit Delete Comments and Notes in Excel Show Comments
Add, Edit & Delete Comments and Notes in Excel - Show Comments
  1. 3. This will open the “Comments” pane where you can reply, edit, or delete comments.
Add Edit Delete Comments and Notes in Excel Comments pane
Add, Edit & Delete Comments and Notes in Excel - Comments pane
  1. 4. Type your reply using the “@mention” in case you want to address the user. Then press “Enter” or click on “Post” to send.
Add Edit Delete Comments and Notes in Excel Post reply
Add, Edit & Delete Comments and Notes in Excel - Post reply

Close the “Comments” pane by clicking on “Show Comments”. The “Previous Comment” and “Next Comment” buttons allow you to move across comments. Now, let’s see how you can edit comments in Excel.

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How to Edit Comments in Excel?

There are many ways to edit comments in Excel.

  1. 1. Open your spreadsheet and click on the cell containing the comment, or click on “Show Comments”. Select “Edit” to the right of the comment box.
Add Edit Delete Comments and Notes in Excel Edit comment
Add, Edit & Delete Comments and Notes in Excel - Edit comment
  1. 2. Excel prompts you to modify the text. You can then click “Save”, to keep the changes, or “Cancel”.
Add Edit Delete Comments and Notes in Excel Save or Cancel
Add, Edit & Delete Comments and Notes in Excel - Save or Cancel

But what if you want to assign the comment to a different cell? Let’s explore how to anchor comments to a different cell in Excel.

  1. 1. Select the cell containing the comment and press Ctrl + C (Copy).
Add Edit Delete Comments and Notes in Excel Copy comment
Add, Edit & Delete Comments and Notes in Excel - Copy comment
  1. 2. Right-click on the cell you would like to anchor the comment to, and select “Paste Special” under “Paste Options”.
Add Edit Delete Comments and Notes in Excel Paste Special
Add, Edit & Delete Comments and Notes in Excel - Paste Special
  1. 3. Select “Comments and Notes” in the “Paste Special” pop-up window. Then, click “OK”.
Add Edit Delete Comments and Notes in Excel Comments and Notes
Add, Edit & Delete Comments and Notes in Excel - Comments and Notes

You can also anchor Excel Notes to a different cell in the same way. The “Paste Special” feature is also applicable in case you want to apply the same comment to multiple cells.

How to Delete or Resolve Comments in Excel?

In Excel 2016 or 2019, press Shift + F10 + m to delete a comment. In 365, you can either delete or resolve a comment.

How to Delete Comments in Excel?

  1. 1. Open the comment and click on the “⋯” icon. Then, “Delete thread".
Add Edit Delete Comments and Notes in Excel More thread actions
Add, Edit & Delete Comments and Notes in Excel - More thread actions
  1. 2. Another option is to head over to Review > Delete.
Add Edit Delete Comments and Notes in Excel Delete from Review
Add, Edit & Delete Comments and Notes in Excel - Delete from Review
  1. 3. Or right-click on the cell comment and “Delete Comment”.
Add Edit Delete Comments and Notes in Excel Right click Delete
Add, Edit & Delete Comments and Notes in Excel - Right-click Delete

How to Resolve Comments in Excel?

Resolving a comment will keep the reference in case you need to restore it further on.

  1. 1. Click on the “⋯” icon. Then, “Resolve thread".
Add Edit Delete Comments and Notes in Excel Resolve thread
Add, Edit & Delete Comments and Notes in Excel - Resolve thread
  1. 2. Once resolved, Excel will give you the option to “Reopen” or “Delete” for future use.
Add Edit Delete Comments and Notes in Excel Reopen or Delete
Add, Edit & Delete Comments and Notes in Excel - Reopen or Delete

You have seen the many ways to add, edit, and delete comments in Excel 365 and how useful they can be when used accurately. Let’s now turn to how to create, edit, and delete notes in Excel.

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How to Add Notes in Excel?

How to Insert Notes in Excel?

You can insert notes in Excel in different ways.

  1. 1. Right-click on the cell and select “New Note”.
Add Edit Delete Comments and Notes in Excel New Note
Add, Edit & Delete Comments and Notes in Excel - New Note
  1. 2. Another option is to go to Review > New Note.
Add Edit Delete Comments and Notes in Excel Add note from Review
Add, Edit & Delete Comments and Notes in Excel - Add note from Review
  1. 3. To save, simply click outside the note box. The notes in Excel are shown as a red triangle in the top-right corner of the cell.
Add Edit Delete Comments and Notes in Excel Save note
Add, Edit & Delete Comments and Notes in Excel - Save note

How to View Notes in Excel?

Like comments, you can view all notes at the same time.

  1. 1. Go to Review > Show All Notes. To hide all notes again, click on “Show All Notes” to disable viewing.
Add Edit Delete Comments and Notes in Excel Show all notes
Add, Edit & Delete Comments and Notes in Excel - Show all notes
  1. 2. Select “Previous Note” and “Next Note” to read through all notes.
Add Edit Delete Comments and Notes in Excel Previous note
Add, Edit & Delete Comments and Notes in Excel - Previous note
  1. 3. If you want to hide specific notes in cells, select the “Hide Note” or “Show Note” to keep them displayed.
Add Edit Delete Comments and Notes in Excel Show Hide notes
Add, Edit & Delete Comments and Notes in Excel - Show/Hide notes

How to Edit Notes in Excel?

To edit a note based on the text, size, position, or format, follow these steps.

  1. 1. Right-click on the cell note or go to Review > Notes. Then, select “Edit Note”. Excel also offers the option to “Convert to Comments”. To save, click outside the note box.
Add Edit Delete Comments and Notes in Excel Edit note
Add, Edit & Delete Comments and Notes in Excel - Edit note
  1. 2. To resize your notes, place your cursor on a corner and drag the two-sided arrow to increase or decrease the size.
Add Edit Delete Comments and Notes in Excel Resize note
Add, Edit & Delete Comments and Notes in Excel - Resize note
  1. 3. To reposition, drag the note using the four-sided arrow to the preferred position.
Add Edit Delete Comments and Notes in Excel Reposition note
Add, Edit & Delete Comments and Notes in Excel - Reposition note

How to Delete Notes in Excel?

You can delete notes by right-clicking on the cell and selecting “Delete Note”. Or, click on the cell and head over to Review > Notes > Delete Note. Be aware that Excel will delete without asking for confirmation.

Add Edit Delete Comments and Notes in Excel Save note 2
Add, Edit & Delete Comments and Notes in Excel - Save note

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Conclusion

Understanding how Excel comments and notes work in Microsoft Office 365 is an excellent way to level up your skills for team collaboration. You should now know the key difference between Excel “Threaded Comments” and “Notes” and how to use them to your advantage. Moreover, you have seen how easy it is to insert, edit, and delete comments and notes to unlock the full potential of this feature.

Finally, make sure to check out our blog post on How to share an Excel file.

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Hady ElHady
Hady is Content Lead at Layer.

Hady has a passion for tech, marketing, and spreadsheets. Besides his Computer Science degree, he has vast experience in developing, launching, and scaling content marketing processes at SaaS startups.

Originally published Dec 10 2022