by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 13, 2017)
Francois wonders if it is possible to change the color of the triangle that appears in the upper-right corner of a cell when there is a comment associated with the cell. The triangle is red, by default, but Francois would like it to be a different color that is easier for him to see.
There are some things that, it seems, are simply hard-coded into Excel and cannot be changed. The color of the comment indicator is one of those items. Even playing with the various color settings in Windows had no effect on the indicators.
This has been an issue that has been asked about and discussed for years in the Excel community. One potential workaround is presented by MVP Debra Dagliesh at this page:
The solution presented there was actually designed for printing. (Excel doesn't print comment indicators when you print a worksheet, but you may want indicators printed.) The macro that Debra presents can be easily modified so that the graphic used is any color desired.
Of course, the drawback to such an approach is that it adds a graphic to your worksheet for each comment you have. If you have lots of comments in the worksheet, you'll end up having lots of graphics. In addition, the graphics may not "stay put" as you edit the worksheet, adding and deleting cells. If you add or delete comments, then you'll also need to delete graphics (Debra provides a macro to do this) and rerun the macro to add graphics back.
Another potential option is to use a macro to color the background of any cell that contains a comment. The following macro looks at whatever cells you have selected and then changes the color of any cell containing a comment.
Sub ColorComments() Dim commentCell As Range On Error GoTo ErrorHandler 'Deal with empty selection Selection.SpecialCells(xlCellTypeComments).Select On Error GoTo 0 For Each commentCell In Selection.Cells commentCell.Interior.ColorIndex = 36 Next Range("A1").Select Exit Sub ErrorHandler: ' Error Handler is deliberately empty End Sub
The drawback to this macro is that it is not easy to "unmark" any cells if comments are removed. You'll also need to rerun the macro as you add new comments to your worksheet.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3498) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013.
Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!
Need to copy whatever is in a comment into a cell on your worksheet? If you have lots of comments, manually doing this ...Discover More
If you frequently add comments to cells in a worksheet, Excel provides a variety of tools you can use to manage those ...Discover More
Adding comments to the cells in your worksheets can help to document different aspects of that worksheet. Adding a ...Discover More
FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."
Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.