Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007 and 2010. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Searching Comments.

Searching Comments

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 24, 2016)


When I am creating a worksheet, it is not unusual for me to add all sorts of comments to various cells. This is a great way to keep notes and to document exactly what is going on in the worksheet. There have been workbooks I have created that include scores of comments.

If you are like me, then what is out of sight is often out of mind. This means that I can forget what I put in all the comments or—worse yet—I may remember that something is in a comment, but I don't remember the cell to which that comment is attached. Subsequently finding the right comment can be perplexing.

Fortunately, Excel makes it quite easy to search through comments in a worksheet. Simply follow these steps:

  1. Press Ctrl+F to display the Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.
  2. Click the Options button, if necessary, to make sure that the dialog box displays all the searching options. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Find tab of the Find and Replace dialog box.

  4. In the Find What box, enter what you want to find in the comments.
  5. Using the Look In drop-down list, select Comments.
  6. Click on Find Next.

Excel locates any cells that have comments that include the desired text. The cell is selected, but the comment is not displayed. You will need to close the Find and Replace dialog box and then display the comment for the cell.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (7852) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007 and 2010. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Searching 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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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 five more than 3?

2016-06-09 16:39:49

Bill Dennis

what if you don't know what the text might be in a comment, you just want to find them all.

2016-05-24 15:39:16


Sometimes it is helpful to show the comments instead of having them auto-hide when you click elsewhere. You can show/hide them individually by right-clicking in the cell with the comment, or you can choose "show all comments" under the review tab to show/hide all.

2016-05-24 09:38:31


Thanks Allen! I agree with Bob that it pays to explore all pulldowns and lists when we have spare time; there are tons of hidden features in Excel!

2016-05-24 07:51:05

Bob Lyons

Been using Find and Replace forever, but never realized you can use it to find comments. Duh, guess I should have noticed the Look In drop down box.

Thanks, now I can use it to search my comments.

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