Hyperlinks in Comments

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 22, 2020)


Excel makes it rather easy to insert a hyperlink into a cell. You may, however, want to actually add a hyperlink to a comment intstead of to a cell. This can also be done; the trick is to make sure that the only thing contained in the comment is the hyperlink itself.

Note that Microsoft changed the way comments work in Excel in Office 365. Comments are now threaded allowing users to have discussions with each other regarding the data. Notes work like comments in earlier versions of Excel. The following steps apply both to earlier versions of Excel using comments and to Excel for Office 365 using notes:

  1. Right-click on the cell that you want to contain the comment. Excel displays a Context menu.
  2. Choose Insert Comment or New Note from the Context menu. Excel adds the comment/note and places the insertion point within the comment/note box.
  3. Press the Backspace key enough times that you delete the username. The insertion point should be at the very beginning of the cell.
  4. Type the URL you want to use for the hyperlink.
  5. Press the Delete key a few times to delete any non-printing characters that may exist after the insertion point in the comment/note box.
  6. Click a different cell. The comment/note should disappear.
  7. Right-click the same cell to which you added the comment/note (the same cell as in step 1). Excel displays a Context menu.
  8. Choose Show/Hide Comment/Note from the Context menu. The comments/notes in your worksheet are displayed.

Now you can click on the comment/note that contains the URL and Excel helpfully opens the browser and displays whatever is at that URL. You needed to perform steps 7 and 8 because you need to hover the mouse pointer over the comment/note containing the URL (in order to click it) and you can't hover over a comment/note that isn't displayed.

If you still cannot get the hyperlink to activate successfully, there are two probable culprits. First, you need to make sure that the hyperlink itself is initially the only thing in the comment/note. (More on that in a moment.) That is why you need to perform steps 3 and 5 in the above sequence of steps. The other possible culprit is that you didn't put in a URL that Excel could recognize as a URL.

Now, more on the URL being the only thing in the comment/note. Interestingly enough, once you get the URL to work properly you are free to change the text that the comment/note contains. So, for instance, when I created a comment/note that contained the URL "www.tips.net" (without the quote marks) and nothing else, I could then click on the comment/note and the webpage was displayed. I could then go back, right-click the comment/note to edit it, and change the text to something else (such as "Let's go to Tips.net"). Even though the URL was no longer visible, the link was still active in the comment/note and clicking on the comment/note displayed the Tips.net webpage.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9086) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365.

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 nine more than 0?

2019-12-02 09:46:22

J. Woolley

Sorry. My last comment was put here by mistake. It was intended for another Tip. See

2019-12-01 11:06:49

J. Woolley

For related information, you might be interested in this tutorial:

2019-11-30 03:28:00


unable to understand please show the example

2019-07-12 13:41:50

Daniel Acevedo

Now comments are called notes and there is a new comment section, the link only works in the note as usual, is there a way to make them work in the new comments? its better since the comments dont dissaper when you hover off

2018-12-07 05:48:53


It would appear that links to files are allowed in comments, provided that the link is in browser form. For example "file:///C:/Users/username/Spreadsheets/HyperLinkTarget.xlsx" (without the quotes - but note the three slashes after file:) does work. However Excel first issues a Microsoft Excel Security Warning with Yes/No continue buttons, then, when you arrive at the target file, Excel issues a Reference not valid warning, so it's a bit untidy.

2016-08-17 01:45:23

Scott Weakley

In order for hyperlinks to work in comments the user must also do the following if the hyperlink autocorrect feature is not activated:

Go to:
FileOptionsProofingAutoCorrect Options...AutoFormat As You Type

Check the "Internet and network paths with hyperlinks Apply as you work" box.

After activating the autocorrect hyperlink feature and then confirming that the hyperlink in the comment work, the user can then go back in and deactivate the autocorrect hyperlink feature and continue using the file with working hyperlinks in comments.

If the hyperlink autocorrect feature is alway left activated, hyperlinks in comments will always work when set up with going through the above process.

Kind Regards,

Scott Weakley

2016-05-09 03:19:10

Ronny Baeb

Hi Sonali

You can't insert a hyperlink to an other file in a comment, only internet hyperlinks.


2016-05-03 07:36:27


I understood the method of hyperlinking the weblink in Excel comment. I want to add hyperlink to another document in the same folder. How do I do that?


2015-12-26 07:34:05


it does not work if i want to hyperlink to a file (jpg file, in my case). i expected to see the image, but nothing happens.
any ideas?



2015-01-04 15:11:08

Q. Brian

I'm having trouble 'keeping' links in a particular cell working. I can add a link to another document without any issue, however, as the spreadsheet continues to grow, the link disappears. I'm sure I'm changing the actual cell location and, although I'm adding the link in a particular cell, isn't there a way to update that hyperlink location? (Excel automatically updates cell locations when I perform mathematical formulas and make changes - why not with hyperlinks?)

Thank you in advance!!

2014-12-31 07:22:27

Ronny Baeb

Hi Steven

If you want you can send me the file.
I can't promise that I will reply before next Monday.
It depends on when I receive the file.

Best regards

2014-12-30 10:04:11


I tried all suggestions in the comments, but it still is not working. After Step 8, when I click in the comment it simply puts me in Edit mode. I am happy to send the file for someone to look at, but don't see a way to include attachments.

2014-12-30 08:50:11

Ronny Baeb

Hi Mal

To my knowledge one can only insert a hyperlink in a comment that points to the internet and not to a cell in another file on a local or network drive.
To do that you can either use the hyperlink function in a cell or you also could use a button

Best regards

2014-12-30 04:23:33

Sefali Prajapati

yes it's working...thanks for enhansing my knowledge...

2014-12-29 17:25:27


Thanks for the reply Ronnie. It is not always practical to make the comment cell the hyperlink when the cell itself contains the comment. You can inadvertently click on the hyperlink and get sent to the hyperlink. Frustrating. It is much easier to make an adjacent cell a hyperlink but sometimes this is not always practical.
Do any of you Gurus know how to put a hyperlink into a comment or is this not possible?

2014-12-29 11:06:11

Willy Vanhaelen

This will work (without quotes): "http:\www.google.com"

2014-12-29 10:51:42


Before pasting or typing (I tried both) the hyperlink into the comment box I deleted everything in it. I used both the Backspace and the Delete key until there was to apparent text, and then repeatedly did Backspace and Delete again afterward. I tried "www.google.com" as the hyperlink text, without the quotation marks. Still not working.

2014-12-29 10:30:04


StevenM: If they hyperlink doesn't work, it means there is something in the text of the comment besides the URL. Note step 5; you need to do this because if there is anything else after the URL (such as a carriage return, which would be invisible), it will stop the URL from being parsed as a hyperlink.


2014-12-29 10:17:38


I am using Excel 2010, version 14, 32-bit. I followed the steps shown but the hyperlink is not active. When I click on what should be hyperlink text I simply enter text edit mode in the comment. Is this working in 2010 for others?

2014-12-29 10:08:17

Kelly Runyon

I have the same need as Mal, and like Mal, I need it to happen with the Comment, not with the cell itself.

2014-12-29 03:25:40

ronny baeb

Hi Mal

In that case, why don't you simply use the hyperlink functionality on the cell itself?
Got to "Insert"=>hyperlink=>select place in this document=> enter the cell reference by choosing the sheet and enter the cell reference.
In the field "Text to display" you enter whatever value you need.
You can change the value in the same field


2014-12-28 05:18:23


Thanks for that tip. I use comments a great deal and this potentially could be of great assistance. As far as I understand this tip you must type in a URL or a www. address in the comment. If that is the case then this is no assistance to me. I need a hyperlink inside a comment that can take me to another cell in a worksheet. In other words, I need to make a surname a hyperlink in a comment whereby opening (or hovering) on the comment and clicking on it will direct me to the cell in a separate worksheet that has that surname in it. Can this tip do this somehow? It would be fabulous if I could do this because the only way I can achieve it currently is to create a hyperlink in a cell adjacent to the comment and this is not always practical.

2014-12-27 10:42:06


A shortcut for step #3: Press Shift+Up arrow to select the entire user name and then press Delete.

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