Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. 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: Formatting Text in Comment Boxes.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 29, 2020)
Adding comments to the various cells in a worksheet can be quite helpful, particularly when it comes to documenting the organization and content of your worksheet. As you start adding more and more information as comments, you may wonder if there is a way to easily format the information in a comment box.
Text in a comment box can be formatted in much the same way as you format text in a text box: select the text, then choose one of the formatting options available from the ribbon or the Context menu. You can easily change typefaces, font sizes, and character attributes, as desired.
If you want to format your text so that various elements line up with each other, your formatting options are a bit more limited. One good approach is to make sure the text you want aligned is formatted using a monospace typeface (such as Courier or Courier New), and then insert spaces in your data to align information on different lines. (Inserting spaces to align text on multiple lines can be tedious, so you may want to actually align the text in a text editor, such as Notepad.)
If your data doesn't have many columns in it, you can also align text by using Ctrl+Tab between columns. This doesn't actually add the tab character to your data; instead it inserts four or five spaces into the text, thereby helping to align data between rows. The number of spaces added is whatever is necessary to move the insertion point right by some multiple of eight characters. (The "column spacing" cannot be changed in Excel.) You can easily verify if you are using a monospace font by how this lines up the columns in your text.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9311) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Formatting Text in Comment Boxes.
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