Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. 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: Editing a Comment Close to Its Cell.

Editing a Comment Close to Its Cell

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 15, 2015)


Peggy has several cells in a worksheet that have comments associated with them. When she right-clicks on one of these cells, she can choose Edit Comment from the resulting Context menu in order to edit the comment. If the comment was one she created in a previous session with Excel, it is not unusual for the comment to open up elsewhere in the worksheet, sometimes several screens away. Peggy is wondering if there is a way to make the comment appear next to the cell it goes with.

This condition can be caused by several things. For instance, it is possible that while previously editing the comment, you clicked the comment box's border and dragged the comment to a different place on the worksheet. If you did this, then Excel remembers where the comment was moved to and always displays it in the remembered location.

Another common cause is that you do some filtering on your data, which results in some of the rows or columns being hidden while the filter is in place. If you then edit comments in the filtered cells, you have effectively "moved" the comment from the original location to a new location that is associated with the row or column visible on the screen. When you later remove the filter and try to edit the comment, it remembers where it was previously edited, and that is where the new editing opportunity takes place.

In both of these instances, the normal solution is to just grin and bear it—manually move the cells from where they are to where you want them. However, if you have this problem with a lot of cells, all the manual moving can be a real bother. In that case, you may want to use a macro to do the moving for you.

Sub MoveComments1()
    Dim cmt As Comment

    For Each cmt In ActiveSheet.Comments
        With cmt
          .Shape.Top = .Parent.Top
          .Shape.Left = .Parent.Offset(0, 1).Left
        End With
    Next cmt
End Sub

This macro moves all the comments in a worksheet so that their upper-left corner is the same as the upper-right corner of the cell to which they are attached. This puts the comments right next to their cells, which is where you want them.

If you would like to adjust all comments in an entire workbook, as well as "autosize" each of the comment boxes, then you can use this variation on the macro:

Sub MoveComments2()
    Dim wbk As Workbook
    Dim wks As Worksheet
    Dim cmt As Comment
    Dim rngC As Range
    Dim lArea As Long

    Set wbk = ActiveWorkbook

    On Error Resume Next

    For Each wks In wbk.Worksheets
        For Each cmt In wks.Comments
            With cmt
                .Shape.TextFrame.AutoSize = True
                If .Shape.Width > 200 Then
                    lArea = .Shape.Width * .Shape.Height
                    .Shape.Width = 200
                    .Shape.Height = (lArea / 200) * 1.1
                End If
                .Shape.Top = .Parent.Top
                .Shape.Left = .Parent.Offset(0, 1).Left
            End With
        Next cmt
    Next wks
End Sub

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9703) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Editing a Comment Close to Its Cell.

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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What is five more than 3?

2018-03-20 18:43:53


Great help!

2018-03-19 10:13:05

Chris Barker

Simple but brilliant solution that has 'tamed' a monster big spreadsheet for me thank you.

2015-08-18 06:15:51


Thanks - works like a charm

2015-08-18 00:23:18


verry helpfull. thanks a lot!

2015-08-17 10:52:34

Gary Lundblad

Nice! I too have had this problem.

Thank you!


2015-08-17 07:47:14

Brian Walker

Thank you! I have this problem often. It's one of my daily annoyances. Now it will be gone!

2015-08-15 07:50:02

Andrew Scott

I don't suffer this issue BUT I have a gantt chart style spreadsheet that I'd like to tag the end of the bars with a comment. The techniques here will help in this. Thanks

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