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: Copying Comments when Filtering.

Copying Comments when Filtering

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 21, 2015)


Vinod frequently uses Excel's advanced filtering tools to copy filtered data from one location to another. In some instances he would like to copy not only the cell contents but also the cell comments of the cells that meet the filtering criteria. He's not looking for a way to filter based on comments, but only to copy comments along with the cell contents when using the advanced filtering capabilities of Excel.

As far as we can tell, there is no way to copy comments using advanced filtering; only the cell contents are copied. However, it is possible to easily copy the comments using a two-step process.

First, filter your data, but make sure you do the filtering in-place; don't specify that you want the information copied to a different location. You end up with a filtered list, showing only the cells that meet your criteria. Next, select the cells returned by the filtering. You should then make sure that Excel knows you only want the visible cells selected:

  1. Press F5 to display the Go To dialog box.
  2. Click Special to display the Go To Special dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  3. Figure 1. The Go To Special dialog box.

  4. Make sure the Visible Cells Only option is selected.
  5. Click on OK.

With the visible cells selected (those hidden by the filtering are not selected), you are ready for the second step: Copy the cells to another location using normal editing techniques. The result is that the comments are copied right along with the cell contents.

If you perform this task quite a bit and it even bugs you to do the two steps, you could automate the task. The following macro will apply a filter in-place, copy the visible cells to the Clipboard, and then paste them (and their comments) into a new workbook:

Sub AdvancedFilter_AndCopyComments()
    With Range("Database")
        ' filter the data range
        .AdvancedFilter Action:=xlFilterInPlace, _
          CriteriaRange:=Range("Criteria"), Unique:=False
        ' copy visible cells only
    End With

    ' goto to another worksheet
    ' and paste the copied data
    With Range("A1")
        .PasteSpecial xlPasteColumnWidths
        .PasteSpecial xlPasteAll
    End With

    Application.CutCopyMode = False
End Sub

The macro assumes you have two named ranges set up: one for the data to be filtered (Database) and the other for the filtering criteria (Criteria). Run the macro, and the filtered, commented information ends up on Sheet1.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10284) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Copying Comments when Filtering.

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. ...


Removing Pictures from Multiple Files

Working with a single document is easy. Working with thousands of documents becomes much harder. If you need to get rid ...

Discover More

Conditional Printing

If you need to make what Excel prints be based upon conditions in a worksheet, you'll love the information in this tip. ...

Discover More

Ribbon Acting Strangely

The ribbon is the place where Word stores all the tools you need to work with your documents. What happens when the ...

Discover More

Professional Development Guidance! Four world-class developers offer start-to-finish guidance for building powerful, robust, and secure applications with Excel. The authors show how to consistently make the right design decisions and make the most of Excel's powerful features. Check out Professional Excel Development today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Finding Rows with Values in Two Columns

When you use Excel to input and store information, you need to be concerned with whether the information meets your ...

Discover More

Enabling Filters by Default

Filtering can be a powerful way to work with large amounts of data in a worksheet. If you use filtering quite a bit, you ...

Discover More

Copying the Results of Filtering

Filtering is a great asset when you need to get a handle on a subset of your data. Excel even makes it easy to copy the ...

Discover More

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.


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?

2015-04-26 13:26:29

mc snaptek

thanks for the Macro for copying filtered data also with comments.

The drawback is that the collapsed (hidden)rows cannot be unhidden easily.

Right click to unhide collapsed (hidden)rows doesn't work. Row heights can only be restored one by one.

2015-02-23 03:35:44

Gerhard Seljehammer

Instead of the cumbersome F5 and tick "visible cells only", you could choose to have the icon called "Select visible celles" in your Quick Acces Toolbar (which you really should start to use if you don't already). I'm not able to copy the icon into this box, but it looks like a black square split in 4 (almost like a black flag). The keyboard shortcut (usually the quickest way) is Alt + ; (but don't forget CTRL + C afterwards :-)
BTW: Normally it is not necessary to say "visible cells only" when copying from a filtered list. It is chosen by default. But, on the opposite,if you hide rows manually, they will be included in a copy.

This Site

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.

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.