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: Copying Comments when Filtering.

Copying Comments when Filtering

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 29, 2020)

2

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.

(It should be noted that Microsoft changed the way comments work in Excel 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.)

As far as we can tell, there is no way to copy comments or notes using advanced filtering; only the cell contents are copied. However, it is possible to easily copy the comments or notes 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 or notes 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 or notes) 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
        .SpecialCells(xlCellTypeVisible).Copy
    End With

    ' goto to another worksheet
    Sheets("Sheet1").Select
    ' 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 or noted information ends up on Sheet1.

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10284) 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: 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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Helpful Pop-up Screen Tips

Screen tips can be helpful to people reading your document on-screen. Using the technique described here, you can add ...

Discover More

Intelligible Names for Macros

The names you use for macros can affect what you see when you add those macros to a toolbar. This tip explains how you ...

Discover More

Using Seek In a Macro

When processing non-document text files in a macro, you have a wide range of commands available for your use. One of ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Showing Filter Criteria on a Printout

When you print out a filtered worksheet, you may want some sort of printed record as to what filtering was applied to the ...

Discover More

Counting Filtered Rows

The filtering capabilities of Excel are indispensable when working with large sets of data. When you create a filtered ...

Discover More

Removing Filters and Unhiding Rows and Columns on Multiple Worksheets

Need to remove filters and display all rows and columns in all your worksheets? It is not easy to do manually, but with a ...

Discover More
Subscribe

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

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

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 two minus 0?

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
Subscribe

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.