Pasting Into a Comment

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 2, 2018)


Malcolm needs to copy a range of cells and paste them into a comment. (He doesn't need to paste the formulas in the range, just the results of the formulas.) When he tries to do this, every time he makes the comment editable, Excel undoes his selection and he cannot paste.

Historically this can be a bit of a tricky operation because of the way that Excel handles copying and pasting. One way that people have often handled it is to copy the cells from Excel and then paste them into another program, such as Notepad. You can then copy them back out of the other program and paste them into your comment. If you didn't want to use another program as an intermediary, then the only solution was to use a macro to grab what is in the range and stuff it into a comment.

A better solution, however, is to use the Office Clipboard, which is sort of like an expanded version of the Windows Clipboard. To use the Office Clipboard effectively, all you need to do is display it. Just display the Home tab of the ribbon and click the small icon at the bottom-right of the Clipboard group. The Office Clipboard is displayed at the left side of your worksheet.

Now, go ahead and select the cells you want to copy into the comment. When you press Ctrl+C to copy them, you see that they appear in the Office Clipboard pane. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Office Clipboard pane.

To paste the range into a comment, simply insert the comment where you want (or choose to edit an existing comment) and then click the range in the Office Clipboard pane. It is placed exactly where you want it—in the comment.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12446) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016.

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 less than 7?

2017-10-18 17:23:18


Hi, I am trying to use VBA code to paste a range of cells into a comment box, without user intervention to paste from the Office clipboard.

I have code that will paste the range, but it loses all spacing between the data, so the data is run together, unlike when it is pasted from the Office clipboard, where there is a space between the contents of each cell in the range.

Is there any way to use vba code to paste from the Office clipboard into a comment box without user intervention?

2017-04-06 10:06:39



2017-04-06 07:07:36


Thanks for this useful tips.

2017-04-06 03:18:15


Useful tip, thanks Allen.
Hitting Ctrl+C twice didn't work for me until I displayed the clipboard, clicked Options and then selected "Show Office Clipboard when Ctrl+C Pressed Twice.

2017-03-28 15:23:56


Wow, this is soooo much better than having to paste into Word or Notepad first. Big timesaver; especially when training others. Thanks a million, Allen Wyatt!

2014-12-30 14:50:52


I need to copy a large (color formatted) note several hundred times into a cell "Comment" area on an excel sheet. How can I keep the font and color formatting? Thanks

2013-02-02 20:34:29

Mal Revell

Very helpful tip. This has saved me a great deal of duplication. It works like a charm and is quick to apply.
Always interesting topics on this site.

2013-01-22 09:17:39

Anne Maloney

It only works if 'show/hide comment' or 'show all comments' is selected in the REVIEW tab, so that the comment box is displayed always.

2013-01-21 11:21:11


Amazing!! I haven't seen the open clipboard since the Office 2003 version. Didn't even realize it could still be opened like that in the 2007 and 2010 versions.

2013-01-19 11:38:58


Nice trick.

2013-01-19 09:57:51

Mike Davies

doesn't work for me! The clipboard appears as described but while copy or ctrl+C copies the selected data, it doesn't appear in the clipboard.

There is this thread on MS support but it doesn't help me.....

Text is not copied from the Clipboard as expected in Microsoft Office Word 2007 - 2010

2013-01-19 07:59:08

Joe Marten

Neat tip.
Shortcuts and toggles always interest me.
While Control +C pressed twice will diplay the office clipboard it will not hide it.
Clicking the dialog launcher at the bottom of the Clipboard group will toggle the display. Short cut for that is
Alt + HFO.
You can even Press Control + C twice to display and Alt+HFO it hide.

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