Placing a Picture in a Comment

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 22, 2020)

27

In Word, Leticia notes that you can paste a picture into a comment. She's tried to do this in Excel, but without success. She wonders if there is a way to paste a picture into an Excel comment.

There is no way to paste a picture into a comment (as you do in Word), but there is a way to make a picture appear within a comment. This may sound like a confusing contradiction, but Excel allows you to actually format the comment, independent of the text contained in the comment, so that it is "filled" with a picture.

Note that Microsoft changed the way comments work in Excel in 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. The following steps apply both to earlier versions of Excel using comments and to Excel for Office 365 using notes:

  1. If the comment or note is not normally visible, right-click the cell and choose Edit Comment or Edit Note from the resulting Context menu.
  2. Right-click on the comment or note border. (Make sure you are actually right-clicking the border, not the contents of the cell itself. You can tell if you will be right-clicking the border because the mouse pointer will look like a four-headed arrow when you are hovering over the border.)
  3. Choose Format Comment from the Context menu. Excel displays the Format Comment dialog box.
  4. Make sure the Colors and Lines tab is displayed. (See Figure 1.)
  5. Figure 1. The Colors and Lines tab of the Format Comment dialog box.

  6. Click the Color drop-down list and choose the Fill Effects option. Excel displays the Fill Effects dialog box.
  7. Make sure the Picture tab is displayed. (See Figure 2.)
  8. Figure 2. The Picture tab of the Fill Effects dialog box.

  9. Click the Select Picture button. Excel displays the Select Picture dialog box, which looks very similar to a standard Open dialog box.
  10. Use the controls in the dialog box to locate the picture you want in the comment or note.
  11. Select the picture and click the Insert button.
  12. Click OK to close the Fill Effects dialog box.
  13. Click OK to close the Format Comment dialog box.
  14. Click a cell elsewhere in the worksheet to exit editing mode for the comment.

Remember that these steps don't actually insert a picture in the comment or note, but instead use the picture as the fill color for the comment or note. This means that you can still add any text in the comment or note you want and it will overlay the picture you just inserted. You can, if desired, also delete any text in the comment or note so that it appears the only thing in the comment or note is the picture.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (13280) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365.

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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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 five more than 7?

2021-09-18 06:01:52

Kurt Müller

@J. Woolley: part 3 (edited)

I use the latest version with .Height = IIf(ScaleFactor > 100, ScaleFactor, .Height * ScaleFactor)

Test with Erdbeere.jpg: https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img923/7374/SLK2XR.jpg

(see Figure 1 below) picture replaced with correct one

(see Figure 2 below)

(see Figure 3 below)

Figure 1. Comment before pasting picture Erdbeere (3): 5,69 cm x 6,99 cm

Figure 2. Comment after pasting picture Erdbeere (3): 91,44 cm x 68,58 cm

Figure 3. =ImageInComment("D:TestExcel-Forum-BilderErdbeere-10.jpg";A8;1)


2021-09-18 04:50:14

Kurt Müller

@J. Woolley: part 3

I use the latest version with .Height = IIf(ScaleFactor > 100, ScaleFactor, .Height * ScaleFactor)

Test with Erdbeere.jpg: https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img923/7374/SLK2XR.jpg

(see Figure 1 below)

(see Figure 2 below)

(see Figure 3 below)

Figure 1. Comment before pasting picture Erdbeere (3): 5,69 cm x 6,99 cm

Figure 2. Comment after pasting picture Erdbeere (3): 91,44 cm x 68,58 cm

Figure 3. =ImageInComment("D:TestExcel-Forum-BilderErdbeere-10.jpg";A8;1)


2021-09-18 04:32:54

Kurt Müller

@J. Woolley: part 2

I use the latest version with .Height = IIf(ScaleFactor > 100, ScaleFactor, .Height * ScaleFactor)

Test with Erdbeere.jpg: https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img923/7374/SLK2XR.jpg

(see Figure 1 below)

(see Figure 2 below)


With ScaleFactor = 1,0 this picture already gets too large:

=ImageInComment("D:/Test/Excel/0-Bilder/Erdbeere-10.jpg";H7;1,0)

The size of the comment (before pasting the image) is: width/heigth = 5,69 cm/6,99 cm.
My image Erdbeere-10.jpg (Erdbeere (german) = strawberry) has the following size: 2592 x 1944 Pixels.
The size of the comment (after pasting the image) is too large: width/heigth = 91,44 cm/68,58 cm.

The image aspect ratio:
height/width = 1944/2592
height/width = 0,75

In my opinion should
- the comment aspect ratio follow the image aspect ratio but
- the image size follow the comment size. The comment size would be in this case: 6,99 cm * 0,75 = 5,25 cm

With ScaleFactor > 1 the picture is not getting smaller but even larger.

Please look at this.

Erdbeere.jpg: https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img923/7374/SLK2XR.jpg

Figure 1. Comment after pasting picture Erdbeere (1)

Figure 2. Comment after pasting picture Erdbeere (2)


2021-09-18 04:28:42

Kurt Müller

@J. Woolley: part 1

I use the latest version with .Height = IIf(ScaleFactor > 100, ScaleFactor, .Height * ScaleFactor)

Test with Erdbeere.jpg: https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img923/7374/SLK2XR.jpg

(see Figure 1 below)

(see Figure 2 below)

(see Figure 3 below)

Figure 1. .Height = IIf(ScaleFactor > 100, ScaleFactor, .Height * ScaleFactor)

Figure 2. Comment before pasting picture Erdbeere (1)

Figure 3. Comment before pasting picture Erdbeere (2)


2021-09-12 09:50:52

J. Woolley

@Kurt Müller
I don't think you have the latest version of My Excel Toolbox's ImageInComment which includes the following statement:
.Height = IIf(ScaleFactor > 100, ScaleFactor, .Height * ScaleFactor)
If you want to continue this discussion, I suggest we use
https://sites.google.com/view/MyExcelToolbox/Comment


2021-09-11 08:21:27

Kurt Müller

@ J. Woolley

Thank you very much.

If I put this formula in a worksheet cell, I do not know how to choose the appropriate ScaleFactor in advance, since I do not know the size of the picture after it is pasted. The user needs to make calculations in advance or repeat the process several times.

With ScaleFactor = 1,0 this picture already gets too large:

=ImageInComment("D:/Test/Excel/0-Bilder/Erdbeere-10.jpg";H7;1,0)

The size of the comment (before pasting the image) is: width/heigth = 5,69 cm/6,99 cm.
My image Erdbeere-10.jpg (Erdbeere (german) = strawberry) has the following size: 2592 x 1944 Pixels.
The size of the comment (after pasting the image) is too large: width/heigth = 91,44 cm/68,58 cm.

The image aspect ratio:
height/width = 1944/2592
height/width = 0,75

In my opinion should
- the comment aspect ratio follow the image aspect ratio but
- the image size follow the comment size. The comment size would be in this case: 6,99 cm * 0,75 = 5,25 cm

With ScaleFactor > 1 the picture is not getting smaller but even larger.

Please look at this.

Erdbeere.jpg: https://imagizer.imageshack.com/img923/7374/SLK2XR.jpg


2021-09-06 10:23:44

J. Woolley

@Kurt Müller
The latest version of My Excel Toolbox's ImageInComment allows ScaleFactor to be like 0.75 for 75% scale, but if ScaleFactor > 100, then the image's scaled height will be ScaleFactor points (72 points/inch). The comment's width will adjust to match the image's aspect ratio, avoiding distortion.
See https://sites.google.com/view/MyExcelToolbox/

As described in my earlier comments, ImageInComment is a Function, not a Sub, so it can be used in a cell formula. If you want to use a Function in VBA instead of a cell formula and ignore the returned result, your example with a Call statement will work. The Application.Evaluate shortcut [H7] is OK, but Range("H7") would be better. Here are two other ways to use the Function in VBA:
ImageInComment "D:/Test/Excel/0-Bilder/Erdbeere-10.jpg", Range("H7")
result = ImageInComment("D:/Test/Excel/0-Bilder/Erdbeere-10.jpg", Range("H7"))
Or you could put this formula in a worksheet cell:
=ImageInComment("D:/Test/Excel/0-Bilder/Erdbeere-10.jpg",H7)


2021-09-05 14:44:39

Kurt Müller

@ J. Woolley

I appreciate your work. Thank you very much.

I entered the following macro in a modul by myself:

Sub ImageInComment()
Call ImageInComment("D:/Test/Excel/0-Bilder/Erdbeere-10.jpg", [H7])
End Sub

The size of the comment (before pasting the image) is: width/heigth = 5,69 cm/6,99 cm.
My image Erdbeere-10.jpg (Erdbeere (german) = strawberry) has the following size: 2592 x 1944 Pixels.
The size of the comment (after pasting the image) is too large: width/heigth = 91,44 cm/68,58 cm.

The image aspect ratio:
height/width = 1944/2592
height/width = 0,75

In my opinion should
- the comment aspect ratio follow the image aspect ratio but
- the image size follow the comment size. The comment size would be in this case: 6,99 cm * 0,75 = 5,25 cm


2021-09-01 12:07:57

J. Woolley

My Excel Toolbox has yet another update of the ImageInComment function described in my earlier comments. Here is the new syntax:
=ImageInComment(ImageFile,[Target],[ScaleFactor],[RotateAngle],[NoAuthor])
If RotateAngle is 90, 180, or 270, it specifies degrees of clockwise image rotation; any other value is ignored. The default value is 0. Notice this new parameter was inserted before NoAuthor, which remains the last parameter.
My Excel Toolbox also includes the new ListImageProperties(ImageFile) function, which returns an array of image properties for ImageFile's ActiveFrame; expect 2 columns and 18 rows. This function is most useful as a dynamic array in newer versions of Excel. You can also use it like this in older versions of Excel that do not support dynamic arrays:
=SpillArray(ListImageProperties(ImageFile))
SpillArray will determine and populate the spill range for its array expression argument, simulating a dynamic array.
See https://sites.google.com/view/MyExcelToolbox/


2021-08-29 18:17:31

ShaneS

Great! Many thanks for your help.


2021-08-29 15:31:58

J. Woolley

My Excel Toolbox now includes an improved version of the ImageInComment function described in my earlier comment. Here is its syntax:
=ImageInComment(ImageFile,[Target],[ScaleFactor],[NoAuthor])
This will apply the image from ImageFile as Fill Effect in Target's unthreaded Comment (a.k.a. Note). The image's size is adjusted by ScaleFactor, which defaults to 1. If a new comment is necessary and NoAuthor is TRUE, the new comment will have blank text; NoAuthor's default is FALSE. The text of existing comments is never altered.
See https://sites.google.com/view/MyExcelToolbox/


2021-08-27 14:37:14

J. Woolley

@Kurt Muller
Please review my recent comment. Test the ImageInComment function. I believe it resolves the issues you raised.


2021-08-27 13:14:42

Kurt Müller

Attention

If the comment does not have the same aspect ratio as the picture, then the picture is distorted.

If Lock picture aspect ratio is checked, only a cut of the non distorted picture can be seen.

Lock picture aspect ratio is not available with VBA.


2021-08-26 18:04:24

J. Woolley

@ShaneS
The following function will add an image to a comment. Here is its syntax:
=ImageInComment(FilePath,[Target])
where FilePath describes the image file and optional Target is the cell to receive the comment. If Target is omitted, the default is the cell with the formula.
Examples:
This formula in cell A1 will put the image from MyImage.jpg in A1's comment:
=ImageInComment("C:/Users/MyName/Documents/MyImage.jpg")
If cell A2 contains C:/Users/MyName/Documents/MyImage.jpg as text, then this formula in cell A1 will put the image from MyImage.jpg in A1's comment:
=ImageInComment(A2)
and this formula in cell A1 will put the image from MyImage.jpg in A3's comment:
=ImageInComment(A2,A3)
Here is the function's VBA:
Function ImageInComment(FilePath As String, _
    Optional Target As Range = Nothing)
    Dim Cell As Range, Addr As String
    Dim WIA As Object, bFail As Boolean
    Const PtPerPx As Single = 72 / 96
    If Target Is Nothing Then
        Set Cell = Application.Caller
    Else
        Set Cell = Target.Cells(1)
    End If
    Set WIA = CreateObject("WIA.ImageFile")
    bFail = (FilePath = "" Or Dir(FilePath) = "")
    If Not bFail Then bFail = WIA.LoadFile(FilePath)
    With Cell
        Addr = .Address(False, False)
        If .Comment Is Nothing Then .AddComment
        With .Comment.Shape
            If bFail Then
                .Fill.Solid
                ImageInComment = "Invalid image FilePath"
            Else
                .LockAspectRatio = False
                .Height = WIA.Height * PtPerPx
                .Width = WIA.Width * PtPerPx
                .LockAspectRatio = True
                .Fill.UserPicture FilePath
                ImageInComment = "See comment @ " & Addr
            End If
        End With
    End With
    Set WIA = Nothing
End Function


2021-08-23 23:10:43

ShaneS

Heres a tricky question. Can you somehow cause the picture in the comment to update depending on the content of another cell?
I have a situation where I have a drop-down box, and I would like to add a comment that users can hover over, that shows a picture of whatever they have selected int eh drop-down list.
I don't have the luxury of having a clear cell next to the list which could have the picture displayed, and could change to suit.
I found a VBA code which updates a comment, dependant on another cell, which is half the way there, but it doesn't update a picture.
Can anyone help here?


2021-01-22 15:39:52

Margaret Messick

Hello. Thanks for this tip. But I want to take this further - I have a spreadsheet with the photos in the comments and want to publish it to a website. I can open the file in my browser (from the file stored on OneDrive) and open the note but the picture doesn't show. Is there any way to make the photo show in the note when it is on the web???

Thanks,

Margaret


2020-07-19 21:23:58

Louie E

wow i have to do this process for like 3000 times! though i was looking for a way that you can insert multiple pictures in a comment...


2020-07-13 12:43:54

Elen

Where do you see the context menu?


2019-06-13 06:46:40

Ron West

I failed to mention that this is in the Excel 2019 Version for Mac
Ron


2019-06-12 18:56:15

Ron West

Hi,
It appears that Microsoft have removed the ability to insert a picture/image in the way above. It may have something to do with copyright/creative commons/licensing, cheers.
Ron


2019-03-31 06:13:38

Chanchea

hi,
when i click to insert a picture into comment, it request me to update inter explorer, i try to update but nothing happen


2014-10-22 13:16:04

Leticia Marquez

Thank you for the tip.


2014-10-20 13:08:12

Kim Carlton

Very cool. Thanks for this one.


2014-10-20 12:28:59

Brooke

I've found a problem with this method. After saving the file and subsequently opening and closing it a few times, I will get an error stating that there is some problem with the file and that the offending data has been "scrubbed." The next time the file is opened, the pictures that were in the comments are now gone. Haven't been able to figure out how to stop this from happening as it is very irritating after taking the time to add multiple photos to comments in a large file. Apparently this is a known issue as I have found some discussion of the problem in online Excel forums.


2014-10-20 09:08:16

Bigger Don

Nice!

Now if MS would only make this in-line with how it's done in Word.

First, if you add text to the Comment it sits on top of the picture.

Second, I don't see a way to simplify this process, i.e. create a macro that would eliminate all of the navigation through the dialogues. Recording a macro showed no hint and the object model seems to hide how this is structured.

I'm afraid that trying to teach some of my users how to do this would make their eyes roll all the way back in their heads.


2014-10-18 11:58:05

HECTOR SERRANO

COOL !!


2014-10-18 09:41:14

Sharon Hammond

Loved this tip. Just goes to show you can never know enough about Excel :)


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