How to Insert, Edit, Or Delete a Comment In Excel

Post and read comments or carry on short conversations

Excel spreadsheet showing comments in cell

When you share an Excel spreadsheet with other people, questions or concerns about its content can come up occasionally. Instead of sending emails, just add a comment for others to see. 

Anyone using the spreadsheet can respond to a comment or even delete it. All comments are marked with the user’s name, dated, and time-stamped. Comments differ from Excel notes, which are similar to placing a yellow sticky note into the file. Other users cannot respond to a note in Excel but they can carry on small conversations using comments.

The instructions below focus on the easiest ways to add, edit, and delete comments in Windows or on a Mac; scroll to the bottom of this article for Excel for Android instructions.

This information in this article applies to Excel 2019, 2016, Excel for Mac, Excel for Android, and Excel 365.

How to Add a Comment In Excel for Windows Or Mac

The easiest way to create a comment that others can respond to is follow these steps: 

  1. In an open spreadsheet, right-click the cell where you want to make the comment.

  2. Click New Comment in the menu pane.

    New Comment menu pane
  3. In Start a conversation, type the comment you’d like to make.

  4. Click the green arrow to post your comment.

    Green arrow selection
  5. To exit the comment, click anywhere on the spreadsheet. 

You probably noticed that once you clicked the green arrow, the comment automatically showed a Reply box. That’s where other readers can respond to the comment. They simply type in their reply and click the green arrow that appears to post their response back to you. This back-and-forth response through comments is called a Reply Thread. 

In some versions of Excel, including Excel 2016, you can also use the Ribbon to leave a comment. Just click the cell where you want to leave a comment, click Review on the Ribbon, and then click New Comment or Insert Comment.

In the Web version of Excel, you can flag a comment for a specific reader by typing the @ symbol followed by the user’s name. Sometimes a drop-down list of users is also available in this version.

How to Reply to a Comment

To reply to a comment someone else has left for you, you can either click on the cell and enter a reply immediately into the Reply box or you can right-click the cell where the comment is located and use the Reply box from there.

Any cell with a comment attached to it is marked with a small, colored mark in the upper right corner. The color will vary depending upon your specific Excel setup.

How to Edit a Comment 

You can add more comments to a thread you started or you can edit a comment you already posted. To edit a comment you have made, follow these steps: 

  1. Click the cell which has the comment.

  2. Move your mouse over the comment and you’ll see the Edit option appear.

  3. Click Edit

    The Edit button
  4. Type the changes you need to make. 

  5. Click Save.

If you decide midway through your change that your edit isn’t necessary, just click Cancel. 

How to Delete a Comment 

Anyone can delete a comment in a spreadsheet, not just the person who started the comment thread. When a comment is no longer needed, right-click the cell where it is located and click Delete Comment from the menu.

Delete comment option

How to Show Or Hide All Comments In Excel

There are additional ways you can post and respond to comments in Excel. The Ribbon offers an entire Review section that allows you to open up a Comments pane to the right of the spreadsheet. You can easily bounce from comment to comment using this section of the Ribbon or add and delete comments. (Just be sure you have selected the correct cell before you use any of the Ribbon commands.) 

Review Ribbon tab

The Review tab also allows you to show or hide comments. To see all the comments in a spreadsheet, go to Review > Show Comments. To hide all the comments, use the same instructions and the comments will all disappear. The purple marks in commented cells, however, will always appear. 

How to Add a Comment In Excel for Android

To add a comment in Excel for Android, you first need to work within the Review pane in the spreadsheet. To do that, follow these steps:

  1. Open the spreadsheet on your Android. 

  2. Tap the cell where you would like to make the comment. 

  3. Tap the up arrow at the bottom right of your screen to open the Menu pane.

  4. Tap Review in the menu at the top left of the Menu pane. This might show another command; tap the double arrows to open up the full menu of options and find Review.

    Android Review menu pane
  5. Type your comment using the onscreen keyboard.

    Android add comment
  6. Tap the arrow to the right of your comment to post it.

How to Reply to a Comment In Excel for Android

To respond to a comment in Excel for Android spreadsheets, follow these steps:

  1. Tap the cell where the comment is located. 

  2. Type your comments in the Reply box.

    Android reply box
  3. Tap the arrow to post the comment.

How to Delete a Comment Thread In Excel for Android

To delete a comment thread in Excel for Android spreadsheets, tap the three horizontal dots at the top of the thread and tap Delete thread.