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Notes and Threaded Comments in Excel


September 18, 2018 - by Bill Jelen

Notes and Threaded Comments in Excel

Build 1810 of Excel in Office 365 introduces a new threaded comment style. Thankfully, the old comments are still around, now called Notes.

Note

If you have been using Excel forever, you will remember that Notes debuted in Excel 97 and were called Notes. My take: The odd name "Comments" was a bug that debuted in 2000 and was just corrected on September 10, 2018! I am glad that notes are back to their original name.

This figure compares an old style Note (red triangle) to a new Threaded Comment (purple indicator).

Different cell indicators call out the different comment types.
Different cell indicators call out the different comment types.

Both Notes and Comments are found on the Review tab of the Ribbon. The Comment section is larger and is the new threaded comments.


Threaded comments and notes have their own section of the Ribbon.
Threaded comments and notes have their own section of the Ribbon.

The right-click menus for Notes offer "Edit Note". The right click menu for threaded comments offer "Reply to Comment". This works great.

Threaded comments will be great for conversations.

Why would you want to use the old Notes? Because many people use tricks with Notes. You can Show All Notes and build a help system. You can change the color and shape of Notes. You can make the Note into a pop-up picture.

These techniques still work, if you use Notes instead of Comments.
These techniques still work, if you use Notes instead of Comments.

Threaded comments will be a great addition to Excel. Kudos to the Excel team for allowing the legacy Notes to continue to exist.

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Download Excel File

To download the excel file: notes-and-threaded-comments.xlsx

Excel Thought Of the Day

I've asked my Excel Master friends for their advice about Excel. Today's thought to ponder:

"Keep your data close and your spreadsheets closer "

Title Photo: Kyle Glenn on Unsplash


Bill Jelen is the author / co-author of
MrExcel LX – The Holy Grail of Excel Tips

A book for people who use Excel 40+ hours per week. Illustrated in full color.