Section 23.2. Adding Comments

23.2. Adding Comments

Comments are the simplest of Excel's collaboration features. Excel displays comments in a floating yellow box that points to a single cell (as shown in Figure 23-6). Place whatever descriptive text you want inside the comment box. For example, you can use comments to flag an error, raise a question, make a suggestion, or praise a particularly brilliant formula.

Figure 23-6. This worksheet includes a single comment attached to cell B3. You can clearly see the arrow that connects the floating comment box to cell B3. Additionally, a tiny red triangle in the top-right corner of the cell indicates it has an attached comment.

The beauty of comments is that you're free to include as much information as you want without modifying the worksheet data. For that reason, comments work perfectly when you're sending a workbook out for review. An employee can send an expense report to a manager, and the manager can add feedback using comments without altering the original information. Once the manager sends the workbook back, the employee can then decide whether to heed the comments and make some changes, keep the comments for later consideration, or just remove them altogether.

23.2.1. Inserting a Comment

Every workbook can include thousands of comments. The only limitation is that each individual cell can have only one attached comment.

To create a new comment, just follow these steps:

  1. Move to the cell where you want to place the comment .

    Every comment is attached to a single cell in a worksheet. You can move the comment to any location you want after you create it, but it always points to the same cell (using a long arrow).

  2. Select Review Comments New Comment .

    A new comment box appears next to the cell. Excel fills in your name on the first line, and positions the cursor inside the text box so that you can start typing.

    Note: Excel automatically uses the name that it has stored for you. You can edit this part of the comment, but rather than change the name every time you add a new comment, it's far easier to change your name information in Excel's settings, as explained in Section 23.1.1.
  3. Enter the text for your comment .

    You can space your comment out over multiple lines by pressing Enter to jump to the next line. The comment box scrolls down if you enter more text than can fit in the visible area.

  4. When you're finished entering the comment text, click the original cell to return to the worksheet, or press Esc twice .

    Excel marks commented cells with a tiny red triangle in the top-right corner. To see the comment, hover over the cell with the mouse. Figure 23-6 shows an example of a worksheet with a single comment.

23.2.2. Showing and Hiding Comments

Ordinarily, comments appear when you hover over the commented cell with the mouse. When you move somewhere else, they politely disappear from view (although Excel still gives you a clue which cells have comments, as shown in Figure 23-7). This behavior makes sense if you're dealing with a lot of comments from multiple reviewers. Otherwise, you'd see so many comments that they'd obscure each otheror even important worksheet data.

Figure 23-7. When comments are hidden, you still know they exist, thanks to the small red triangle in the top-right corner of the cell with the comment.

Sometimes, though, you want to make sure a comment is clearly visible and that no one will overlook it. In that case, you can set a comment so that it's always visible, no matter where your mouse is. To do this, move to the cell that has the comment, and then choose Review Comments Show/Hide Comment. Use the same command a second time to tuck the comment back out of sight.

Tip: You can use the Review Comments Show All Comments command to display every comment in your worksheet at once. Comments always appear wherever they were last situated.
23.2.3. Fine-Tuning Comments

Once you've created a comment, you can manipulate it the same way that you can manipulate other floating objects like charts and graphics. To start off, move to the cell that has the comment. Then, choose Review Comments Edit Comment. (Or, if youve already used the Review Comments Show/Hide Comment command to make the comment visible, you can just click the comment box to select it.) Youll see resizing handles appear around the comment box. You can now perform the following tasks :

  • Move the comment box . It's quite likely that the place where the comment box first appears isn't exactly where you want it. The comment may obscure important information on the worksheet. Fortunately, you can easily drag the comment out of the way. Just move the mouse pointer over the border of the comment so that it changes into a four-way resize arrow, and then drag the comment box to its new location. Excel automatically adjusts the arrow that connects the comment box to the original cell.

  • Resize the comment box . To resize a comment, click one of the resizing handles, and drag the box's edge or corner. (The resizing handles look like circles at the edges of each corner and at the middle of each side of the comment box.) You may want to resize a comment box to enlarge it so it can show all the comment text at once. Even though you can scroll through comment box text using the cursor, it's not always obvious that some of the text is out of sight because the comment box doesn't show any scroll bars.

  • Edit the comment . Just click inside the comment box and start editing. Or, right-click the cell with the attached comment, and then choose Edit Comment.

  • Delete the comment box . To delete a comment, click the border of the comment box to select the whole box, and then press Delete. Alternately, you can right-click any cell with an attached comment, and then choose Delete Comment from the pop-up menu.

Tip: To delete multiple comments at once, select all the cells that have the attached comments, and select Review Comments Delete.

Figure 23-8. Formatting helps you tweak all or a portion of your comment text. You can use it to highlight in boldface a piece of important information in a comment (like the student ID in Rita's comment or the percentage in Janet's comment). Or, it can help distinguish the comments from different reviewers.

23.2.4. Reviewing Comments

If it's your job to review everyone else's comments (and, say, make the requested changes), you'll be interested in Excel's buttons for comment navigation . These buttons let you move through all the comments in a worksheet, one at a time. Best of all, this feature doesn't force you to unhide any comments. Instead, you can deal with them one at a time, which keeps your screen clutter-free and your sanity intact.

To move through your comments, start at the first cell of your worksheet (A1), and choose Review Comments Next. Excel scans the worksheet starting from the current cell, and then moves to the right, one cell at a time. If Excel doesnt find any comments in the current row, it scans the next row from left to right, starting in the first column. When Excel finds a comment, it stops the search and selects that comment. If the comment was hidden, it now appears on your worksheet.

To keep moving through the worksheet, click Review Comments Next again (or use Review Comments Previous to move backward). As you move on, comments that were previously hidden are concealed once more.

23.2.5. Printing Comments

Excel's standard behavior is to ignore all comments when it prints a worksheet. Your printed document won't show the comment text or even indicate that a cell has a comment.

If you'd like a printed record of your comments, Excel gives you two options:

  • You can print the visible comments on your worksheet . In this case, Excel draws the graphical comment boxes in the printout exactly as they appear, potentially obscuring other worksheet information. Hidden comments don't show up.

  • You can print all the comments on a separate page . In this case, Excel creates a list of comments. Each entry in the list indicates the cell reference, and the comment text.

To change the option you're using, follow these steps:

  1. Head to the Page Layout Sheet Options section, and then click the dialog box chooser (the small square with an arrow in it) at the bottom-right corner .

    The Page Setup dialog box appears, with the Sheet tab displayed.

  2. Make a selection from the Comments list box .

    You can choose "None" (the default), "At end of sheet" (which creates a separate comment page), or "As displayed on sheet" (which shows the graphical comment boxes). Figure 23-9 compares your options.

    Figure 23-9. Here are two different ways to print comments in Excel. The top example shows the result of the "As displayed on sheet" option, which prints only the currently visible comments and may obscure worksheet data. The bottom example shows the result of the "At end of sheet" option, which prints a separate comment page that's useful for at-a-glance review.

    Note: Excel doesn't let you print just the comment page. If you choose "At end of sheet", you must print the comments page and the worksheet data.
  3. Click OK .

    Excel stores your comment options for this worksheet. You can now use the Office button Print command to send your data to the printer.

Excel 2007[c] The Missing Manual
Excel 2007[c] The Missing Manual
ISBN: 596527594
Year: 2007
Pages: 173 © 2008-2017.
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