How To Hide Comments in Excel and Ditch of Those Triangles!

People can add comments in Excel to document the purpose of a formula or to share information with other spreadsheet users.

Comments can be especially useful for anyone who needs to collaborate with others in a shared Excel workbook.

In this article, we’ll look at how comments work – then we’ll show you how to hide comments in Excel, if you want to simplify the presentation of your data and reduce visual distractions in your spreadsheet.

What Are Comments in Excel?

Comments are little notes that you can insert into any cell to document the purpose of a formula or provide additional information about the data in your spreadsheet.

In the latest version of Excel, comments are threaded to make it easier to keep track of conversations.

In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that in earlier versions of Excel, comments weren’t threaded. These simplified comments are still available in current versions of Excel but they’re called “notes”.

Comments and Indicators

In the screenshot (below), threaded comments have been added to cell F2.

Comments and indicators in Excel

Unless you point at a cell that contains a comment, all you normally see is the purple comment indicator in the upper-right corner of the cell.

How to Add Comments to a Cell in Your Spreadsheet

There are two ways to add comments in Excel. You can use the buttons on the Review tab on the ribbon or you can right-click to access the shortcut menu.

Adding Comments with the Ribbon

Here are the steps to add comments using buttons on the ribbon in Excel.

  1. Click the cell where you’d like your comment to appear.
  2. Click the New Comment button in the Review > Comments group.
  3. Type your comment and click the green Post button.
New comment in a cell

Adding Comments with the Shortcut Menu

You can also add comments by right-clicking and utilizing the shortcut menu. Here are the steps.

  1. Right-click in the cell where you’d like your comment to appear.
  2. Select New Comment from the shortcut menu.
  3. Type your comment and click the green Post button.
The New Comment command in the shortcut menu

How to Show or Hide Comments in Excel

There are several ways you can show or hide comments in Excel.

You can view individual comments that relate a specific cell, you can show or hide all comments in a worksheet, or you can turn the comment indicators off to eliminate visual distractions in your worksheet.

Viewing Comments in Individual Cells

To view comments in an Excel worksheet, simply point to any cell that contains the purple comment indicator. This technique is called comments on hover.

Threaded comments are visible while your pointer hovers above cells with purple indicators. Comments are hidden when you move your mouse pointer away from cells with comments.

Show or Hide Comments for an Entire Worksheet

If you’d like to show or hide all comments for a worksheet, you can use commands on Excel’s ribbon.

To show all comments, select the Review tab then click the Show Comments button in the Comments group.

The Comments appear in a panel on the right side of your worksheet.

The Show Comments button in the Review > Comments group

To hide the comments, click to deselect the Show Comments button.

When you show or hide comments this way, the comment indicators remain visible.

Hide Comments and Indicators

You can hide comments and indicators by changing a setting in the Excel Options dialog box.

  1. Select the File tab on Excel’s ribbon then click Options.
  2. In the Excel Options dialog box click the Advanced tab.
  3. Click No comments, notes, or indicators in the Display section.
  4. Click OK.

After making this change, Excel won’t display comments or indicators. Comments will only be visible if you display them with the Show Comments command on the ribbon in the Review > Comments group.

By Michael Belfry

Working as a full-time training consultant, Michael provides Microsoft Office courses to government and private sector clients across Canada.