The Top 10 Keyboard Shortcuts for Commenting in Excel


In today's fast-paced business world, efficiency is key. When it comes to Excel, keyboard shortcuts are a game-changer for anyone looking to save time and simplify their workflow. By mastering the top 10 keyboard shortcuts for commenting in Excel, you can enhance your productivity and streamline the process of adding comments to your spreadsheets. In this blog post, we will explore these essential shortcuts that every Excel user should know.

Key Takeaways

  • Keyboard shortcuts in Excel can greatly enhance efficiency and simplify workflow.
  • Commenting in Excel is a useful way to add notes and explanations to your spreadsheets.
  • Using keyboard shortcuts for commenting can save time and improve productivity.
  • You can customize keyboard shortcuts in Excel to fit your specific needs.
  • Practicing and memorizing commonly used shortcuts is key to mastering them.

The Basics of Commenting in Excel

When working with large datasets or complex formulas in Microsoft Excel, it is often helpful to add comments to cells. Comments allow you to provide additional information or explanations about the data in a cell, making it easier for others to understand and interpret your spreadsheet. In this chapter, we will explore the basics of commenting in Excel, including how to add comments using the mouse and the limitations of using the mouse for commenting.

A. What is Commenting and Why is it Useful in Excel?

Commenting in Excel refers to the process of adding notes or annotations to specific cells. These comments can contain text, numbers, or even hyperlinks that provide additional information about the data in the cell. Commenting is useful in Excel for the following reasons:

  • Enhanced Communication: Comments allow users to provide context, explanations, or instructions to other users who may be working with the same spreadsheet.
  • Documentation: Commenting helps users document their thought process, assumptions, or sources of data, making it easier to revisit and understand the spreadsheet at a later date.
  • Audit Trail: Comments can serve as an audit trail, providing a history of changes, corrections, or updates made to the spreadsheet over time.
  • Data Validation: Comments can be used to flag potential issues or provide suggestions for data validation, ensuring data accuracy and integrity.

B. How to Add a Comment to a Cell Using the Mouse

Adding a comment to a cell in Excel is a simple process that can be done using the mouse. The following steps outline how to add a comment:

  1. Select the cell to which you want to add a comment by clicking on it.
  2. Right-click on the selected cell to open the context menu.
  3. From the context menu, select "Insert Comment" or "New Comment".
  4. A comment box will appear next to the selected cell. Click inside the comment box to start typing your comment.
  5. Once you have finished typing your comment, click outside the comment box to save it.

By following these steps, you can easily add comments to cells in Excel using the mouse.

C. Limitations of Using the Mouse for Commenting

While adding comments using the mouse is a straightforward method, it does have its limitations. These limitations include:

  • Slower Process: Adding comments using the mouse can be time-consuming, especially when working with a large number of cells that require comments.
  • Reduced Efficiency: Constantly switching between the keyboard and mouse can disrupt workflow and reduce efficiency, particularly for users who prefer using keyboard shortcuts.
  • Potential for Errors: Using the mouse to add comments increases the likelihood of accidental clicks or mistakes, leading to incorrect or misplaced comments.
  • Limited Access: Users with physical disabilities or impairments may face challenges when relying solely on mouse interactions for adding comments.

Considering these limitations, it is beneficial to explore keyboard shortcuts as an alternative method for commenting in Excel, which will be covered in the next chapter.

The Top 10 Keyboard Shortcuts for Commenting in Excel

Shortcut 1: Shortcut for inserting a comment in a cell

In Excel, you can quickly insert a comment in a cell by using the following keyboard shortcut:

  • Shift + F2: This shortcut allows you to insert a comment in the selected cell without needing to navigate through the menu options.

Shortcut 2: Shortcut for editing the selected comment

Editing a comment can be done effortlessly using the following keyboard shortcut:

  • Shift + F2: Once a comment is selected, you can press this shortcut to enter the edit mode and make changes to the comment text or formatting.

Shortcut 3: Shortcut for deleting a comment

To quickly remove a comment from a cell, you can use the following keyboard shortcut:

  • Shift + F10, C: This shortcut opens the context menu for the selected comment, and by pressing 'C', you can delete the comment without using the mouse.

Shortcut 4: Shortcut for navigating between comments

If your Excel worksheet has multiple comments, you can easily navigate between them using the following keyboard shortcut:

  • Ctrl + Shift + N: This shortcut allows you to jump to the next comment in the worksheet, making it convenient to review and edit comments without manually searching for them.

Shortcut 5: Shortcut for showing/hiding all comments in the worksheet

To quickly toggle the visibility of all comments in your Excel worksheet, use the following keyboard shortcut:

  • Shift + F10, M: This shortcut opens the context menu for comments, and by pressing 'M', you can show or hide all comments at once, providing a clutter-free view of your data.

Shortcut 6: Shortcut for changing the font size of the comment text

If you want to modify the font size of the text in a comment, you can use the following keyboard shortcut:

  • Ctrl + Shift + P: This shortcut opens the font options for the selected comment, allowing you to adjust the font size without the need to navigate through the formatting menu.

Shortcut 7: Shortcut for moving the comment box to a different location

To relocate a comment box in Excel effortlessly, you can use the following keyboard shortcut:

  • Alt + Shift + Arrow keys: Once a comment is selected, you can press the arrow keys while holding 'Alt' and 'Shift' to move the comment box to a different cell, providing flexibility in organizing your comments.

Shortcut 8: Shortcut for resizing the comment box

Adjusting the size of a comment box can be done quickly using the following keyboard shortcut:

  • Alt + Shift + F10: This shortcut activates the sizing handles of the selected comment box, enabling you to resize it with precision for better visibility or to fit more content.

Shortcut 9: Shortcut for copying comments to adjacent cells

If you need to replicate a comment to adjacent cells, you can use the following keyboard shortcut:

  • Ctrl + Shift + C: This shortcut copies the comment from the selected cell and allows you to paste it into adjacent cells, saving time when you need to provide the same information across multiple cells.

Shortcut 10: Shortcut for viewing/editing comment history

To access the comment history and make changes to previous versions of a comment, use the following keyboard shortcut:

  • Shift + F2: This shortcut opens the comment history and allows you to review, edit, or delete previous versions of the selected comment, providing a comprehensive audit trail.

How to Customize Keyboard Shortcuts for Commenting

A. Explain the process of customizing keyboard shortcuts in Excel

In Excel, keyboard shortcuts are a powerful tool that can greatly enhance your productivity and efficiency. By customizing keyboard shortcuts, you can easily access and perform various functions, including commenting, without having to rely on the mouse. This allows for a seamless and streamlined workflow, saving you valuable time and effort.

To customize keyboard shortcuts in Excel, you will need to follow a few simple steps:

B. Provide step-by-step instructions for assigning new shortcuts to commenting functions

1. Open Excel and click on the "File" tab at the top left corner of the screen.

2. In the File menu, select "Options" from the list on the left-hand side.

3. In the Excel Options dialog box, choose "Customize Ribbon" from the left-hand side.

4. At the bottom of the dialog box, click on the "Customize..." button next to the "Keyboard shortcuts" option.

5. In the Customize Keyboard dialog box, select the desired category from the "Categories" list. In this case, we are customizing shortcuts for commenting, so choose "All Commands".

6. Scroll down the "Commands" list to find the commenting functions you want to assign new shortcuts to. For example, you may want to assign a shortcut for "New Comment". Select the desired command.

7. Click inside the "Press new shortcut key" box and press the keys you want to assign as the new shortcut. It is important to choose a combination that is not already in use by Excel to avoid conflicts.

8. Once you have entered the new shortcut, click the "Assign" button to confirm the assignment.

9. Repeat steps 6-8 for any other commenting functions you want to customize.

10. After assigning all the desired shortcuts, click the "Close" button to exit the Customize Keyboard dialog box.

11. Click the "OK" button in the Excel Options dialog box to save your changes.

Now, you have successfully customized keyboard shortcuts for commenting in Excel. You can use these shortcuts to quickly add, edit, or navigate comments, making your Excel experience more efficient than ever before.

The Benefits of Using Keyboard Shortcuts for Commenting

When working with comments in Excel, utilizing keyboard shortcuts can greatly enhance your efficiency and productivity. These shortcuts not only save you time but also allow you to navigate and interact with comments more seamlessly. Here are some key benefits of using keyboard shortcuts for commenting:

A. Discuss the time-saving advantages of using keyboard shortcuts

  • Quick access: Keyboard shortcuts provide a faster way to access and interact with the commenting feature in Excel, eliminating the need to navigate through multiple menus or ribbon tabs.
  • Effortless operations: With a simple combination of keys, you can perform various commenting tasks swiftly, such as inserting, editing, and deleting comments, without interrupting your workflow.
  • Reduced mouse dependency: By relying less on mouse clicks, keyboard shortcuts enable you to keep your hands on the keyboard, eliminating the need to switch between the keyboard and mouse frequently.
  • Streamlined workflow: The time saved from using keyboard shortcuts can accumulate throughout your workday, leading to a more streamlined workflow and increased overall productivity.

B. Highlight the improved efficiency and productivity when working with comments in Excel

  • Efficient navigation: Keyboard shortcuts allow you to quickly move between comments, providing a more efficient way to review, revise, and address specific points within your Excel worksheet.
  • Instant editing: Instead of relying on the mouse to select a comment and navigate to the editing options, keyboard shortcuts let you immediately start editing a comment, enabling faster modifications and replies.
  • Consistent formatting: With keyboard shortcuts, you can maintain consistent formatting across multiple comments with ease, saving time by avoiding the repetitive formatting actions that would be required using manual methods.
  • Enhanced collaboration: By using keyboard shortcuts for commenting, you can enhance collaboration with your colleagues, as it enables faster communication and feedback exchange, particularly during collaborative editing sessions.

In conclusion, leveraging the power of keyboard shortcuts for commenting in Excel offers numerous benefits. It allows you to save time, improve efficiency, enhance productivity, and streamline your workflow. By becoming familiar with these shortcuts, you can optimize your Excel experience and work more effectively with comments.

Tips and Tricks for Mastering Keyboard Shortcuts

Excel is a powerful tool for data analysis and manipulation, and mastering keyboard shortcuts can significantly enhance your efficiency and productivity. By reducing the need to navigate menus and click buttons, keyboard shortcuts allow you to perform common tasks with just a few keystrokes. Here are some tips and tricks to help you become a keyboard shortcuts expert in Excel.

Suggest practicing and memorizing the most commonly used shortcuts

One of the best ways to become proficient in using keyboard shortcuts is to practice and memorize the most commonly used shortcuts. By doing so, you can quickly perform routine tasks without interrupting your workflow. Some essential shortcuts related to commenting in Excel include:

  • Insert a comment: Press Shift + F2 to insert a comment in the current cell. This is useful for adding additional information or notes about the data in the cell.
  • Edit a comment: Use Shift + F2 again to edit the comment you previously inserted. This allows you to make changes or update the information in the comment.
  • Move between comments: Press Ctrl + Shift + N to move to the next comment in the workbook. Similarly, use Ctrl + Shift + P to move to the previous comment. This helps you navigate through the comments quickly, especially in large spreadsheets.
  • Delete a comment: To remove a comment from a cell, simply select the cell and press Shift + F10. This shortcut displays a context menu where you can choose to delete the comment.

Encourage users to reference Excel's built-in shortcut list for commenting functions

Excel provides a comprehensive list of built-in keyboard shortcuts that you can reference for specific commenting functions. To access this list, go to the "Help" tab in the Excel ribbon and click on "Keyboard Shortcuts." From there, you can search for shortcuts related to commenting and take note of the ones that are most relevant to your needs.

Provide additional resources for further learning and exploring keyboard shortcuts in Excel

If you want to dive deeper into Excel's keyboard shortcuts or explore shortcuts beyond commenting functions, there are several additional resources available to help you expand your knowledge. Here are a few examples:

  • Online tutorials and guides: Many websites and blogs offer comprehensive tutorials and guides on Excel keyboard shortcuts. These resources provide step-by-step instructions and explanations for various shortcuts, making it easier to understand and apply them in your work.
  • Excel user forums: Joining online Excel user forums can be a valuable way to learn from experienced users and exchange tips and tricks. These forums often have dedicated sections or threads discussing keyboard shortcuts, where you can ask questions and get advice.
  • Excel training courses: If you prefer a more structured approach to learning Excel shortcuts, consider enrolling in a training course. Many online platforms and educational institutions offer Excel courses that cover keyboard shortcuts in detail.

By utilizing these additional resources, you can continually improve your proficiency in using keyboard shortcuts in Excel and discover even more time-saving techniques.


In conclusion, using keyboard shortcuts for commenting in Excel can greatly improve your efficiency and productivity. By utilizing these shortcuts, you can quickly add, edit, and navigate through comments, making your Excel experience smoother and more seamless. Don't hesitate to start implementing these top 10 shortcuts today and discover the difference they can make in your work.

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