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Pimp your comment boxes [because it is Friday]



Better Comment Boxes using VBAExcel comment boxes are a very useful feature, but the comment box look hasn’t changed since slice bread. So Tom, one of our readers, took it upon himself to revamp the comment box. He wrote a simple macro to botox, smoothen and color the comment box. It is a fun and simple macro, something that can make a boring spreadsheet friday a little more exciting.

Here is the code:

Sub Comments_Tom()
Dim MyComments As Comment
Dim LArea As Long
For Each MyComments In ActiveSheet.Comments
With MyComments
.Shape.AutoShapeType = msoShapeRoundedRectangle
.Shape.TextFrame.Characters.Font.Name = "Tahoma"
.Shape.TextFrame.Characters.Font.Size = 8
.Shape.TextFrame.Characters.Font.ColorIndex = 2
.Shape.Line.ForeColor.RGB = RGB(0, 0, 0)
.Shape.Line.BackColor.RGB = RGB(255, 255, 255)
.Shape.Fill.Visible = msoTrue
.Shape.Fill.ForeColor.RGB = RGB(58, 82, 184)
.Shape.Fill.OneColorGradient msoGradientDiagonalUp, 1, 0.23
End With
Next 'comment
End Sub

Give it a try, I am sure you can afford some lipstick and a new pair of shoes for the comment boxes.

Related material on comment boxes:

Special thanks to Tom for sharing the macro with me. Say thanks to him if you loved it as well.


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28 Responses to “Pimp your comment boxes [because it is Friday]”

  1. Jeff Weir says:

    This borders on Excel soft-cell...er, soft-core...porn. My favorite kind.

  2. Tim says:

    Wow, that is pimp-TASTIC! I have a question, as a VBA n00b: additional comment boxes stay plain unless I "run" the macro. Is there a way to change all comments, going-forward?

  3. laguerriere says:

    hi Chandoo, well, I like the macro approach. For those who don't like it, there is another way: just add the "draw" toolbar to the shapes toolbar (via Custom etc), click on "edit comment", click on the auto-shape and then choose "draw" drop-down, --> modify auto-shape --> then you even can have a heart or a banner (I like the horizontal banner in in purple :-)) . in excel 2007, you have to add this custom menu that you choose via Excel Options --> Custom --> it is called "change/ modify auto-shape"!!!

  4. Tom says:

    @Chandoo. Great Post 🙂
    @Tim : the way the macro is coded, it must be run very time.
    @Community: If someone has an idea to perform it when opening an existing excel, it should be nice.
    @Community: if someone has some code to revamp the commentboxes on all sheets, please share it. 🙂
    @Microsoft Excel-progammers: some pimpoptions for the commentboxes should be great.


  5. Yukikomi says:

    For the auto run, please add the codes in workbook:

    Private Sub Workbook_SheetActivate(ByVal Sh As Object)

    Call Comments_Tom

    End Sub

  6. Debra says:

    Wow, that was a lot of fun... Thanks Tom!

  7. Chandoo says:

    @Jeff... Now, 5000 people know about your favorite porn... 😛

    @Tim ... you can write an event to handle the new comments. I wouldnt recommend it as it is really painful. another option is to use the macro suggested by Yukikomi. It will update comments everytime you activate the sheet.

    @laguerriere: very cool 🙂

  8. Johnnie says:

    @Chandoo ... Thanks! This is good stuff. I combined your tip with a tip from Mark O'Brien, then assigned it to a button on Excel 2010's Quick Access Toolbar, to format comments AS I add them. I also like how Mark's code saves me the trouble of backspacing my name out of new comments:

    Sub AppendToExistingComment()
    'Source: Mark O'Brien at http://www.mrexcel.com/forum/showthread.php?t=57296
    Dim oRange As Range
    Dim oComment As Comment
    Dim sText As String

    'Use object variable to hold range.
    Set oRange = ActiveCell
    'Use object variable for comment
    Set oComment = oRange.Comment
    'text to be added to the comment box
    sText = InputBox("Type text to be added:", "APPEND TO COMMENT TEXT")
    If Len(sText) = 0 Then End
    'If Active Cell has a comment then append new text to the end of the comment text
    If Not oComment Is Nothing Then
    sText = oComment.Text & vbNewLine & sText
    End If

    'Add a comment with the contents of sText
    oRange.AddComment sText


    End Sub

  9. Nick says:

    Thank you very much for the code, it seems to be working for the most part; I am having a problem however. Once the routine makes the corrections to the comment, the comment becomes invisible. By invisible, I mean that when I highlight my mouse over it, nothing appears. However, when I right click the cell and click 'edit comment' then the comment becomes visible and I enter edit mode. Upon clicking out of the comment, it simply vanishes again. I've tried to fix this problem by adding a .shape.visible = msoTrue but then every comment is always visible. o_O please advise...

    Thank you,


  10. Shailyog says:

    @Nick- That is because the font color of the comment is white and when you select the color of selection is also white hence you can not see anything. Try to change the color code in the routine to something else. would work

  11. Michael says:

    Thanks for that! The code works perfectly!

  12. [...] look at Format Excel Comment Boxes using VBA Macros | Chandoo.org - Learn Microsoft Excel Online [...]

  13. Sunny says:

    @ Chandoo - code works great and the comments look super cool. But I have ran into a small issue. In the comments, I am inserting pictures. When I run the macro, for all comments which already have pictures; pictures are deleted. Pls help me retain the pics in comments.

  14. […] posted some code one of his readers submitted, it "pimps" your comment boxes from those boring black-text-on-yellow rectangles to something more professional and eye-pleasing. […]

  15. mohammad mal says:

    love in it

  16. Deepak says:

    Hi Tom,

    This looks really excellent. I am however relatively new to macros / VBA codes so having copy pasted your code in the Developer mode of an Excel file, what are the next steps to use them? Can you please help? Just to recap, I opened a blank Excel workbook, clicked on Developer, copy pasted the comments code and saved the file to the desktop.

    Now how do I go about using it to add comments to an existing file? My apologies for asking a question which may be basic to you great geniuses, but I am not there yet and aspire to get there.

    Many thanks for helping me with next steps that I need to take so that I can now use the code.

    Best Wishes

    Deepak Dave, CMA, MBA, PMP
    Senior Management Consultant

  17. Tom says:

    Dear Dave,

    The best thing to do is to copy the macro in the personal.xls(x) file. The personal excel file will always be launched when you open excel so you can use it with every excelworkbook.
    Read all about it on the page of Microsoft.

    Once you have the macro in the personal, you can 'call' the macro by the keyboardcombination 'alt+f8' and klik on the macroname.

    Hope this clarifies the 'how to'. Good luck with your first steps in the wonderfull world of macro's.

    • Deepak says:

      Hi Tom,

      Many thanks. I will try that out. Learning is fun and learning this stuff is even more amazing.

      Best Wishes

      Deepak Dave

  18. Gary says:

    There is a line 'Dim LArea As Long' which does not appear to be used. Have I missed something?

  19. Luis says:

    Excellent hack!
    For some reason when I opened my file after using LibreOffice Calc, all comment boxes had changed to some arrow shape.
    So this macro helped me from manually changing more than 5000 comments in a worksheet, or having to install some Excel extension.
    I used it with the following attributes to get back old style comments:

    It helped me from manually changing more than 5000 comments in a worksheet, or having to install some Excel extension.

    .Shape.AutoShapeType = msoShapeRectangle
    .Shape.TextFrame.Characters.Font.Name = "Calibri"
    .Shape.TextFrame.Characters.Font.Size = 10
    .Shape.TextFrame.AutoMargins = True
    .Shape.TextFrame.AutoSize = True

    Thanks a lot!

  20. Mark Blackburn says:

    This was helpful, thank you

  21. loana says:

    I think this is among the most significant
    information for me. And i am glad reading your article.
    But wanna remark on some general things, The site style is great,
    the articles is really great : D. Good job, cheers

  22. Jen says:

    Is there code to add to this that will format a particular part of the comment (i.e. make the last sentence in the comment bold and in italics)?

  23. Phil says:

    This is fantastic!
    How would I add auto-sizing to it?
    I tried adding this:
    .Shape.AutoSize = True but it gives me an error and as a novice at VBA I can't figure it out.

  24. site de promos says:

    Hello I am so glad I found your web site, I really found you by accident,
    while I was browsing on Bing for something else, Nonetheless I am here now and would
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  25. E.H. says:

    This is GREAT!

    How should the code be changed in order to tun once for all worksheets in a workbook?

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