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In Excel for Mac 2011 Essential Training, author Curt Frye gives a comprehensive overview of Excel, the full-featured spreadsheet software from Microsoft. The course covers key skills such as manipulating workbook and cell data, using functions, automating actions, printing worksheets, and collaborating with others. Exercise files accompany the course.
One very effective way to collaborate with other users is to add comments to a workbook. Adding comments lets you make notes in a worksheet without changing the contents of any worksheet cells. The worksheet I have here in my Comments workbook has a comment in cell D1. You can tell there's a comment there because there is this little red indicator, or flag, at the top right- hand corner of the cell. If I hover the mouse pointer over the cell, the actual text of the comment appears. So how do you add a comment to a cell? Well, you do that by clicking the cell to which you want to add the comment and then on the Review tab of the Ribbon, in the Comments group, you click New.
Then Excel displays a comment that you can type in. So you click inside the body of a comment, and then you type your comment. So the previous one was 'Great work!,' and this is 'Even better!' When you're done, you can click outside of the comment cell, and the flag remains, but the comment is hidden. If you hover your mouse pointer over that cell, the comment reappears. You'll notice that it says producer at the top of the comment. That's because the account name that I'm logged in under on this computer is called producer.
So whatever account name you're using, that's the one that appears there. Now let's say that you open a worksheet and you see that there are comments, and you want to move through them sequentially. You don't have to click the comment cells by yourself and go through; instead, you can use the controls in the Comments group and use either Previous or Next. What I'll do is I will click cell A1, and then I will move to the next cell that contains a comment. If there are no comments, the Previous and Next buttons are grayed out, and you can't use them. But in this case, I will click Next, and Excel displays the next comment, which is here in cell D1.
When I click Next again, it gives me my indicator, drawing the line from the flag to the top corner here, and it says 'Even better!' So those are the two comments. If I were to click Next again, it would say that it has reached the end of the workbook, and it would ask if I want to start again from the beginning. I'll just click Cancel, and click another cell. Now, let's say that I want to display all of the comments at same time. For that, once again on the Review tab, in the Comments group, I can click Show All. When I do, Excel displays the comments, but right now the two comments are on top of each other, so I will drag the second one here, like any other object, just move it down, and there you have it.
I have my zoom level set fairly high. Normally, the comments don't take up that much room on the screen. If you no longer want to show all the comments, you can click Show All, and they go away. They're not deleted. They're still there. They've just been hidden, except for the indicators. Now, let's say that you want to edit the body of a comment. To do that, you Ctrl+Click the cell, and you will see a menu option for Edit Comment. This only occurs when you have a cell that has a comment in it. So you click that, and you can edit the comment.
You'll notice that I had my i-bar, and I can click here. I can make a change to the text, and when I click another cell, I move out of editing mode for the comment, but when I hover my mouse pointer over it, the comment appears and my change has taken place. Now, let's say that you want to delete a comment, so not the value in the cell, just the comment. To do that, you click a cell that contains a comment, and then on the Review tab, in the Comments group, you can click Delete. The comment no longer appears when I hover my mouse pointer over the cell, and you'll notice also that the indicator is gone.
Adding and reviewing workbook comments lets you provide feedback on a workbook's contents without changing the values in any cells. I use them a lot. You probably will too.
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