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Excel In Seconds Tips and Tricks from The Excel Addict - Microsoft Excel 2003, 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 365

March 21, 2017

Greetings from The Excel Addict

Hi fellow Excel Addict,

Today is my mom's 93rd birthday. I'm so blessed to still have her around.

Francis Hayes, Conception Bay South, Newfoundland, Canada (

In today's 'Excel in Seconds' tip, I'm going to show you how to 'Add a Background Picture to a Cell Comment'. I have some special personal connections to the example I use in this tip that I'd like to share with you.

The pictures that I've used in this tip are paintings by Jean Claude Roy. Roy is an awesome painter who moved from France to Newfoundland in 1971. Many of his paintings are scenes of Newfoundland — my home province. In fact, he has painted almost every town and village in Newfoundland — hundreds of them.

Shed on a Rock, Tilting: My mom grew up in Tilting, Newfoundland. I remember as a child visiting my grandfather's house. I could see this 'shed' (called a fishing 'stage' in Newfoundland) through the kitchen window.

Windy Day, The Battery: I have a close personal connection with this painting. On a spring day in 2014 I was out for a walk looking at an iceberg just outside 'The Narrows' in St. John's and came upon Jean Claude Roy just starting this painting. I stopped and had a chat with him. He didn't have a name for it at that point. I occasionally checked his website ( to see what the finished painting was like. Almost a year later I saw it on his website. I loved the painting so much, and because of my personal connection, I seriously considered buying it. Unfortunately it had been sold just two months earlier.

The Day I Met Jean Claude Roy
Did you spot the iceberg?

Yellow House, Brigus: I grew up in Brigus, Newfoundland so I was very familiar with this yellow house. Roy has done several other paintings of my hometown as well.

In my last 'Excel in Minutes' tip from Thursday, I showed you how you can 'Take Control of Those Annoying Formula Errors'. if you missed it you can read it here.

Please feel free to share my newsletter with your Excel friends — they will thank you for it.

Hope you're having a great week and keep on Excelling,
Francis Hayes (The Excel Addict)
fhayes[AT] Quote of the Day

"If you want OTHERS to be happy, practice compassion.
If YOU want to be happy, practice compassion."

-- Dalai Lama --

Thanks to Paul for recommending this quote

If you missed my last newsletter, you can click here to view it online.

Excel in Seconds with

Add a Background Picture to a Cell Comment

Here's a really cool trick. Typically cell comments contain just text but did you know that you can also display a picture for the background of your cell comment?

That's right! Pictures in cell comments.

Display a Background Picture In a Cell Comment in Microsoft Excel 2007 2010 2013 2016 365
Imagine lists of things such as flowers, cars, people, houses, etc... in a worksheet. Point to a cell and have a related picture pop up in a cell comment.

I'm sure you will find lots of new ways to use this trick.

Here's how...

1) Right-click a cell and select Insert Comment for a new comment or Edit Comment for an existing comment;

2) If you want to delete any text from the comment
, press the Backspace key;

Cell Comment in Microsoft Excel 2007 2010 2013 2016 365
3) Right-click on the edge of the comment and choose Format Comment. If you see only the Font tab, that means you right-clicked inside the comment not on its edge. Try again.

Right Click Edge To Select Comment in Microsoft Excel 2007 2010 2013 2016 365
Alternate Method: If you find it hard to right click the edge of the comment, instead, left click in the middle of the comment, press the Esc key, then click the Application/Menu key on your Windows keyboard. That will pop up the right-click menu. Choose Format Comment.

Application Menu Key Format Comment in Microsoft Excel 2007 2010 2013 2016 365

5) In the Format Comment dialog click the Colors and Lines tab;

6) Click the Color dropdown arrow and click Fill Effects;

Cell Comment Fill Effects in Microsoft Excel 2007 2010 2013 2016 365
7) On the Picture tab, click Select Picture...;

8) Locate and select a picture then click Insert;

Select Picture For Cell Comment in Microsoft Excel 2007 2010 2013 2016 365

9) Click OK, click OK.

Now you have a picture in a cell comment. Point to the cell with the small red triangle and the picture pops up.

Picture As Cell Comment in Microsoft Excel 2007 2010 2013 2016 365

To keep a cell comment visible, right click the cell and choose Show/Hide Cell Comments.

To resize a picture/comment, click the edge of the comment and you will see 8 sizing handles.

Resize Cell Comment Picture in Microsoft Excel 2007 2010 2013 2016 365

Both Text and Picture in a Cell Comment
For some cell comments you may want a picture and no text but other times you may want some comments to have both text and a picture.

To add text to a comment containing a picture, right click the cell containing the comment, choose Edit Comment and enter your text.

Display Both Text And Picture In Cell Comment in Microsoft Excel 2007 2010 2013 2016 365
Formatting Text in a Cell Comment
You can change only the font, size, bold, italics and underline from commands on the Ribbon. To change any other font attributes you will need to right-click, choose Format Comment then click the Font tab.

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