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How can we improve Excel for Windows (Desktop Application)?

Bring back Edit Comments (Legacy) to the Right-Click Menu

The new Threaded Comments that appeared in Build 1809 are awesome for 99% of the people. But for the Commenting Gurus - anyone who has ever taken the time to build help systems by resizing, re-coloring, re-shaping and using Show All Comments, we are going to see our comments get destroyed by well-meaning co-workers.

Yes, all of the legacy icons are available for adding back to the Ribbon, but we the comment gurus can not trust our co-workers and managers to take the time to add these.

My request: If Excel detects any comment in the workbook that is a different color, a different size, a different shape, holds a photo, or if Show Comment is turned on, then *do not offer* our co-workers the option to "Reply to Comment" and then default to "Convert Comments". That "Convert Comments" button is global and permanent and might as well say "Undo all the work that our genius co-worker did in building this help system."

At the very least, add "Edit Comment (Legacy)" to the right-click menu, just above "Reply to Comment" so we have a 50/50 shot that our comments will not be destroyed by our manager. Please.

153 votes
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Bill Jelen shared this idea  ·   ·  Flag idea as inappropriate…  ·  Admin →

We have addressed the topic of this suggestion by bringing back the legacy comments as notes and included the edit comment action as “edit note” in the right click menu. Also, this topic has multiple suggestions, so if for any remaining suggestions which are not covered by the update to reintroduce legacy comment editing, please open a new suggestion. Thank you.


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  • Joe commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    After you get this done, fire everyone who approved removing that because they have no idea what their users want and are too arrogant to have a job. I swear.

    To help others: you can insert a comment (old-style) via Alt-i-m (i=insert, m=comment). However, after you put it there, you can't edit it at all, as far as I can see. All I can do is delete it and insert a new one if I want to make a change. #thanksmicrosoft

  • Keith Hirt commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Everyone of my over 300 comments were changed to "[Threaded comment]

    Your version of Excel allows you to read this threaded comment; however, any edits to it will get removed if the file is opened in a newer version of Excel. Learn more:


    with no way to disable. Thanks Microsoft!

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Will this feature be in the next semi-annual release in July? I assume it's now in the monthly channel?

  • Frank S commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I agree with the rest of the posting about the removal of the right click Insert Comment option. Why would MS take that away! The only way I found to add one without that right mouse click is the use Shift+F2 to add a comment. Then if you right mouse click on it, you get the options back.

  • Paul Gustafson commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Admin, Office 365 Mac, 16.23 (190309) is NOT handling comments and notes. In fact, if you edit anything on a ss on the mac, and then reopen in excel on pc, ALL COMMENTS/NOTES are lost. In this "platform agnostic" world we live in, it is important that Microsoft keep offerings in sync, otherwise what is the point!!!!

  • Paul Gustafson commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Not sure I agree with admin. The legacy feature, supporting new comments and former notes is not working in the latest release. There is only threaded comments and all former notes are trashed. We need to get our notes back!!!

  • Parvesh Sethi commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Add Comments & Edit Comments are not working after update, Bring back this feature.

    After update I thought there has been some problem with My Office app, but after Reinstallation I found the same problem.

    Very Usefull feature has been removed.

  • John Gillanders commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Threaded comments should have been added as a new, separate feature, not tacked on top of the existing comments! Worse, Excel automatically adding an explanatory text to the start of every single comment without my permission has added hours of unnecessary work to my workload to go through and remove these. Grrrr!

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I agree! Last week I had the "note" and the "comment" option, now this week it's only the "comments" option (which is the posted option). I want the yellow tabs, I don't care what they're called! I use them 100's of times a day!

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    It's not efficient to use the ribbon to insert/edit a comment on a cell, or having to try and remember the shortcut to insert one (there's no shortcut for editing that I know of). Please add the "Insert Note" and "Edit Note" options to the right click button menu, or at least make it so that you can customize you right click menu and add it yourself.

  • Christine Schinker commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Thank You! As a user of comments every day I have been pulling my hair out trying to get "add notes or comments" back on the right click menu. I thought I was the only one with this problem. I just read a thread that said all my old comments might disappear. I'm pretty panicked and devastated right now. I use Microsoft and not Google because I have always been confident that my data will stay in tack from year to year with upgrades.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    Last Office update was irksome. Keep Comments as comments! If you want to add threaded ideas, call those notes! Why mess with a long-standing, useful feature? Also - Please bring back "Insert Comment"(Note) and "Edit Comment"(Note) to the right-click menu. Also, no way to insert them unless you use "Tell me what you want to do" - then a selection is available. I added it to the Quck Access toolbar, but I have not found another icon with which to add an old-fashioned comment. Please fix this!
    Thank you!

  • John Sindell commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I too want a way to edit my customized Legacy Comments. The new Threaded Comments are nice, and the new Notes appear to be the same as the Legacy Comments with all of the formatting still available, however my older legacy Comments are unable to be edited or deleted, or even cleared, unless I clear everything from the cells. My old Legacy Comments still function properly, but they are not recognized by the new Notes. Unlike Bill and his version, my Excel does not allow me to even add the Legacy Comment icons back into the Ribbon or QAT. They simply are not available as icons/commands to add.

    If the Notes (NOT the new threaded Comments) would simply recognize the Legacy Comments, I think all would be well, at least in my sheets.

  • William Clark commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    These are good ideas to help protect the extensive work and value that is created by some and that can too easily be destroyed by others that don't know, understand, or care about that value. Protection features should be added, to preserve the good work. I like the idea of a new system (that separate from Comments) and is better suited to the special help systems, etc. If such a system is added, there should be a well thought out, robust (& possibly feature rich) tool for converting Comments to the new system.

  • Sancarn commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I disagree. This shouldn't be a thing done by excel automatically, but an option which is part of the comment object.

    If there was some "freeze comments" option this would be ideal and shouldn't be hard to implement.

  • Elijah Hubley commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I agree with Bill, for all the same reasons he mentioned.

    Excel gurus can learn to cope with changes, but because comments often exist specifically for those who are less skilled at Excel, this change poses a problem.

  • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

    I definitely agree with Bill. Or, just prevent the "Reply to Comment" from changing existing formatting.

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