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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.

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


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      • 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

        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.

      • Ashu commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        You can just do Shift+F2 and it pops up your comment or create new comment in the current cell which is selected. and after that just hit space bar and you will be in edit mode

      • MM Cromarty commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Having comments go wonky after getting them set up perfectly is endlessly frustrating. Bill's request is excellent and has my support.

        While we're talking about comments, could an option be added like that found in Format Picture: > Move... with cells; or > Don't move... with cells. (In a big worksheet, I'd like the comment to remain with the cell, not end up several hundred rows below it.)

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Bill, I totally agree. I use comments extensively for help tips, insert .jpegs of source documents for reference and all manner of custom modifications. We do need some safeguard against inadvertently wiping out that work.

      • Shaun Gartland commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I use legacy comments in a lot of work books
        Please do not allow other users to converts these to threads
        Thanks Microsoft for an awesome product

      • Ute Simon commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Maybe we should not have old and new comment styles in future versions of Excel. But get the option to insert "comments" (for collaboration) and "help shapes" (resembling the look of the old comments and formattable) like the Screen Tips shown in the Ribbon.

      • Mark Rosenkrantz commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        I agree with Bill.
        At least offer those who implemented that hard commenting work (as a part of a help system) the option to keep that hard work visible and editable.

        Mark Rosenkrantz > Spreadsheet Solutions > Netherlands

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Agree. Bill's idea helps protect the integrity of of the comments meaning, and prevents work from being undone.

        I use comments to help highlight different forms of action items.

      • Anonymous commented  ·   ·  Flag as inappropriate

        Completely agree. Legacy comments aren't only used to collaborate! They are often used as tool tips, or notes to the user of the workbook.

        These don't fit the use-case that the new Threaded Comments feature tries to solve for.

        As it stands, even the developer of the workbook won't be able to edit these type of comments without converting them into threads. Not to mention, allowing a user to effectively destroy these legacy comments is a bad thing.

        When a legacy comment is activated, the options should be:

        Edit Comment | Convert to Thread | Cancel

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