How you add an image to a comment isn’t exactly what I’d call easy but it is straightforward. One of my students noted that a tip in Microsoft Office Excel 2007 Bible (a truly good book on Excel 2007) didn’t provide the magic to insert an image into a cell comment. Updated this post and provided a new blog post that lets you add an image on Excel 2007, Excel 2010, and Excel 2011 with a VBA User-Defined Function (UDF). UDFs differ from VBA macros and you can find my Excel UDF Tutorial here.
I’d have to say that it did but it didn’t. Basically, the general idea is there but a step of magic requires you to know something else. You need to place your cursor on the highlighted edge of an editable comment before right clicking to launch the context menu. If your cursor is on the text portion of the comment, the context menu operates differently. The Format Comment … menu choice launches a different set of options dependent on your location in an editable comment.
I’ve modified the tip by adding the sentence in blue, with what I think it should say. “You can also display an image inside of a comment. Just make sure you right click on the edge not inside the text box of the comment. Select the Colors and Lines tab in the Format Comment dialog box. Click the Color drop-down list and select Fill Effects. In the Fill Effects dialog box, click the Picture tab and then click the Select Picture Button to specify a graphics file.” – Microsoft Office Excel 2007 Bible, Page 91.
Hoping to help my students and others learn the magic, here are some steps. It’s a shame the best way to do this screen capture is on Apple OS X, but that’s life!
1. Right click on the cell to launch the shortcut menu, like this:
2. Click on the Insert Comment menu item, which launches the comment with the name of the user. If you only want an image, highlight the user name with the mouse and delete it. The backspace key doesn’t work all the time and I’m not sure why that’s the case on Excel 2007. The backspace key always works on Excel 2008 for cell comments.
3. The tricky part (maybe if you’re new to Microsoft Office) requires you to place the mouse on the edge of the comment box, over the bar-dot line, and right click the mouse to launch the shortcut menu in Excel 2007. The Mac version requires you to double click the cell to get the active sizing border, and another double click to launch the appropriate shortcut menu. Click the Format Comment … menu item in either Excel 2007 or 2008.
4. Click on the Colors and Lines tab to see the following dialog.
5. Click on the simple drop-down for the Color option in Excel 2007. Click on the spinner for the Color option in Excel 2008. Inside the box, click on the Fill Effects … menu item. It launches the broadest scope version of the Fill Effects dialog.
Windows Excel 2007 dialog:
Mac Excel 2008 dialog:
6. Click the Picture tab. Inside the Picture tab, click the Select Picture … button to find a picture on your disk drive.
7. Click the Lock picture aspect ratio check box if you’re inserting a small landscape orientation image in Excel 2007. There’s no such option in Excel 2008 (newer product, less features, hmm …). Unfortunately, portrait photos don’t seem to preserve aspect ratios as well in Excel 2007.
8. Now when you click on the cell, the image is visible. If you need to resize an image, right click on the cell to launch the shortcut menu and click the Edit Comment menu item. You can then resize the display of the image.
Hope this helps some folks.