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Add Image to a Comment

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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.

Written by maclochlainn

January 29th, 2009 at 12:59 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

172 Responses to 'Add Image to a Comment'

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  1. Manoj, You want to put the file locations in a table and then create logic to navigate the table with the VLOOKUP function.


    17 Feb 15 at 1:48 am

  2. I am able to insert the image using comments However I want that when I hover on the comment section original size image shall be displayed.I know I can do this by using the Reset option in Original Size under Size tab but Somehow that tab is frozen and I am not able to Reset the image to original size.
    Any help regarding this is appreciated.

    • Os-MAC OS X Yosemite
    • Excel 2011 for MAC

    Vishal Pandey

    2 Apr 15 at 2:51 pm

  3. This VBA post may help you because VBA lets you reset the images.


    2 Apr 15 at 5:20 pm

  4. Thank you for the example of adding an Image to an Excel cell. I’ve been trying to do this for far too long a time.
    – It tried it and it worked, at once.

    I wish to use this technique to manage 4-5 K number of images.

    I have looked at C++, PowerBuilder, and APL without success.

    While your example works just fine – for one or a few at a time, I suspect that it may not be time efficient to add “Comment Images” for 000’s of cells.

    I did, in fact record a macro which looks great, but
    the macro, when actually run, has error after error.

    especially ( so far) at “Selection.Range.Fill.Transparency =0#

    – – and I’m confident that the lines of code thereafter will fail.

    The reason for this note is to ask whether you might point me towards an example that may better work for a large number of images stored in Excel cells ( to be sorted and indexed, btw)


    Incis B

    5 Jun 15 at 6:55 pm

  5. Incis, You should take a look at the comment by Michael Zlatkovsky or a look at the VBA function I wrote for it. Hope they help.


    7 Jun 15 at 1:04 am

  6. Your clear concise guidance is greatly appreciated. Importantly, techniques you share make using EXCEL enjoyable, as books and especially courses never provide the type of reference one needs when being tasked with an unfamiliar function down the line.
    Thank You.


    18 Jul 15 at 11:03 pm

  7. Gr8 one. Really helpful…
    got here through googling…


    24 Jul 15 at 2:46 am

  8. Hi, I have been able to format comments by using pictures for the “fill effects” but my portrait photos keep getting changed to landscape, and I can’t seem to rotate the comment box. Please help!


    27 Sep 15 at 5:00 pm

  9. Ashlee, Try doing it in VBA, which is explained here with the source code to make it work. If it still rotates your images, then I’d suggest you bring them into a photograph management tool, rotate them to the orientation you like, and export them into a new file. That file most likely will display correctly.


    29 Sep 15 at 5:19 pm

  10. thank you

    Rhedz Reigie

    19 Nov 15 at 11:21 pm

  11. i have been able to format comments by using pictures for the “fill effects” but my portrait photos keep getting changed to landscape,


    14 Mar 16 at 3:01 am

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    12 Apr 16 at 1:36 am

  13. Kathy, Image files have an orientation, you can use a photo editing software to change the orientation.


    10 May 16 at 11:39 pm

  14. i do not get the option for the fill effects nor to choose any tab options. help. i have MO 2007

    Ben C.

    10 Jun 16 at 8:52 am

  15. my images does not stay when I try to share it or send it by e-mail to another person


    28 Jun 16 at 9:38 am



    29 Sep 16 at 6:37 am

  17. Yogesh, Check step #3 because it only works when you position the mouse appropriately.


    16 Oct 16 at 8:50 pm

  18. Romar, you need to package the images in a directory that you reference and send with the Excel Workbook. That typically means positioning them in the same directory, a relative directory.


    16 Oct 16 at 9:07 pm

  19. Ben C, you need to ensure that you click on the side of the cell as qualified in step #3.


    16 Oct 16 at 9:24 pm

  20. […] I can do this programmatically I will be all […]

  21. In this process, your captured screenshot will be saved to the clipboard. To take screenshot press Command + Control + Shift + 3. Another way is press Command + Shift + 3. You can capture the whole screen with this method. However, you will find the screenshot of the desktop.

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    8 Mar 18 at 10:19 pm

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