Filtering for Comments

Robert has a worksheet that has comments included in various places. He wonders if it is possible to filter the rows in a data table so that only those rows that include comments in a particular column are displayed.

The filtering capabilities of Excel don’t provide a way that you can automatically check for the presence of comments, but there are a couple of ways you can approach a solution. One possible solution is to follow these general steps:

  1. Make a copy of the column that contains comments to be filtered.
  2. Select the duplicate column.
  3. Press F5 to display the Go To dialog box. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Go To dialog box.

  5. Click Special. Excel displays the Go To Special dialog box. (See Figure 2.)
  6. Figure 2. The Go To Special dialog box.

  7. Click the Comments radio button and then press Enter. Only those cells containing comments are selected.
  8. Type any number, character, or phrase not already present in the column.
  9. Press Ctrl+Enter. All the selected cells (those with comments) should now contain what you typed in step 6.
  10. Use AutoFilter to display only those rows that contain whatever you typed in step 6.

If you prefer, you can create a user-defined function that will let you know if a particular cell has a comment associated with it. The following is a simple way to make such a determination:

Function CellHasComment(c As Range)
    Application.Volatile True
    CellHasComment = Not c.Comment Is Nothing
End Function

Now you can use a formula such as the following within a worksheet:

=CellHasComment(B2)

When the formula is executed, it returns either True or False, depending on whether cell B2 has a comment or not. You can then use Excel’s filtering capabilities to display only those rows that have a True returned by the formula.