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Comments have changed for the better in Excel 365

Microsoft has been changing the way comments work in Office 365 and now it’s the turn of Excel 365 to get the new-style conversational comments.

If you’ve opened up Excel 365 recently you might have seen a notice like this:

“ Comments can now be used for discussions. When you put one in, you’ll see that it comes with a Reply box, which lets you have threaded conversations with other people.

Looking for the old comments? They’re now called Notes. Notes work just like comments used to: They’re yellow, and you can move or resize them. (But you can’t reply to a Note.)”

Comments are now a conversation

Comments are now a conversation thread, a little like a series of text messages.  Anyone working on a workbook can add comments or reply to existing comments.

In Excel, these comments are linked to a cell, marked with a little pink triangle in the top-right corner.

Word 365 already has threaded comments.

Resolve or Delete

Each new comment is now part of a thread  People can respond to the thread. Eventually the thread can be marked as ‘Resolved’ or Deleted.


Notes aren’t new, they’ve been in Excel for a long time.  They are simple text blocks linked to a cell. Often, they are used for explanations or comments about a value or formula.

There’s no reply or thread option with Notes.

Or at least there’s not supposed to be.  At the moment, an Excel 365 workbook opened in Excel Online (browser-based version) shows Notes as Comments with resolve/reply options.

It’s not clear if that’s a bug or some inconsistency between platforms that’s still to be resolved.

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