How to Print an MS Excel Worksheet with Comments

Comments are threaded discussions on shared workbooks, that you may want to print. Comments enable you to consult with team members about data in the worksheet.

To keep a permanent record of comments, for future reference, you have to print the comments and sheet.

Note: ‘Comments’ in previous versions of Excel is now called ‘Notes’ in newer versions of Excel.

The following example dataset has comments in cells B2, B4, and B6.

Comments have a purple in-cell indicator and a Reply box. When team members reply, you can see several comments linked together.

This tutorial describes how you can print these comments.

4 Methods to print a Microsoft Excel worksheet with comments:

  • Use the built-in functionality
  • Type the comments manually
  • Print a screenshot
  • Use a Macro to create a list of comments

Let’s explore the methods.


Method #1: Use the Excel Built-in Functionality

This method is straightforward and easy to do. But the comments will only show on the last page of your printout.

Step #1: Open the Excel worksheet

Select or activate the worksheet that contains the comments you want to print.

Step #2: Delete notes

If the worksheet has notes, delete them so that you remain with comments only. Otherwise, both comments and notes will be printed.

To delete any note, right-click the cell in which it is contained. 

From the menu that appears, choose Delete Note.

Step #3: Set the print settings

In the main menu bar, click on the Page Layout tab.

In the Page Setup group, click the small arrow in the bottom corner. This is Page Setup dialog box launcher.

The Page Setup dialog box will open.

Click on the Sheet tab.

Click on the Comments and notes field for a drop-down to open.

Select At end of sheet.

Click the Print Preview button to get a preview of what the printout will look like:

The printout will contain a list of comments and replies.

Step #4: Print the worksheet with comments

Click on the Print… button on the Page Setup dialog box.

The Print dialogue settings window will open.

Adjust any Print settings as needed, such as the printer to print to, the number of copies to print. 

Once done, click the Print button to print the worksheet with comments.

Note: Excel does not have a built-in way of printing comments as displayed in the worksheet. The option to print “As displayed on sheet” is only available for notes.


Method #2: Type the Comments Manually

This method is seen as a ‘hack’ but it is effective if you only have a few comments. The comments will not appear as displayed in the worksheet, but they will be in proximity to the data they refer to.

Step #1: Open the worksheet 

Select or activate the worksheet that contains the comments you want to print.

Step #2: Insert a new column to contain the comments 

Select the column to the right of the one that contains the threaded comments.

Click on the alphabet number in the header to select the whole column. In our example below, it is C.

Right-click in the shaded area.

Choose Insert from the shortcut menu that opens.

A new column will now open next to the one you selected.

Rename the new column Comments by typing in the title at the top.

Step #3: Open the Comments pane

In the main menu bar, click on the Review tab.

In the Comments group, click on the Show Comments icon.

This will open the Comments pane.

The Comments pane will open. It will show the worksheet comments and the references of the cells to which they apply.

Step #4: Type in the comments

Type the comments you see in the Comments Pane into the new Comments column. 

You can also copy and paste the comments. Click on the comment, select it by dragging the cursor over it while holding down the mouse button. Press Ctrl + C on your keyboard.

Move the cursor to the Comments column and click on the cell next to the cell containing the comment.

Press Ctrl + V on our keyboard.

Repeat step #4 until all the comments are copied into the spreadsheet.

Step #5: Print the worksheet with comments

To print the worksheet, go to File in the main menu bar.

Select Print in the left sidebar.

Adjust any Print settings as needed, such as the printer to print to, the number of copies to print. You may need to change to Landscape Orientation to accommodate more data on one page.

You can also do a Print preview of the worksheet.

Click the Print button to send the work to the printer.


Method #3: Print a Screenshot

This workaround is simple but effective. But it will also depend on the number of comments, and how big your spreadsheet is.

Step #1: Open the worksheet

Select or activate the worksheet that contains the comments you want to print.

Step #2: Open the Comments pane

From the main menu bar, click on the Review tab.

From the Review ribbon, in the Comments group click on the Show Comments icon.

Step #3: Take a screenshot 

Ensure that your spreadsheet and the comments are all visible on your screen.

Press the Print Screen key on your keyboard. This will take a screenshot of the worksheet with the Comments pane. The screenshot is stored on the Windows Clipboard.

Step #4: Remove unwanted areas from the screenshot

Open an application such as MS Paint.

Press Ctrl + V to paste the image into the image editing app. 

Choose the Select icon from the Image group of the Home tab.

Click and drag your cursor around the area of the image that you want to keep.

Click the Crop icon in the Image group in the menu ribbon.

The unwanted areas of the image are cropped out.

Step #5: Print the image

From the File tab in the menu, choose Print preview to Preview the screenshot.

Click the Print option to open the Print dialog box.

Adjust any Print settings as needed, such as the printer to print to, the number of copies to print. 

Click the Print button to send the work to the printer.


Method 4: Use a Macro to Create a List of Comments

This method makes use of a macro to make a list of comments with their details in a new worksheet. It is a longer process, but if you have a large spreadsheet or a lot of comments, then use this method. 

Step #1: Open the worksheet

Select or activate the worksheet that contains the comments you want to print.

Step #2: Open the Visual Basic Editor (VBE)

In the active worksheet that contains the comments, Press Alt + F11 to open the Visual Basic Editor.

If this does not work for your version, go to the main menu bar and click on the Developer tab.

Click on the Visual Basic icon to the extreme left.

Step #3: Insert a new module and paste in a procedure

On the VBE menu bar, click Insert.

From the dropdown that opens, select Module.

Copy the following procedure and paste it into the new module:

Sub threadedCommentsList()
Application.ScreenUpdating = False

Dim newComment As CommentThreaded
Dim activeWsh As Worksheet
Dim newWsh As Worksheet
Dim i As Long
Dim threadCmtCount As Long

Set activeWsh = ActiveSheet
threadCmtCount = activeWsh.CommentsThreaded.Count

If threadCmtCount = 0 Then
   MsgBox "Comments not found."
   Exit Sub
End If

Set newWsh = Worksheets.Add

 newWsh.Range("A1:F1").Value = _
     Array("Number", "Cell", "Author", _
      "Date", "Replies", "Text")

i = 1
For Each newComment In activeWsh.CommentsThreaded
   With newWsh
     i = i + 1
     On Error Resume Next
     .Cells(i, 1).Value = i - 1
     .Cells(i, 2).Value = newComment.Parent.Address
     .Cells(i, 3).Value = newComment.Author.Name
     .Cells(i, 4).Value = newComment.Date
     .Cells(i, 5).Value = newComment.Replies.Count
     .Cells(i, 6).Value = newComment.Text
   End With
Next newComment

With newWsh
  .Columns(6).ColumnWidth = 50
  .Columns.AutoFit
  With .Cells
    .EntireRow.AutoFit
    .VerticalAlignment = xlTop
    .WrapText = True
  End With
End With

Application.ScreenUpdating = True
End Sub

Sub threadedCommentsList()

Application.ScreenUpdating = False

Dim newComment As CommentThreaded

Dim activeWsh As Worksheet

Dim newWsh As Worksheet

Dim i As Long

Dim threadCmtCount As Long

Set activeWsh = ActiveSheet

threadCmtCount = activeWsh.CommentsThreaded.Count

If threadCmtCount = 0 Then

   MsgBox “Comments not found.”

   Exit Sub

End If

Set newWsh = Worksheets.Add

 newWsh.Range(“A1:F1”).Value = _

     Array(“Number”, “Cell”, “Author”, _

      “Date”, “Replies”, “Text”)

i = 1

For Each newComment In activeWsh.CommentsThreaded

   With newWsh

     i = i + 1

     On Error Resume Next

     .Cells(i, 1).Value = i – 1

     .Cells(i, 2).Value = newComment.Parent.Address

     .Cells(i, 3).Value = newComment.Author.Name

     .Cells(i, 4).Value = newComment.Date

     .Cells(i, 5).Value = newComment.Replies.Count

     .Cells(i, 6).Value = newComment.Text

   End With

Next newComment

With newWsh

  .Columns(6).ColumnWidth = 50

  .Columns.AutoFit

  With .Cells

    .EntireRow.AutoFit

    .VerticalAlignment = xlTop

    .WrapText = True

  End With

End With

Application.ScreenUpdating = True

End Sub

Step #4: Run the procedure 

Place the cursor anywhere in the code, and press F5 to run the code.

Press Alt + F11 to switch to the worksheet that contains the list of comments produced by the code:

Step #5: Print the worksheet

To print the worksheet, go to File in the main menu bar.

Select Print in the left sidebar.

Adjust any Print settings as needed, such as the printer to print to, the number of copies to print. You may need to change to Landscape Orientation to accommodate more data on one page.

Click the Print button to send the work to the printer.

Step #6: Save the workbook as macro-enabled 

You have to save the workbook as a macro-enabled workbook so that you do not lose the macro. 

Click the Save button on the VBE toolbar.

The Save As dialog box will open.

Click on the Save as type drop-down list.

Select Excel Macro-Enabled Workbook

Click on the Save button.


Conclusion

To have a permanent record of your comments for future reference, you have to print them.

In this tutorial, we have described four methods to print an MS Excel worksheet with comments. While the first is the default method, the second and third can be good alternatives. For a long spreadsheet or for many comments, we recommend using the fourth method.

Leave a Comment