Google Sheets – What’s the difference between notes & comments?

There are two key ways you can add extra information to your sheet, without affecting the format of your sheet: Notes and Comments.

Sometimes people confuse these, as they both give extra information in the cells, but there is a clear difference between the two.

The key difference is:

Notes are simply little text boxes added to the cell which just add extra information. These are viewed by hovering over the cell.

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Comments are also little boxes that are added to the cell with extra information, but these are usually used to make a comment to someone requesting some kind of response. They also allow you to see who added the comment.

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Adding notes

I use these to remind me of extra information related to that cell. Let’s look at an example.

Here I have a teacher’s timetable and I want to remind myself of some information about her classes, for example, when they will finish.

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1) Right-click on the cell you want to add the note in, and select “Insert note”.

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2) A text box will appear. Type in the note you want, then click away from the box to add it.

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3) As you can see a little black triangle in the top right-hand corner is now visible. This shows you that there is a note in that cell.

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To view the note, just hover over the cell and the text box will appear.

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Editing a note

To edit the note, just click inside the text box and type.


Deleting a note

To delete the note, right-click on the cell and select “Clear notes”.

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Adding comments

1) Right-click on the cell you want to add the comment in, and select “Insert comment”.

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2) A text box will appear with your name. Type in the comment you want and click on “Comment”.

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3) As you can see a little yellow triangle in the top right-hand corner is now visible. This shows you that there is a comment in that cell.

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To view the comment, just hover over the cell and the text box will appear. As you can see it also adds the time and date the comment was left.

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As these are generally used to request a response. Other users of the sheet, will be able to read the comment and do one of two things, reply or mark the comment as resolved.


Replying to a comment

To reply to the comment, hover over the cell and click on the text box. A reply box will appear below, which you can type in.

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Type in your reply and click on “reply”.

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Resolving a comment

If you consider the comment is now resolved, then hover over the cell and click the “Resolve” button. This will remove the comment.


Editing a comment

To edit the note, bring up the note as described above, then click on the 3 dots. Then click on “Edit”.

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Deleting a comment

To delete the note, bring up the note, click on the 3 dots, and click on “Delete”.


Comments – Tab info

When inserting a comment, apart from adding the small yellow triangle in the cell, it also adds a number in the sheet tab, which tells you the number of comments on that sheet, in this case, 1.

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Clicking on the number in the tab, opens all the current comments on that sheet, which can be very useful if you have lots of comments on the sheet.

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So, in summary, generally I use notes for just adding extra information to a cell and I use comments when I expect a response from someone.


eBooks available on Drive, Forms, Sheets, Docs, Slides, and Sheet Functions:

Baz Roberts (Flipboard / Twitter / Google+)


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