notes attached to cells not visible, broken since last excel update (Office 365 on Mac)

Occasional Visitor

I've got many notes (the yellow non-threaded formerly called comments) in my excel sheets. Since the latest software update I can not display/view my notes anymore.

The cells containing note still show the red triangle-mark, but the note does not show up when I mouse over. By clicking "show all notes" in the ribbon menu, it will just only show the connection lines between cell and invisible note rectangle. But I can not access view or even edit the notes.

Also right click on the cell -> edit note does not show anything.


is there a fix or at least a workaround existing?





macos: high sierra,

excel (office 365) version 16.21.1 (190123)

8 Replies

I have just discovered the same issue.  No option to add or edit notes either ... only comments (which I don't need).

I have same issue.  It looks like MS was nudging users off the old yellow notes feature (which I use a LOT) toward the "comments" side-bar approach.  I hate it when developers get a "good idea" and force us to change, especially with no notice or transition support.  This is a HUGE pain.  But, will MS notice?  I doubt it.

I have faced this problem recently.

Only "Delete Note" option is available in context menu.

If you want to add a new note, please go to the Review menu, the Note option is listed there.


I have had this problem too.  What I found worked was to copy the cell to a new tab.  The Note will show up there (though I had to move the frame buttons to make the square visible).  Then I copied the cell back to the original tab.  This fixed the issue for me.  Hope this helps.

@Carol Van Valkenburg 


Update:  I realize this is an old thread, but I 'Unhid' all the rows.  After I did that, I was able to right click and edit the notes.


I am using a PC but have been having a very similar issue.  I have discovered that when I open my SS I can hover over the red triangle and the Note contents will show.  But, as soon as I access a hyperlink... and return to my SS... the Note will no longer display when I hover.  My only work around is to close and then re-open my SS.

I have reported this twice.  But, so far... no response.


I went into - review - notes - drop down and selected "convert to comments"

There will be a column that will open and as you select the cell where the note/comment is, the comment box will be highlighted...

Not what we want like before, be that sort of works.

Thanks @simmed 


Actually, I reported the problem to Microsoft.  Then a couple weeks ago I received an email saying I had a private message from them.  I could never find the message.  But, then I noticed the problem was fixed.  I can now hover over and view the contents of the note.  Even after I have accessed a hyperlink.  I then remembered that there was a MS update a few days previous to the email from MS.  So, maybe that was the fix.  Not sure.  But it works now.  So, I am happy!!