comment note menu

Google Sheets – Comment vs Note and how to use them

Google Sheets has recently enhanced its cell commenting ability to include the option of inserting a “Note” or a “Comment.” The differences between the two are not obvious. Following is an overview of what they do and how to choose which one you should use. Follow along with the linked Google Sheet used to create this article.

Both comment and note can be selected by right-clicking on the cell (if you’re using a mouse on a Windows PC).

comment note menu

Use the Note function to leave a simple note in the cell just like you would with Excel’s comment function. With Note, you can simply add information about the cell. Only use this if it doesn’t make sense to add the note directly into the cell. Notes can be helpful, but if they are not needed, they add unneeded complexity. Often, users will overlook notes and only notice information that is typed into cells, so use them only when called for.

google sheets note

Video explanation

The Comment functionality is Note on steroids. Notes are usually sufficient if one user is creating and viewing a spreadsheet. However, if you have multiple users, especially in different physical locations, the Comment functionality can be very helpful. It enables users to have a back and forth conversation about a cell without altering its contents. The Comment functionality can be especially useful in a supervisor/staff relationship where one person is reviewing another’s work.

Google Sheet Comment

In summary, use the note function when you want to leave a quick note and nothing else. Use comment if you want to start a conversation with someone else about a cell.

 Live examples in Sheets

Go to this spreadsheet for examples of comments and notes that you can study and use anywhere you would like.

0 thoughts on “Google Sheets – Comment vs Note and how to use them

    • Try the “Open comment history” icon in the upper right-hand corner that looks like a comic book text bubble.

      • Thank you for “open comment history”! Very helpful.

        I wish comments in Sheets were as easy to see as they are in Docs. I get why they aren’t. I just wish that they were :-/

  • Thanks for this article. However, different than your instructions indicate, today I was unable to leave either a comment or a note in your linked spreadsheet. Perhaps since posting on 02014 November 05, you’ve changed access to your spreadsheet for anyone on the internet to just view-only instead of comment-only?

    I tried both while: (a) logged into Google, and also (b) using an Incognito Window in which I was not logged into Google.

    When I tried, I encountered different application responses than those shown in your video. In particular, when I right-clicked a cell in your spreadsheet, I saw only two menu options present in the pop-up menu: “Copy” (which was greyed-out so not a functional option) and “Get link to this cell”.

    Although I think some of the information (“Both comment and note can be selected by right-clicking on the cell…”) in your article is still accurate (based on testing today with my own Google Sheets documents), I believe that your linked spreadsheet has disallowed comment access by anyone on the internet, which is why I’m seeing no “Comment” menu item appear in the pop-up menus in your spreadsheet.

    The open comment history button is also not visible to me in your spreadsheet.

    It was still a very helpful article though.

  • I copy and paste my sheets all the time but I lose my notes or comments on the next page. Is it possible to have the notes or comments passed on to the next sheet so I don’t lose that information?

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