How to Insert Excel Tooltip on Hover (3 Examples)

This Excel article will discuss how to insert an Excel tooltip when you hover over a cell. Tooltips can become very important as they provide additional information about the cell. Tooltips remain hidden from the view and only appear when the mouse cursor is over a cell.

A tooltip typically displays a short description or explanation of the element’s purpose. Tooltips are important when sharing files with others as these allow users to understand more about the data in cells.

We cannot add tooltips directly in Excel. But we can use other methods including adding comments, using data validation, and Excel VBA to add tooltips on hover.

The below screenshot depicts the Excel tooltip on hover.

Overview of excel tooltip on hover

Use of Excel Tooltip

We can use the tooltip for various purposes in Excel. The most common usage is described below.

  • Input Data: We can use tooltips to provide instructions on how to enter data into a cell. This is particularly helpful for the times when we share our worksheets with others.
  • Explain Data: Tooltips serve as a valuable tool for providing explanations of data in a cell. This can be helpful for users who need to understand the context of the data.
  • Display Formula: Tooltips for formulas in Excel show the formula itself along with its results to users. This feature is beneficial for understanding how a formula functions and allows users to view the formula’s output without manually entering it.
  • Data validation: When you have applied data validation to a cell with specific criteria, you can utilize tooltips to explain which values are permitted. This feature aids users in understanding the allowable data and assists them in entering the appropriate information within the cell.

How to Add an Excel Tooltip on Mouse Hover: 3 Practical Examples

Although we cannot directly add a tooltip in Excel, we can get around this shortcoming by adding a tooltip using different features in Excel.

1. Using Comments from Insert Tab

The easiest method to add an Excel tooltip on hover is by utilizing Comments under the Insert tab. This is the most commonly used tooltip-inserting technique in Excel and can easily be understood by a wide range of users.

  • Select the cell where you want to add the tooltip and go to Insert tab > Comments.
  • Click on Comment to add a comment to the selected cell.

go to insert tab to insert comment

  • This will bring out a popup right next to the cell.
  • Insert the message you want to display and press Ctrl + Enter to post the comment or click on the send button at the bottom to post the comment.

type comment and post

  • Moving the mouse cursor over the cell will display the tooltip.

Move cursor over cell to view Excel tooltip on hover

2. Adding Tooltip from Data Validation

We can also add a tooltip from Data Validation easily. This method requires more steps than the previous method.

  • Select the cell where you want to add the tooltip and go to the Data tab > Data Tools > Data Validation.

go to data tab to add Excel tooltip on hover using data validation

  • This will bring out the Data Validation Go to the Input Message tab.
  • Check the Show input message when cell is selected box.
  • You can even add a title for the message.
  • Insert the message and click on OK. The tooltip is added.

Input message to add tooltip using data validation

  • Click on the cell to view the tooltip.

click cell to view Excel tooltip

3. Using Excel VBA to Add Tooltip

Another, more advanced, method of adding a tooltip is by using Excel VBA. To add a tooltip using VBA, follow the steps shown below.

  • Go to the Developer tab > Visual Basic.

go to developer tab and then visual basic

  • Insert a new module by going to Insert > Module.

Insert a new module

  • Insert the following code into the module.
Sub Text()
Dim x As Range
 For Each x In Range("B5:B9")
    With x.Validation
        .Add Type:=xlValidateInputOnly, AlertStyle:=xlValidAlertStop, _
        .IgnoreBlank = True
        .InCellDropdown = True
        .InputMessage = "Check Name Properly"
        .ShowError = True
    End With
Next x
End Sub

Insert code to add Excel tooltip on hover using VBA

In the above code, change the value of Range according to where you want to add your tooltip.
  • Run the code to add the tooltip to the desired cell.

Run code to add Excel tooltip on hover using VBA code

Things to Remember

  • Try to keep the tooltip text brief and clear.
  • Check that the tooltips are working properly.
  • Tooltips can contain up to 255 characters.
  • Tooltips are hidden by default in Excel. You can show them by enabling the Show ToolTips option in the Excel Options dialog box.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can I add an Excel tooltip on hover automatically?

A: Unfortunately, Excel does not allow us to add a tooltip automatically. However, we can still add them using other features such as Comment, VBA, etc.

2. What type of data can I display in tooltips?

A: You can display different types of data in a tooltip including texts, hyperlinks, formulas, values, dates, etc.

3. Do tooltips work with merged cells?

A: Yes, tooltips work with merged cells. The tooltip will appear when hovering over any part of the merged cell range.

Download Practice Workbook

Download this practice workbook for practice while you are reading this article.


This article discusses all the possible ways you can add an Excel tooltip on hover. Read the methods carefully to understand them fully. Feel free to comment your suggestions in the comment box.

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Maruf Niaz
Maruf Niaz

Md. Maruf Niaz, BSc, Textile Engineering, Bangladesh University of Textiles, has worked with the ExcelDemy project for 11 months. He works as an Excel and VBA Content Developer who provides easy solutions to Excel-related problems and regularly writes fantastic content articles. He has published almost 20 articles in ExcelDemy. As an Excel & VBA Content Developer for ExcelDemy, he offers solutions to complex issues. He demonstrates an enthusiastic mindset and adeptness in managing critical situations with finesse, showcasing... Read Full Bio

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