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MS Excel Wrapping In A Single Cell

Tuesday, November 16th, 2004 by | Filed Under: MS Excel

MS Excel Wrapping In A Single Cell

We’ve all had them. They’re everywhere. They’re impossible to kill and hard to shrink. What am I talking about? (Sometimes I wonder about that myself.)

I’m talking about those column or row titles in Excel that are so long they’re awkward.

If you stretch the column width to accommodate the whole title, then the two-digit number looks ridiculous in the 3-inch wide column.

If you try to shorten the words, then the title becomes meaningless.

You could try to separate the words and place them stacked in two cells in two different rows. But that can be a pain too.

What’s the solution?

Why word wrapping, of course.

Wrapping in Excel means to wrap your text within a single cell. Basically the height of the row is stretched to keep your text in one cell without increasing its width. (You’re still free to stretch column width, but it doesn’t have to get ridiculous.)

To word wrap in a single cell simply use Alt + Enter at a point in your data where it looks as though the words should be wrapped. (Don’t worry about getting the placement of the break exactly right. Now, at the end of your data, when you hit the Enter key you’ll find that Excel adjusts all the text to fit within the cell width.)

With the simple addition of the Alt key Excel will apply word wrap formatting to only a single cell.

I know, I know… I can hear you already.

What do you do when you have more than a single cell that needs the word wrap formatting?

Never fear—there’s a pretty quick and easy way to do that too.

Read on to find out the details.

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