Understanding Text Wrapping

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated February 27, 2014)

As you enter information into the cells of a spreadsheet, it is often the case that whatever you enter will extend beyond the width of the cell. If you are entering a number, Sheets simply cuts off the display of the number at the width of the cell. (The full number is still there, you just can't see the right side of the number—the part that would extend beyond the cell width.)

If you are entering text in a cell, then Sheets automatically wraps the text onto multiple lines to fit within the cell width and, at the same time, adjusts the row height so that all the wrapped lines are visible. In most cases this isn't a big deal, but in some cases it can throw off the layout of your spreadsheet.

You can adjust whether the text is wrapped or not by simply selecting the cell (or range of cells, if you prefer) and clicking the Wrap Text tool on the toolbar. (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Wrap Text tool.

If text wrapping is enabled for a cell (remember that it is enabled by default), then the tool looks "selected." (I would say "depressed" instead of "selected," but you might get the wrong idea about the mental state of the tool.) The tool acts as a toggle—click it repeatedly to turn wrapping off or on for whatever cells you've selected.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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