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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Printing Web Discussions

If you are using the Web discussions feature built into some versions of Excel, you may want to print out a discussion at ...

Discover More

Confirming File Conversions

Open a file that isn't a Word document and Word will still try to convert it to a Word document. If you want Word to let you ...

Discover More

Inserting Dashes between Letters and Numbers

If you need to add dashes between letters and numbers in a string, the work can quickly get tedious. This tip examines some ...

Discover More
More DriveTips

Controlling Display of the Formula Bar

The formula bar is where you can see exactly what is stored in a spreadsheet cell. If you would rather hide the formula bar, ...

Discover More

Adjusting Border Color

Want to make a particular cell or range of cells stand out? One way to do it is by changing the border color of the cells, as ...

Discover More

Keeping Row and Column Headings in Sight

When you create a spreadsheet, it is common to place headings at the top of each column and the left of each row so you can ...

Discover More
Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is six less than 6?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)