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

Automatically Inserting Tomorrow's Date

Do you routinely need to work with tomorrow's date? Why not create a template that automatically adds tomorrow's date to ...

Discover More

Changing Excel's Starting Date

When keeping track of dates, internally, Excel uses special date serial numbers that are based upon a specific day in the ...

Discover More

Assigning a Picture to a Folder

Windows allows you to customize many aspects of its user interface. One thing you can modify is how a folder's icon ...

Discover More
More DriveTips

Determining the Day of the Week

Need to know what the day of the week is? Sheets provides a handy function that can return a numeric value that ...

Discover More

Adding a Comment to a Cell

Comments can help document what is going on in a spreadsheet. Here's how to easily add comments to individual cells.

Discover More

Renaming a Spreadsheet

Need to change the name of an existing spreadsheet? There are two ways you can do it, using either Sheets or Drive.

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. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. 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 6 - 4?

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