Microsoft Excel How-to: Wrapping Text Within a Cell

content logoThis one comes up all the time. You have data in a cell in Excel, and you want to get it to wrap to another line within that same cell. You're tempted to hit [Enter], just the same as you would if you were using Word or some other text editor. The only problem is that doing that will just take you to the next cell. Instead, you can place a hard return within a cell by holding down [Alt] key, and then pressing the [Enter] key. This will force a new line within that cell.

In the following example I've entered a first and last name, and have started to enter in an address. In this particular case I want the rest of the address to wrap to another line in the same cell:


excel text wrap 01


To do that all I'm going to do is to hold down the [Alt] key, then hit [Enter]. I can see that the text has wrapped to a new line in the formula bar:


excel text wrap 02


Now when I move the focus to another cell I can see that the text has wrapped inside the cell. If the spreadsheet is set up with the standard formatting the height of the row will automatically adjust so that I can see all of the data:


excel text wrap 03


A handy little trick that will come in handy many times as you go about your daily work.