"How To Excel" Mini-Tutorials
by TheExcelAddict.com
"Helping Average Excel Users Become Local Spreadsheet Experts"

How To Display Text In A Cell On Multiple Lines

Did you know you can create a line break within a cell to give you multiple-line headings in the same cell?

Sometimes the text for your column heading is wider than the data in the column. For example, a column heading called Monthly Expenses would require a much wider column than the numeric data below it, resulting in a lot of wasted space.

Rather than having a column that is too wide just to accommodate your heading, you can split your heading into multiple lines within a single cell.

There are two ways to do it. Here's one option:

  1. Select the cell where you want the label or heading to appear;
  2. Type the first line of information;
  3. Press ALT+ENTER;
  4. Type the second line;
  5. Repeat step 3 if you have additional lines to enter.
Using the above method, Excel will automatically wrap the text and adjust the row height for each cell in which you use ALT+ENTER.

Another way to wrap text in a cell, is to format the cells so that Excel will automatically wrap them based on the column width.

Here's how:

  1. Select the cells that you would like to apply a Wrapped Text format to;
  2. From the Format menu select Cells and then click the Alignment tab;
  3. Put a check mark in the Wrap Text option and click OK.
Now whenever you enter text in any of these cells that is too wide to fit in the column, Excel will automatically wrap the text to a new line based on the column width and adjust the row height.

The advantage of the first method is that you can force the line break wherever you want. The advantage of the second method is that you don't have to use ALT+ENTER. You can have the best of both worlds by using the second method and then, in cells where the text doesn't break where you want, you can use ALT+ENTER.

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Copyright 2003 All Rights Reserved by Francis Hayes (The Excel Addict)

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