- Microsoft Excel is a valuable tool but can be challenging to learn.
- Text wrapping in Excel helps organize data and make it easier to read.
- To wrap text in Excel, select the cell and click the ‘Wrap Text’ button.
- You can wrap non-consecutive text in multiple cells by selecting the cells and clicking ‘Wrap Text’.
- If the Wrap Text button is greyed out, click another cell and then click the target cell again.
- Other neat Excel text tricks include ‘Shrink to Fit’ and ‘Merge and Center’.
Microsoft Excel is one of the most valuable tools on computers today. However, it’s also substantially challenging to learn even basic tasks. Fortunately, learning to wrap text in Excel only takes a couple of steps!
Excel doesn’t have to be intimidating. The interface closely aligns with Microsoft Word, which most of us already know. The issue for a lot of users is that they aren’t sure where to find certain buttons or they aren’t sure what the buttons represent. Others struggle to understand rules and functions.
However, organizing data and making it easy to digest is a great way to learn the basics. The task doesn’t require any special formulas or workarounds. You can wrap text with one click of a button. Follow the steps below to get it done!
What Is Text Wrapping in Excel?
If you need a little more help understanding the concept of wrapping text in Excel, this section is for you. Fortunately, the concept is simple. Standard cells only have so much room. If you paste or type too many characters, the data will run into other cells.
Excel still reads the data as only being in that single cell, but it doesn’t look very appealing and can cause issues with your spreadsheet. The wrap text feature fixes a lot of these issues. It turns one data string into paragraphs and expands the row to fit better.
You can do this for one data set or the entire sheet. You can also make the rows and columns larger or change the font size to avoid wrapping the text. Moreover, you can use features like Shrink to Fit (explained in more detail below) to clean up your spreadsheets.
How to Wrap Text in Excel
Everyone likes a crisp and clean-looking spreadsheet. So, what can you do when you have one stray cell where you can’t see the entire text? You can quickly condense the words to fit a cell when you do this:
Step 1: Select the Cell
We’ll just assume you’ve already typed the text. However, if you haven’t, go ahead and do that. Then, click a blank cell. Finally, select the ill-fitting cell again so it highlights.
Step 2: Click Wrap Text
Ensure the Home tab is selected at the top of Excel. Select Wrap Text in the menu at the top. This option is located near the middle of the menu.
Excel will fit the text in the cell automatically. However, sometimes, it still doesn’t fit properly. Hover over the intersecting points between the two columns (the target column and the one on the right), and drag it until it does.
Note: Drag your cursor over all misaligned cells if they are in consecutive order.
How to Wrap Non-Consecutive Text in Multiple Cells in Excel
So, what are you to do if you have multiple stray cells with overlapping text? We taught you to wrap the text in the section above. Now, we’ll teach you how to select multiple cells that aren’t in consecutive order.
Step 1: Click the First Cell
Start the process by clicking the first cell.
Step 2: Press the Ctrl or Command Key
Hold the ctrl key on Windows or the command key on a Mac.
Step 3: Select the Remaining Cells
While holding the corresponding key on your keyboard, select the remaining cells.
Step 4: Click Wrap Text
After highlighting the cells, click Wrap Text.
Each cell will transform, and the data will fit. If you see a stray cell where the data still doesn’t fit properly, click the intersecting point at the top of the column and drag it to the right.
What to Do When Wrap Text Icon Is Greyed Out
One of Excel’s most frustrating features is that the text and icons will grey out, rendering them inoperable. As someone who often runs into this challenging situation, I have found it’s easily rectified with a couple of simple steps.
When the Wrap Text button is grey and not working, you can do the following:
Step 1: Click Another Cell
The Wrap Text button greys out when you’re still making changes to a cell. We need to tell Excel that we’re finished inputting data. Click another cell in the spreadsheet to do that.
Step 2: Click the Target Cell
After clicking another cell, click the one where you must wrap the text again. The Wrap Text button isn’t grey anymore, and you can finish working.
Other Neat Excel Text Tricks
A visually appealing Excel spreadsheet is incredibly satisfying. All of your data should be easy to understand and fit well. If, for any reason, wrapping the text still doesn’t look great, you can take advantage of other features. Here are some of the other options you can try.
Shrink to Fit
Let’s say you’re pasting data from somewhere else in your spreadsheet, and the font is larger than the cells. The text will not fit inside the cell so it will overlap the ones around it. You can manually change the font size to fit, wrap the text, enlarge the column, or shrink the text so it fits in the cell.
You can find this option in the same menu as the Wrap Text button. Select the arrow to the right of Wrap Text and select Shrink to Fit. However, remember that this feature can make the text so small it’s impossible to read. If that happens, increase the column size until it’s legible.
Merge and Center
If you don’t want to increase the size of an entire row or column, you can merge and center multiple cells. This makes things more visually appealing and lets you add multiple data sets to one heading. For example, say you’re working on a budget. You can merge and center multiple cells in column A for bills, groceries, and gas.
You still have multiple rows on columns B, C, D, etc. This makes it easier to categorize expenses and other data types. Moreover, this feature can enlarge a cell with overlapping text while leaving the rest alone. This is an excellent alternative if you don’t like the look of your spreadsheet with wrapped text because it expands all of the cells in the row.
Highlight the target cell (the one with the data) and drag your cursor over the other cells you’d like to incorporate. Then, click Merge and Center in the menu at the top (under Wrap Text). Your cells will merge, and the contents will center itself within them.
Wrapping text in Excel is one of the simplest tasks. You don’t have to deal with complicated functions. Just select the cells you want to wrap and click a button! Of course, if that still doesn’t look great, you can expand the columns and rows or try one of the other features outlined above.
The image featured at the top of this post is ©Kaspars Grinvalds/Shutterstock.com.