Free Excel Tips and Tricks

Create paragraphs within an Excel cell

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Excel is not really made for writing long reports but it has a number of tools to make text fit better into the row and column structure of a spreadsheet.

To follow along go to 2.1


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The first and most commonly known tool is the wrap text tool. This allows for a sentence as in row 12 below to be compacted within a single cell as per cell A5 by increasing the height of the row. In order to do this you click on the cell, click FORMAT CELLS and choose wrap text from the Alignment tab as shown below.

Writing Paragraphs in Excel

The problem with wrap text is that it chooses where to do the wrapping. Perhaps you want to control exactly where it should drop to the next line (useful if you want to do bullet points).

For this you can use the ALT + ENTER option. Within the cell, place your cursor at the point where it will drop down and click ALT + ENTER. As shown below it will now wrap text at the points you want.

Writing Paragraphs in Excel

In both the cases above, the row height is changed to accommodate the text. The problem is that anything else in that row could look funny. As an alternate, you can also tell Excel to place the extra text in the next cells.

So below, when we highlight the cell with text we also include the next few cells. Then on the Home Tab, click Fill and Justify.

Writing Paragraphs in Excel

Excel will break up the text and only put as many characters in a cell as can be fitted and then move to the next cell. This stops you having to manually go into the cell, cut out some text and paste it below.

Writing Paragraphs in Excel

This fill justify can also work on paragraphs. So below we have typed into a few cells and most of them are going over the column. The manual process to fit this into column A would be very time consuming. All you need to do is highlight the cells plus a few extra, click on Fill, then Justify.

Writing Paragraphs in Excel

Excel will do the cutting and pasting and provide you with the best fit for the text.

Writing Paragraphs in Excel
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