Wrap Excel Text with Just a Double-Click

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

Q. When I’m entering a long name in an Excel cell, I have to go through all the format steps to wrap the text in the cell and then I have to adjust each line so it wraps properly. It’s not a problem if I just have to adjust a few cells, but often I have to format so many cells it’s a hassle. Is there a shortcut?

A. There is a very easy and fast way, but before I show it to you, I want to describe the handy wrap-text feature for those who are unaware of it.

Let’s say you have a situation in which you want to place lots of text in one cell and you don’t want it to appear on just one long line like this:

Instead, you want the words to wrap around like this:

Here’s how to do it: With your cursor in the cell containing the words you want to wrap, right-click and select Format Cells. Then click on the Alignment tab, which brings up this screen:

Next, just under Text control, click on the Wrap text box and the words in the cell will wrap.

Now for the shortcut: Enter the first line of text you want to appear in the cell and then press Alt+Enter. Notice how the cursor automatically drops down to the next line. Type the text for the second line. You can keep pressing Alt+Enter for each new line and Excel will adjust the cell height to accommodate all the text. After you enter all the text, you may want to adjust the width or length of the cell to improve the appearance of its contents.

SPONSORED REPORT

How the election may affect taxation of business income

This report summarizes recent proposals to reform the U.S. business income tax system and considers the path to enactment of any such legislation.

VIDEO

How to Excel pivot a general ledger

The general ledger is a vast historical data archive of your company's financial activities, including revenue, expenses, adjustments, and account balances. J. Carlton Collins, CPA, shows how to prepare data for, and mine data with, PivotTables.

QUIZ

Did you follow 2016’s biggest accounting news?

CPAs will remember 2016 as a year of new standards and new faces. How well did you follow the biggest accounting events? The 7 questions in this quiz will help you find out