Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Adjusting Row Height for Your Text.

Adjusting Row Height for Your Text

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated May 2, 2015)

5

It is fairly easy to put more text in a cell than can be readily displayed. While you can widen the column to fit your text, sometimes this is not a good (or viable) option. Instead, you can wrap the text within the cell, so that the cell height is increased to display all the text. Follow these steps:

  1. Select the cells whose formatting you want to affect.
  2. Choose Cells from the Format menu. Excel displays the Format Cells dialog box.
  3. Click on the Alignment tab. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Alignment tab of the Format Cells dialog box.

  5. Make sure the Wrap Text check box is selected.
  6. Click on OK.

It is important to remember that your row height will only increase automatically if you haven't explicitly specified the row height. If the height doesn't expand to fit the contents of the cell, follow these steps, after doing the previous steps:

  1. Select the row.
  2. Choose Row from the Format menu. Excel displays a submenu.
  3. Choose AutoFit from the submenu.

The text should now be wrapped within the cell and all visible.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3187) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Adjusting Row Height for Your Text.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Fonts in WordArt

Want to make sure that people can view your WordArt as you intended? Then you'll want to make sure that you follow these font ...

Discover More

Differences in Behavior of Links

Got some active links in your document? Do you want to have them activated when you click on them, or do you want to require ...

Discover More

Unhiding Columns that are Persistently Hidden

If you were trying to format a worksheet and nothing you did could make the first two columns appear, would you be ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Setting Cell Width and Height Using the Keyboard

Hate to take your hands off the keyboard? Here are a couple of ways you can reject the mouse and still adjust the height and ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Leading Zeros in a Number Format

Excel, by default, displays numbers with a leading zero, if they are less than 1. Here's how you can get rid of those leading ...

Discover More

Shortcut to Merge Cells

Need to merge a bunch of cells together on a regular basis? You'll love the two macros in this tip which can make short work ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 9 - 2?

2015-10-02 11:01:21

Sally Larkham

Ah - addendum to previous - just found out how to fix #### problem! Still, though, left with problem of getting text to fit.


2015-10-02 10:54:18

Sally Larkham

I've tried the tips above but to no avail: some larger text areas in my 2003 apreadsheet, though wrap is on and the cells are defined as text, either do not display in their entirety (text chopped off at bottom and right of cell); or in some cases only display as "##########", though defined as text. Have tried manually adjusting borders too, but this doesn't seem to fix either problem. Now at wit's end, with a deadline looming!


2015-05-09 05:52:06

Norman Ouwerkerk

Most times it doesn't happen. But if you get the amount of text exactly right (or wrong, depending on your point of view), Excel will add the extra vertical whitespace.


2015-05-08 21:17:12

Ford Bailey

I am not sure why but this did not work for me.


2015-05-02 07:56:30

Norman Ouwerkerk

When using this technique, Excel sometimes adds an additional line of whitespace. This happens when you Tab or Enter to a next cell and the text in the cell happens to be almost as wide as the cell itself. Deleting the last one or two characters makes the extra whitespace line go away. If you use alt+Enter to start a new line within the cell and a following line is also almost as wide as the cell - you can copy paste to simulate this - multiple whitespace lines are added by Excel.
How can you avoid the unwanted extra whitespace lines?


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.