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. ...

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What is 4 + 3?

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?


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