How to Wrap Text in Excel

Excel sheet

Microsoft Excel’s Wrap Text feature can wrap text so it appears on multiple lines in a cell, even if it overflows the cell boundary.

When you enter a text string in Excel, sometimes it exceeds the width of the cell, and the text overflows to an adjacent cell/cells. When that happens, you can’t see the value on the adjacent cells unless you click on it, and overflowing text would disappear and you will only see the text that can fit the cell’s column width.

To rectify that, Microsoft Excel gives you the Wrap Text feature that wraps text so it appears on multiple lines in a cell, even if it overflows the cell boundary.

How to Wrap Text Automatically in Excel

When you use Wrap Text feature, it will wrap text automatically to fit inside the cell.

For example, when you input a long text string in cell A1 (example below), this is how it will look like.

Or if you input values in the adjacent cells, it will look as it is shown in the following example.

To wrap text automatically, select cell A1 (where the text string is located) go to the ‘Home’ and click the ‘Wrap Text’ icon in the Alignment group.

Now, the text string is wrapped automatically and fit into cell’s width.

Wrap Text Automatically with Format Dialog box

You can also wrap the text string automatically with Format Alignment dialog box. 

To do that, select the cell and go to the ‘Home’ tab. In the Alignment group, click on the small ’tilted arrow in a box’ icon at the bottom right of the group to launch the ‘Alignment Settings’ dialog box.

In the Format Cells dialog box, select the ‘Alignment’ tab and uncheck ‘Wrap text’ under the Text Control, and click ‘OK’.

Now, the text is wrapped automatically.


How to Wrap Text with Manual Line Break in Excel

Sometimes you may want to start a new line at a specific location rather than have the text wrap automatically. To insert a manual line break, place the cursor where you want to break the line and press the ALT + ENTER key combination on the keyboard.

But even if you insert a manual line break, excel will wrap the text automatically. However, the line breaks entered manually will stick in place when the column and height of the cell are adjusted.

If text wrapping does not work as expected, you can use the double-headed arrow to adjust/resize the height and width of the cell and the text will fit inside the cell as you wanted.

Or you can change the column width and row height using the ‘Format’ feature. To do that, go to the Home tab → Cells group, and click Format.  

In the Format menu, click on the ‘Row Height’ or ‘Column Width’ and change the value accordingly.

Now, you can wrap any text, no matter how long and it will appear on multiple lines in a cell.