Multiple rows of text

From the Not Just Numbers blog:

Just a quick post this week.

Excel is great at handling numbers and text data fields, but what about when you need to wax lyrical and enter and hold larger sections of text.

In the data behind an invoice spreadsheet, for example, we might want to be able to enter significantly more text in the description column than anywhere else.

There are a couple of little tips worth knowing when entering larger chunks of text like this, and I thought I’d share these with you.

First of all, it’s worth knowing how much text you can enter in one cell. Excel is restricted to 32,767 in a cell, which should be more than you need for most practical purposes. So how do we make the most of this?

Wrap text
The first feature worth knowing about is “Wrap text”. This is a tick box accessed on the Alignment Tab when you select Format Cells (accessible (among other ways) by right-clicking on the cell and choosing Format Cells).

When this box is ticked, the text in the cell “wraps” similar to a word processor, i.e. when a word will not fit onto a line, it moves onto the next line.

The row height also flexes to fit the multiple rows of text.

Alt + Enter
Less people seem to know about this one (as is usually the case with features that are not selected from a menu). While typing within a cell, pressing Enter will finish editing that cell and move onto the next one. However, pressing Alt+Enter stays in the same cell but moves onto the next line (again like a word processor). This is great for typing a list in one cell, or entering data in paragraphs.

Once again, the row height flexes to fit the multiple rows of text.

That’s it for this week, now you can go off and write a  novel in Excel!

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