Several reasons exist why the text does not wrap in Excel. Sometimes it’s just a display issue, and all you have to do is click inside the cell to see the whole chunk of text. But sometimes the text does not wrap because there’s a formatting problem that needs to be fixed.
Here are the reasons why text will not wrap in Excel, along with the solutions to these common problems.
Excel Wrap Text Does Not Wrap Because It’s No Longer Inside a Cell
Sometimes what looks like a cell is not really a cell. For example, if you’re typing and make a mistake, then you drag and drop the cell to fix the error, this can cause your text to become unformatted and un-wrapped. So, to fix this problem, you have to put the text back inside a cell that is appropriately formatted.
To do this:
- A range of cells can be applied to functions and formulas. In Excel 2007 and later, you can select which cells you want to apply functions and formulas to be applied.
- Right-click a cell and select Format Cells.
- In the dialog box, on the Alignment tab, choose Wrap Text. Click OK.
Excel Wrap Text Does Not Work Because It’s Not In a Table Cell
If you have text that is no longer inside a cell that is formatted as a table cell, then there are two things you can do to fix it: Add the text to an existing table cell or create a new table column and then add your text there.
To add your text to a table cell:
Follow the same steps above.
To create a new table column:
- Select the range where your text appears, and click on the Insert tab.
- In the Table group, click on Table.
- Choose Column from the Add drop-down list when inserting a table. Then click OK. The new column should now be visible on your worksheet.
- Click OK in each of the other dialog boxes when they pop up.
How to Wrap Text in Excel
If you have merged cells in your document, then this may not work the way you want. To fix this:
Select the range where all of your merged cells are and click on the Insert tab. In the Table group, click on Table and select Column from the Add drop-down list. Then click OK. The range of merged cells should now be sliced apart. Select the top left cell and press Ctrl + A to select all of your text in that cell. Click on the Insert tab again and in the Table group, click on Table. In the Insert Table dialog box, choose Column from the list. Then click OK.
You may not be able to wrap text in Excel for different reasons. Here are some of the most common ones that I’ve come across:
Cell references don’t exist. A new cell needs to be created before any text wraps in Excel. In fact, it doesn’t matter if you have a formula or function on the right side of any cell, it has to exist first before it will work.
A new cell needs to be created before any text wraps in Excel. In fact, it doesn’t matter if you have a formula or function on the right side of any cell, it has to exist first before it will work. Cells in this range do not contain any text. Sometimes, what happens is that you’ve typed something into a cell and then pressed Ctrl + Enter or Ctrl + Shift + Enter to move your cursor somewhere else in the same cell.
Now, you’ve deleted the text you typed in, but the cursor is still there and it’s trying to wrap text around your cursor. To fix this problem: Go back to that cell and press Ctrl + Shift + Enter again. This will delete all of the formatting for that particular text paragraph.
There are spaces after each line. Excel will not wrap text if there is a space at the end of each line, no matter what you do. You may need to press Ctrl + Shift + Enter to remove the space at the end of each line and then try again.
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Excel 365 has a built-in feature that allows you to wrap text. To do this, you need to follow these steps:
First, create or open a workbook with a table or group of cells that contain text. Make sure that your cell references for the wrap text are accurate, otherwise, it may not work. Then on the Home tab, select the Number group and click on the AutoFormat button. In the AutoFormat dialog box, choose Wrap Text in the drop-down list and then click OK.
If you want to clear all of your previously applied formattings, then you can select the cell or cells where you want to apply wrap text and go back to the Home tab > Number group > Wrap Text. Next, click on Automatic, and then click on the Manual radio button if you want full manual control over it instead of automatic wrapping. Then click OK.
The Excel wrap text tool is not an easy one to use. It’s been causing a lot of problems and many people have been unable to wrap text in Excel, which unfortunately makes it harder for them to prepare professional-looking reports.
Fortunately, it isn’t impossible. As long as you’re willing to put in a little work and practice, you’ll soon be able to use the wrap text tool to create professional reports.
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