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Expanding the height of Excel cells

by Smoyhud / March 2, 2008 7:46 AM PST

How do I change the settings in my Excel document so that, as the text in a cell wraps... my cell's height automatically adjusts to fit all text being typed into it?

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I think this works...
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / March 2, 2008 4:45 PM PST

Right click the cell and select Format Cells. Click the Alignment tab, then select "Wrap text".

That will keep the text within the cell itself instead of overflowing to the next cell(s) to the right. The drawback with Excel of course is that the whole row expands, and not just that cell.

If you don't want the whole row to expand in height you will need to Merge two or more cells vertically.

I hope that helps.


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Wrapping text doesn't fix the problem
by Smoyhud / March 7, 2008 8:41 AM PST
In reply to: I think this works...

Adjusting the cell to wrap text doesn't cause the cell to automatically readjust its width as the rows increase. It only causes the cell to wrap the text within that one cell, rather than spill over into the next cell. There HAS to be a way to make the cell's width automatically readjust as the text wraps within a cell. I've seen it work on other computers before. There's just something wrong with the settings on this one.

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Width wasn't the problem
by MarkFlax Forum moderator / March 7, 2008 6:28 PM PST

In your first post you asked about cell height, not cell width.

To be honest I am not sure I understand your needs. In your first post you said, "How do I change the settings in my Excel document so that, as the text in a cell wraps... my cell's height automatically adjusts to fit all text being typed into it?"

That is what Wrapping Text does.

Now you say you want the cell width to adjust. Adjust how? If you want text to spill over into the next cell, (along, not down), then take out Wrap Text, and any text you type will overflow into the next cell along. The problem with this is, if you then type anything into that next cell along, some of the text from the first cell will disappear. So you have to position your text/formulae/figures accordingly.

I feel I may be missing something here.


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Auto cell adjustment setting
by MEYETECH / March 31, 2013 11:24 PM PDT

What the writer is looking for is the cell to auto adjust when typing. Initially, when setting up the sheet, if the writer selects FORMAT, WRAP TEXT, the cell will auto adjust. HOWEVER,

if the writer decides that the page/sheet lines are in the 500's, like I did, I went to the top of the sheet, and pulled the column adjustment handle.

The cells will not adjust to that movement. Instead the page cells remain the same size - the content will stretch but the cells will have white space. The writer must physically adjust the length of each line. Every time Microsoft creates a new platform, they mess up what once worked like LOTUS.

One Lotus setting will auto adjust the cells so that there is no white space. Lotus FORMAT will auto adjust the cells no matter how many changes we make to a cell just by making changes to OPTIONS. MS EXCEL leaves its users out in the cold. SAY I WANT TO ADD DATA TO A CELL. Lotus will accommodate that additon without me having to PULL THE CELL HANDLE in any direction to adjust the cell. True, the lines across the page will also have the same height.

True, we can use "shrink to fit" which is located directly under "wrap text" in FORMAT. which reduces the size of the font to illegible.

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Wrap text doesn't fix it
by Smoyhud / March 7, 2008 8:47 AM PST
In reply to: I think this works...

Also... instead of the width of the cell automatically increasing, the text within that cell that wraps to the next line... just is hidden from view when it gets too far down.

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Excel cell auto fit to contents.....
by Papa Echo / March 7, 2008 10:11 AM PST

... the auto-fit to contents feature is available for Excel 2003 and Excel 2007. As usual for things of this nature, go to format cells (or height or column or width of column) and find the auto fit feature, then choose it. The whole column or row expands. You will probably need VBA codes for an individual cell, or manually merge the cells, both methods of which would expand the cell into the next row or column, a situation which may not be wanted.) Do put the correct key words unto Google to find more...

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Figured it out
by arobertsonca / May 22, 2008 3:53 AM PDT

Select the rows you want to auto-adjust to the text you enter then goto (in Office 2003): Format -> Row -> AutoFit (click).
This will make the rows expand when text is entered below what the current row height will show. The drawback is that the rows will autosize to whatever text you currently have in them and you can't set a standard row height for each row without losing the AutoFit functionality.

Hope this helps, I was having the same problem.


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Make the cell height auto adjust "automatically"
by elsoG / August 18, 2008 1:21 PM PDT
In reply to: Figured it out


I would like to jump into this thread about the auto adjust thing. I do understand the format>auto adjust height, but is there a way and if so how, to make the cell adjust automatically as text is entered and wrapped? General scope of why:
To start, I am not overly familiar with Excel as I have never used it too much, but I have this "should be" simple project where the users are even less familiar then I am with Excel. I have created a single "master" workbook where the user will enter data. Then I have a few other workbooks which update using the data enter in the "master". I want to protect these other workbooks so they are a "read-only". Obstacle is, one of the protected workbooks needs to be able to automatically adjust row height (both increase and decrease) to fit the number of line of text it receives from the "master". This specific workbook (the one I need to automatically adjust) is more of a presentation page then a spreadsheet format. So with that, I have tried to figure out how to bring the cell data into MSWord as an alternative, but I haven?t figured out how to do this either. This presentation page could be either in Excel or Word (doesn?t matter) I just need to find a method to meet my objective. In either case it must adjust automatically with NO user interaction (except that of entering data in the master.xls. I am using Office 2007 to create these files, but once done they need to function with an earlier version of Excel/Word. I think the version is 2003 where these files will be going to (but not 100% sure at the moment)

Any assistance in making this happen will be greatly appreciated.

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Wrap Text Does NOT Expand cell/row
by ElleGee777 / October 8, 2010 2:06 AM PDT

Smoy.. I know exactly what you're asking. I have the same issue.. sometimes. It's not the computer. I haven't got it figured out entirely yet, but it seems that the rows automatically expand when text goes beyond the width of the cell upon opening a new spreadsheet (if wrap text is selected). However, it APPEARS that this feature is disabled once a row height is manually changed. It's such a pain and I've NOOOOOOOO idea how to stop the madness. I just end up manually adjusting the rows myself. PAIN!

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complete madness
by freedda / November 3, 2010 5:07 AM PDT

Yes, I just got a spread sheet and I needed to enlarge the font so I could read it. The text then did not fit within many of the cells, but auto-fit feature did not fix it. In fact, some of the cells seemed locked when I went to manually make them longer to fit my text. Someone in my office more familar with Excel was baffeled by this also.

I have not figured out a way of making the text large enought to read and expand the cells to fit text -- seems like a malfunction of Excel 2007 that needs fixing.

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Wrapped text disappearing after manual cell adjust
by BKNY_Rose / August 29, 2011 4:16 AM PDT

I just found a fix by accident (absolute novice with excel), because doing adjustments to cell height myself, or to font or font size, created the same issue. Find the diagonal arrow (below the column header, and directly to the right of the first row. Click that to select the whole spreadsheet. Set wrap text. Voila! Happy I love accidental finds!

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Expanding the height of Excel cells
by excellgeek / January 31, 2011 4:32 AM PST

You've probably already figured it out since you posted months ago, but I just ran into the same problem and figured out why it auto-adjusts sometimes and doesn't auto adjust others.

If your cell is set to wrap, it auto-adjusts the height of the cell if the cell is NOT merged. Once you merge the cell, it won't auto-adjust. Hope that helps if you hadn't figured it out yet Happy

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Row auto fit height
by ManzoMJD / March 24, 2011 3:58 AM PDT

I cannot seem to get the auto fit row height function to work correctly. Often it goes to just one line when I try to use the auto fit feature in Excel 2007. Does anyone else have this problem? More importantly, does anyone have a solution?

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Incredible ignorance of customer needs
by keglined / April 4, 2011 11:20 AM PDT

I know there's a way to do this. I probably need the automatic height adjustment deal twice a year. Each time I need it, I stupidly try to find the feature (it's anything but obvious), and end up on the internet struggling to remember how.

The elephant in the room is this: not only has Microsoft made a relatively common function virtually invisible; they apparently don't care.

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Row auto fit height
by bassoonatic / May 23, 2011 9:05 AM PDT

In Excel 2003, I discovered that "Auto-Fit" will not work properly if there are any merged cells in the spreadsheet. Also, if you have merged cells and un-merge them, it still won't work properly. So, what I did was to un-merge the cells in the entire spreadsheet, copy the cells from this spreadsheet to a new blank spreadsheet. The "Auto-Fit" will then work the way it should. Good Luck.

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Expanding the height of Excel cells
by Comms2 / July 27, 2011 3:23 PM PDT

Bliss! I have found how to do this! (OK, my sad life, but that's another story):

In Excel 2007, Home tab, look for the Cells group (towards the right on my screen), Format, AutoFit Row Height.

If you highlight the whole spreadsheet first (top left corner of spreadsheet), or Ctrl A, you only need to do it once.


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automatic cell height expansion wrt entered text
by arthurWL / September 29, 2013 2:23 AM PDT

Comms2's suggestion worked for me (have Microsoft for Max-2011). Though in this software one clicks the HOME tab, then look to the right for "Cells" heading, then select 'Format' and choose "AutoFit row height." Interesting to note that one can not do this simply by clicking "Format" from the top window bar (File, Edit View, Insert, Format... and "cells'... "alignment" etc, as it only gives you the "wrap text" option (and not the autofit option). Note, this solves the problem of the cell height not staying expanded to fit the text, once one leaves the cell.

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(NT) Bless you. This works great in Office 2010 as well.
by gsbrown4 / September 19, 2016 2:09 PM PDT
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expanding the hegith of excel cells 2003
by butte56 / December 1, 2011 12:07 AM PST

There are two things you must do. In the upper left hand corner of the spreadsheet, click to select the entire worksheet. Then right click and select "format cells" and "alignment". Check the box that says "wrap text"
then click ok. This will wrap the text in the entire worksheet.

Note: This will not work if the format on the cell is anything but GENERAL for type under format. If you select text as the type it will not wrap and will show you the famous ## signs.

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Finally an answer that works!
by doconnor7 / February 4, 2012 7:01 PM PST

Thanks for that answer! I had it set to text and not the General, so now the auto adjust height works for the whole spreadsheet and the ######### are now gone.

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Auto-fit text, merged cells in Excel to expand and print
by CreateArt / October 22, 2014 6:54 AM PDT

I've read a variety of fixes to this problem. My spreadsheet will still not allow the user to type and 'fit' as much text as possible. We are converting this to a PDF and emailing the spreadsheet. I can set the row height, but the shrink to fit font size will not print. Any suggestions?

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