What Is Wrap Text in Excel (Every Detail)

Wrap Text is a term used in Microsoft Excel and other spreadsheet programs to express the feature of displaying values within the cells, even if the boundary of it doesn’t allow it. In simpler terms, what wrap text does is break down a long text into multiple lines, to avoid overflowing.

Excel spreadsheets have a limited cell height and width. If there is unwrapped text that takes up more space than what can be shown on the cell, the cell’s display can be a bit messy.


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You can download the notebook used here to demonstrate and try practicing yourself.


Examples of Wrap Text in Excel

Let’s take two text values larger than what an average Excel cell can contain. It shows something like this.

The text in cell B4 isn’t displaying completely and text in cell C4 is spilling out. Here is what it looks like if you use the Wrap Text feature.

what is wrap text in excel

The texts are now contained within a cell and it looks clearer and easier to read.


How to Wrap a Text in Excel

Now, how do you even wrap a text? Excel provides some options for that. You can also create wrapped text manually or make a cell width larger to fit text within cells. For demonstration, Let’s take a dataset and apply each method to it.

I have selected the following dataset to illustrate the steps.

You can see in cell D4 and in the range of cells C4:C8 the texts aren’t wrapped and aren’t displaying the full value.


1. Using Wrap Text Option in Excel

Wrap Text from the ribbon is one way to wrap up all the texts in a set of cells. Simply follow these steps.

Steps:

  • First, select the cell or group of cells you want to use this feature for (I have selected the whole dataset for this. You can single out particular cells if you want to).

  • In the ribbon, go to the Home tab, and inside the Alignment group, select Wrap Text.

what is wrap text in excel

Now you will have your texts wrapped within the selected cells.

what is wrap text in excel


2. Using Format Cells Option in Excel

You can also format cells to wrap up the texts inside them.

Steps:

  • Select the cells you want to format.

  • In the ribbon, under the Home tab, select the small arrow at the bottom of the Alignment group (or you can press Ctrl+1 on your keyboard for a shortcut).

what is wrap text in excel

  • A Formant Cells box will pop up. Next, In the Alignment tab, check the Wrap Text option and click on OK.

what is wrap text in excel

Now you can have the texts wrapped up in the cells.

what is wrap text in excel


3. Use Keyboard Shortcut to Wrap Text

There is also a keyboard shortcut to avoid all the unnecessary clicks. Just follow these steps.

Steps:

  • Select the cell or range of cells with texts you want to wrap.

  • On your keyboard, press Alt, then press H and W in sequence.

You will have your texts wrapped.

what is wrap text in excel


How to Wrap Text in Excel Manually Using Line Breaks

I have mentioned some methods above to wrap texts in Excel. All of them were automated. There is a way you can wrap it manually, you simply just have to add line breaks where you want the text to break down. For a more detailed guide follow these steps.

Steps:

  • Go to the cell you want to wrap the text and press F2 to enter edit mode. I have selected cell D4 here.

  • Put the pointer in the places where you want to break and press Alt+Enter. This will force a break in the text.

what is wrap text in excel

  • You can put in line breaks as many times as you need to break the text down. If you are satisfied with the display, move on to the next cells.

what is wrap text in excel

  • Repeat this for all the cells you want.

what is wrap text in excel


How to Unwrap Text in Excel

Just like wrapping, unwrapping a text in a cell can also be performed by several methods.

1. Using Wrap Text Option in Excel

To unwrap a wrapped text you can use the Wrap Text from the ribbon.

Steps:

  • First, select the cell or range of cells you want to unwrap.

what is wrap text in excel

  • Then go to the Home tab in the ribbon, and select Wrap Text from there.

what is wrap text in excel

You will have your texts unwrapped in the selected cells.


2. Using Format Cells Option

Cells containing wrapped texts can be unwrapped by formatting them too. For that, you have to follow these steps.

Steps:

  • Select the cell or range of cells.

what is wrap text in excel

  • In the tools ribbon, under the Home tab, select the small arrow at the bottom of the Alignment group (or you can press Ctrl+1 on your keyboard for a shortcut).

what is wrap text in excel

  • Make sure to select the Alignment tab in the Format Cells box, and uncheck the Wrap Text Click on OK.

what is wrap text in excel

You will have your cells unwrapped.


3. Unwrap Using Keyboard Shortcut

You can unwrap a range of cells containing a text by using a keyboard shortcut.

Steps:

  • Select the cell or range of cells your want to unwrap.

what is wrap text in excel

  • On your keyboard, press and release Alt. Then press H, W.

You will have your texts unwrapped.


Wrap Text Not Working in Excel

Sometimes you may find your cells not wrapping, even if you follow different methods from above. This can be traced back to two major problems – there is a fixed cell height set for the spreadsheet or the cells in question are merged.

1. Remove Cell Height Restrictions

If you have a fixed row height, either set by formatting or set manually, and you wrap the text in that cell, the text won’t spill out of the boundary. But the spreadsheet will not fully display the information contained. To avoid this problem, you can follow this solution.

Steps:

  • Select all cells by clicking the triangle sign from where all the Row Numbers and Column Numbers connect.

  • In the tools ribbon, go to the Home tab.
  • At the tab, you can find the Cells group, select Format from it.
  • In the drop-down menu, select AutoFit Row Height.

what is wrap text in excel

Excel cells will now auto-adjust the cell size for the text.


2. Unmerge cells

If you have your cells merged, you will face problems wrapping the texts in merged cells. Excel generally doesn’t allow merged cells to be wrapped. To address this problem you need to unmerge the cells.

Steps:

  • Select the merged cells.
  • Go to the Home tab from the tools ribbon.
  • Then in the Alignment group select Merge & Center.
  • From the drop-down list, select Unmerge Cells.

what is wrap text in excel

Now, wrap the text in the cell using any of the methods shown above and you will see your text wrapped.


Conclusion

That wraps up the topic of wrapping text in Excel. Hope you find this guide informative and useful. If you have any more queries about the topic or any suggestions, feel free to let us know below.

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Abrar Niloy

Abrar Niloy

Hi! my name is Abrar-ur-Rahman Niloy. I have completed B.Sc. in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering. I have found my calling, if you like, in Data Science and Machine Learning and in pursuing so, I have realized the importance of Data Analysis. And Excel is one excel-lent tool do so. I am always trying to learn everyday, and trying to share here what I am learning.

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