Spreadsheet terror RRS feed

  • Question

  • Someone has asked me to type a great deal of text into a spreadsheet - I tried to convince them not to, but they insisted. (I've never been a fan of this and don't see why it's necessary.) Anyhow! I've now completed my task, but I have two questions: 

    1. I'm having a problem making all of the text visible. I've tried selecting everything and double clicking the lines at the side of the document (usually works for automatically making the cells bigger as needed), I've also tried selecting row/autofit option - to no avail. Still getting text cut off.  I want to be able to see ALL of the text in the cell at a glance.  I've obviously got the wrap text function on. 

    (there is text both above and below that I want to be able to see...). 

    2. Is there an easy way to have automatic bullet points within a cell?  I'm guessing no. As Excel was intended for use with numbers and not massive amounts of text (sarcasm).

    Not happy with this task as is evident, but just want to do a half-decent job at least.  



    Friday, September 6, 2019 9:52 AM

All replies

    1. As you have found, Excel is not very good at auto-fitting cells with Wrap Text turned on. You might try making the cell(s) much taller and wider than necessary, and then auto-fit row height or column width. But the result will most likely not be perfect, so manual adjustments will remain necessary... :(
    2. You are correct: Excel does not support automatic bullet points. You can insert a bullet • manually, but the text won't indent properly.

    Regards, Hans Vogelaar (

    Friday, September 6, 2019 10:27 AM
  • 1. You can try manually adjusting the column height and width under Home> Cells> Format

    You can try adjusting the alignment settings. Top Align and Align Left are the settings I normally use. You can also adjust the font size to a smaller font so it all fits. 

    2. Not an easy way, no. You can manually insert dashes and bullet point symbols but there is no auto-formatting so it really doesn't matter. 

    A couple of thoughts: You could put placeholder text in the cell and make a note on the cell with the full text. You'll have to hover over the cell to see the note but it will probably look better. If the cells around the cell in question are blank/unused you could also try selecting multiple cells and merging them. Not ideal but it will show all the text. 

    - Aaron

    Friday, September 6, 2019 6:22 PM
  • I am not sure about the autofit issue.
    When I try to autofit for cells with wrap on, I some turn wrap off, autofit, then turn wrap back on and then autofit again. That can help. Also don't forget that there is a row height autofit and column width autofit.

    I know how you can get the bullets in there. First write the text in Word with the Bullets the way you want them, then copy of the text and paste into the formula box in Excel. If you paste directly into a cell, it will put each new line in the next cell down. You have to paste into the formula box.

    Hope this helps.


    Ethan Strauss

    Friday, September 6, 2019 8:36 PM
  • Thanks everyone for responding with advice - it was so frustrating I ended up typing it all into a cell but not bothering with any type of formatting to make it visible as there was A LOT of text to be entered into each cell and it rendered the thing unreadable if I used any formatting to make it wider, etc.  So frustrating.  But instead I just typed the text into the cell with no type of amendments to formatting, and when the person wanted to read it they will just have to double click and view the text for that particular cell.  I did tell them it's not really designed for huge amounts of text and they seemed to be okay with that so that was enough to resolve the issue for me on this occasion!  Thank you for helping anyhow - I will keep the tips for shorter pieces of text as I do tend to use Excel as a database for various things and I'm sure it will come in helpful.  


    Monday, September 16, 2019 8:42 AM