How to wrap text in excel

In this article we’ll learn how to wrap text in excel, how to insert a break line in excel and some reasons for Excel wrap text not working and its fixes.

Majorly excel is used to manage data where most of the times we deal with numbers of different sorts. But from time to time you’ll be in situations where you need to store large amount of text in cells. To make sure the text fits you would have to increase the column size but things would be difficult when there is large amount of text which needs to be displayed.

Here you’ll have to use wrap text and there are few different ways to do it. In this tutorial we’ll cover Excel wrap text feature.

What is wrap text in excel?

When you enter data in a cell and it’s too big to fit, then one of the two things would happen:

  1. If column to the right is empty, then the text will extend over the border.
    Wrap text in Excel
  2. If the adjacent right cell contains any data, the text will cut off at the border.
    Wrap text in Excel

We’ll have to use Excel Wrap Text feature to display the entire data without it cutting off or overflowing in other adjacent cells.

Wrapping text in excel means that the data will be displayed in multiple lines. This will make the text easier to read and fit for printing. This is how wrap text in excel looks like:

Wrap text in Excel

How to wrap text in Excel

There are two ways to word wrap in excel, let’s look at both

Method 1:

  1. Select the cells you want to wrap.
  2. Go to Home tab, under Alignment group select Wrap Text
    Wrap text in Excel
  3. This will wrap the text in the selected cell.
    Wrap text in Excel

Method 2:

  1. Select the cells and press CTRL + 1 which will open up the Format Cells dialog box. You can also right click the cells and select Format Cells. Under Alignment select the Wrap Text checkbox and click OK.
    Wrap text in Excel
  2. This will result to wrapping text in excel cells.
    Wrap text in Excel

This method is a bit lengthy you may prefer whichever you like. Wrapping text adjusts with column width, so if you increase the column width the text will adjust accordingly. Here’s a look:
Wrap text in Excel

How to unwrap text in Excel

There are again 2 methods to unwrap text.

  1. Just select the cells and go to Home tab and click Wrap Text button to toggle off wrapping text in excel
  2. Press CTRL + 1 to open Format Cells and uncheck the Wrap Text checkbox.

Excel Wrap Text Shortcut

Select the cell or range of cells and just press ALT + H + W (Hold ALT the press H then W in this specific order). You can use this as the shortcut for wrap text in cell.

How to insert line break in Excel

Let’s say you want to start a new line at a given position in text and you don’t want excel word wrap to insert new line automatically. In such a case you can insert a new line break in excel.

  1. Double click the cell to enter the cell edit mode or click in the formula bar.
    Wrap text in Excel
  2. Place the cursor where you want to add line break and press ALT + ENTER (hold ALT key and press ENTER key).
    Wrap text in Excel

By inserting a line break, excel will automatically turn wrapping text on. If you then turn the Wrap Text feature off then the line break will disappear and you’ll see text as it was before adding the line break.

Excel wrap text not working

Generally word wrap in excel will work without any issues. But is the text wrapping doesn’t work as expected then checkout some fixes below:

  1. Fixed Row Height
    If you’re unable to see all wrapped text then the row might have been set to a certain height. Go to Home tab, under Cells group select Format and click AutoFit Row Height.
    Wrap text in Excel
    You can also click on Row Height and set height of the row accordingly.
  2. Merged Cells
    Excel wrap text doesn’t work with merged cells. So you have to take a call on what is important for you at that point. If you want to keep the cells merged just increase the columns width to show all the text. If you want to go for text wrapping then unmerge the cells by clicking Merge & Center under Home tab.
    Wrap text in Excel
  3. Cell’s width is wide enough to display
    If a column’s width is enough to display the text then after to wrap the text you’ll see no effect as the current width is sufficient to display the text.


That was all about Excel Word Wrap. I recommend go through Inserting Line Break in Excel to better understand other ways to insert a line break.

I hope this article was helpful to you and explained you in what is wrapping text in excel and much more.

If you have any questions or tips, I’d love to hear them in the comment section below.

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