When using Google Sheets or other table-editing software, you can often enter more data than the cells can display correctly. When that happens, text wrapping can be your best friend. The text wrap function will adjust the height of your lines to show everything inside the cells.
This article will walk you through how to enable text wrapping on all devices you use for Google Sheets.
Google Spreadsheets are renowned for their ability to transcend platforms. You can use them on your phone, tablet or PC, and have all the tables with you wherever you go. If you're using Google Sheets on your iPad, the steps are simple:
- Select the cell for which you want to wrap the text.
- If you want to select multiple cells in an area, drag the blue selection marker to cover all required cells. You can click on a row to select all cells in that row. The same goes for columns.
- You can tap the cell above the rows and to the left of the column markers to select each table cell.
- Hit the format button at the top – it looks like an A with four lines to its right.
- Select the Cell tab from the menu. Scroll down until you see wrap text.
- Enable the Text Wrapping feature.
- Tap the sheet to save your changes.
If you're accessing your sheets through an iPhone, follow a similar series of steps:
- Open the Google Sheets app and the document you need to edit.
- Select the cell you need to wrap the text or drag the selection box to cover all the cells you need to format. You can select rows or columns by tapping their appropriate number or letter or select the entire table by tapping the top left cell (above the row markers).
- Press the format button in the top menu.
- Select the Cell tab and scroll down to the Wrap text option.
- Enable the Text Wrapping option.
- Tap the leaf to save your settings.
Using Google Sheets on Android is just as easy:
- Open the document you need to edit.
- Tap the cell that needs to be formatted. You can move the selection area by dragging the blue circle around it. You can select an entire row or column by pressing its number or letter. You can select the entire table by tapping the cell to the left of the column marker.
- Press the format button (the A with the small lines) in the top menu.
- Select the Cell tab, then scroll down until you see the Wrap text option.
- Enable the Wrap text option.
- Tap the checkmark to save your formatting settings.
If you're using a PC, Google Sheets doesn't have a dedicated app. However, it works perfectly on any browser of your choice. Once you have the document you need to work on open, text wrapping is simple:
- Click on the cell you need to format. You can select an entire row or column, or multiple cells by selecting them together. You can also click the top left cell to select the whole table to format at once.
- In the menu at the top, click Format.
- When you hover over Wrapping, you will see three options.
- Select the Wrap option to wrap the text and automatically adjust your cell height.
- You can select the Overflow option to have the text flow into the next cell. This could make your table harder to read.
- The Trim option will visually trim the text to fit the current cell size. You can click the cell later to view its full contents.
There are three main text wrapping modes.
1. Overflow is the default mode in Google Sheets. When this mode is enabled, any additional text will flow into the next cell. Text overflow will generally make your table difficult to read. If the cell the text would overflow into isn't empty, Google Sheets will visually clip the overflowing content instead. You can click on the cell to display all its contents in the top menu.
2. Wrap will adjust the height of your cell (in terms of rows) to visually fit all of the cell content. This means that if a cell in the row contains text, all cells in that row will be one row higher.
3. Clip means that any content beyond the current cell size is hidden. You can click on the cell to view the full text. You may not want to wrap your text if there is a cell that is abnormally large compared to all other table cells, as this will make your table look unbalanced. You can also avoid wrapping text in cells containing links, as they can become excessively long and disrupt the whole table. Cutting the links will hide them in the background. You can also use hyperlinks instead, as they are more readable by default.
Before deciding to use text wrapping, play around with adjusting the length of your cells. Note that longer cells are less likely to need it. If your cells frequently contain lists, it's a good idea to wrap the text to show all listed items at once without needing to click on them one by one. In general, the dressing of your text is done on a case-by-case basis. Your table will generally look more attractive if your text wraps around rather than breaking at the end of the cell.
Now you know how to wrap text in Google Sheets quickly and efficiently. Use the instructions outlined above to make your next board much easier on the eyes and simpler to navigate. Charts and graphs are an essential part of any business meeting, and it would be a shame to have them marred by incomplete sentences.
When do you use text wrapping in your tables? Do you need to know anything else about Google Sheets? Let us know in the comments section below.