Excel Tip of the Week #227 - Making text fit

Hello all and welcome back to the Excel Tip of the Week.  This week, we have a Basic User post in which we're going to look at a few options to help make text fit into a given space - including a neat and quite hidden option for shrinking the text to fit.

Scaling to fit

Ever had this problem?  You have a column of a certain size and want to fit some text neatly in to it:

If you want this text to all be shown in the cell, you have a few options:

  1. Double-click the right-hand edge of the column B header to automatically widen the column to fit all text
  2. Turn on Wrap Text from the formatting menu or the Home Ribbon to automatically increase the height of the row to display all text over several lines
  3. Use Fill Justify to spread the text over two or more cells without changing their dimensions
  4. Shrink the text size to make it fit in the cell's current dimensions

This fourth option is what we are going to investigate today - sometimes changing cell sizes or spilling into another cell isn't appropriate because it can mess up presentational or printing elements elsewhere.

Now, you could shrink the font size manually - but in fact there's an option to do this lurking in the 'Alignment' tab of the Cell Formatting menu.  You can access this menu with Ctrl and 1 or Home => Format => Format Cells, or pop it out from the bottom right corner of any formatting-related subgroup on the Home menu.

Do that, and you will get a result like this:

And that's about it for shrink to fit!

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