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Automatic Row Height for Wrapped Text

Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, and 2013. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Automatic Row Height for Wrapped Text.

Jordan formatted some cells in his worksheet to wrap text within them. Even though the text in the cells wraps, Excel won't automatically adjust the row height to show all the wrapped text. Jordan wonders if there is a way to "reset" the row so that Excel will adjust its height based on the text being wrapped within the cells.

By default, when you wrap text within a cell, Excel automatically adjusts row height so that all the text in the cell is visible. There are only two exceptions to this default:

  • The cell in which you are wrapping text is actually merged with another cell.
  • The height of the row in which the cell is located was previously changed.

In Jordan's case, there are no merged cells in the problem row. This leaves us with the second exception—it would appear that the height of the row in which the cell is located was explicitly set before wrapping was turned on in some of the row's cells.

In this case, the solution is simple: Reset the row height. There are actually a couple of ways you can do this. First, you could select the row and then double-click the "boundary" between the row and an adjacent row. With the row selected, take a look at the row header, to the left of column A. This area contains a row number, and the "boundary" you need to double-click is between this row number and the next row number.

It can be a bit tricky to get the mouse pointer in the correct location to do the double-clicking, so an approach I prefer is to select the row and display the Home tab of the ribbon. In the Cells group there is a Format tool; I click it and then choose AutoFit Row Height. This allows Excel to determine the appropriate row height based on the contents of the row. If a cell in the row has wrapping turned on, then the row height will automatically adjust to display the information in the cell.

You can find additional information about this issue in the Microsoft Knowledge Base:


If you have quite a few rows that contain cells with wrapping turned on, and the height of none of the rows is adjusting, then you may be interested in a quick little macro that can do the adjustment for you:

Sub AutofitRows()
    Dim CL As Range

    For Each CL In UsedRange
        If CL.WrapText Then CL.Rows.AutoFit
End Sub

The macro steps through all the cells in a worksheet, and if the cell has wrapping turned on, it sets the AutoFit property of the row in which the cell is located.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10735) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, and 2013. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Automatic Row Height for Wrapped Text.

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Comments for this tip:

James L.    06 Oct 2016, 10:46
Great code Allen! Can this be automated somehow so that I don't have to manually run it?
Willy Vanhaelen    13 Sep 2016, 12:45

Change: For Each CL In UsedRange
to: For Each CL In ActiveSheet.UsedRange
James    12 Sep 2016, 08:59
I receive the same error message as Jason,

Run-time error 424 "Object required"

B.J. Winzer    05 Jun 2016, 22:24
Found another thing that stops text from wrapping: Conditional Formatting. (In Excel 2010 this is definitely the case.)

Conditional formatting prevents other basic formatting, e.g. vertical alignment of cells. It twigged after a while that it might be stopping text from wrapping too. Removed it, bingo, text is wrapping again.

PS: The macro in the post didn't work for me either.
Richard Mills    08 Feb 2016, 15:57
I found another things that causes this. If you go into Excel Options, Advanced, check the "Show formulas in cells instead of their calculated results" checkbox. If it is checked, you will get this extra space in cells. And if it is a sheet without formulas, you may not notice this box is checked.
Allen    25 Jan 2016, 14:22
Jim: the sign-up form is at the right side of any page, including this one.

Jim    25 Jan 2016, 12:51
Please sign me up for your email newsletter. Thank you for your help!
Jason    30 Oct 2015, 07:58
I keep getting Run-time error 424 "Object required" when running the macro in Excel 2010.

The line of code that seems to be at fault here is "For Each CL In UsedRange"
Keith    11 Oct 2015, 21:30
Hey, AWESOME work! I finally found a computer help site that I can actually understand. Instead of trying to show us how brainy he is, Allen shows how us simple Excel can be! Very very appreciated and very very BOOKMARKED!!!!
Teacher    22 Sep 2015, 12:12
Perfect! Thanks

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