Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. 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: Adjusting Row Height for Your Text.

Adjusting Row Height for Your Text

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 5, 2020)

It is fairly easy to put more text in a cell than can be readily displayed. While you can widen the column to fit your text, sometimes this is not a good (or viable) option. Instead, you can wrap the text within the cell, so that the cell height is increased to display all the text. Follow these steps:

  1. Select the cells whose formatting you want to affect.
  2. Press Ctrl+Shift+F. Excel displays the Format Cells dialog box.
  3. Click on the Alignment tab. (See Figure 1.)
  4. Figure 1. The Alignment tab of the Format Cells dialog box.

  5. Make sure the Wrap Text check box is selected.
  6. Click on OK.

It is important to remember that your row height will only increase automatically if you haven't explicitly specified the row height. (It also won't work properly if you have merged cells in your row. More on that in a moment.) If the height doesn't expand to fit the contents of the cell, follow these steps, after doing the previous steps:

  1. Select the row.
  2. Make sure the Home tab of the ribbon is displayed.
  3. Within the Cells group, click Format. Excel displays a drop-down menu of choices.
  4. Choose AutoFit Row Height from the menu.

The text should now be wrapped within the cell and all visible.

If your row has merged cells in it, this can present its own set of challenges. This is better addressed in a different tip, which you can find here.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (9578) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Adjusting Row Height for Your Text.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

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