Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. 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: Shrinking Cell Contents.
by Allen Wyatt
(last updated October 8, 2016)
Excel includes a feature that allows you to shrink the contents of a cell so that everything fits on a single line. This feature can have bizarre results if the cell contains quite a bit of text, or if the column width is relatively narrow. You can take advantage of this feature by following these steps:
Figure 1. The Alignment tab of the Format Cells dialog box.
You should note that this option does not cause Excel to reduce the point size of the text within the cell, only to make it appear to be smaller. This may sound confusing, and quite frankly is of little consequence when applied to the real world. Whether the point size is technically adjusted or not, the information in the cell still appears smaller, as necessary, to fit everything on a single line.
ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (11946) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, and 2016. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Shrinking Cell Contents.
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