How to Wrap Text in Google Sheets

Last Updated on October 31, 2023 by Jake Sheridan

In this tutorial, you will learn how to wrap text in in Google Sheets.

How to Wrap Text in Google Sheets

Learn how to wrap text in Google Sheets in 3 simple steps + the different wrapping options you can use.

If you’ve entered more data into a cell than space allows, you should learn how to wrap text in Google Sheet to avoid it looking messy and/or cutting off your data.

What is text wrapping?
Text wrapping is when the text fits inside the frame or object (or in this case, Google Sheets cell). If the text goes all the way to the end of the cell, any extra text will be added to the beginning of the next line. Google Sheets will immediately change the height of the cell to fit this.

Text wrapping will automatically change the height of the cell and reveal all of its contents. That way you won’t have to change the width of the column.

Step 1

First, you’ll have to select the cells that you want to wrap.

Everyone knows how to select cells in Google Sheets so I am not going to include a screenshot of it.

Seriously, I am not going to, that’s just the crazy life I lead.

Anyway, once you have selected the cells with the text you want to wrap…

Step 2

Then, you should left click on the Format tab and choose Text wrapping from the drop-down menu,

You can also click on the Text wrapping button in your toolbar:

Step 3

There you’ll see three different options you can use to wrap text:

  • Overflow – Your data will display in the current cell and the cells next to it if they are empty.
  • Wrap – Your data will be displayed within the boundaries of the cell by automatically adjusting the height of the cell.
  • Clip – Your data will be visible only within the current boundaries of the cell.

Here’s what each of those wrapping options looks like in action:

Boom! You have now successfully wrapped some text in your spreadsheet.

Text Wrapping in Google Sheets

There are two ways to wrap your text:

  1. Only format with text wrapping when you need to.
  2. Change the text format settings on the entire sheet before you start. That way, you won’t have to worry about making these changes later on, especially if you’re including lots of longer text.

Here’s how to do each:

Add text wrapping to an entire spreadsheet

You may want to adjust the text wrapping settings before you start any data entry if you know that you need to see all the information, including longer phrases.

To change the text wrap settings on the entire spreadsheet, you can use these shortcuts:

  • PC: – press Ctrl + A to select all.
  • Mac: press Command + A to select all.

This should highlight the entire sheet. Now go to Format > Text Wrapping > Wrap.

This method can also be used once you’ve finished filling out the spreadsheet but notice that you have lots of overflowing cells.

Once you select this format, it will automatically detect the cells that need to be readjusted and wrap the text inside.

Add text wrapping to individual cells

Adjusting the text wrapping for an individual cell is a similar process to formatting the entire spreadsheet. 

Select the affected cell and select Format > Text Wrapping > Wrap.

That’s it, it really is that easy.

Keep in mind that text wrapping is not necessarily reserved for long sentences.

Many times, you might see headers with subtitles or additional instructions.

To keep the column width narrow, the text can be wrapped and stacked on top of each other.

How to Unwrap Text in Google Sheets

If you need to unwrap the text to keep your sheet spacing tight or because you do not need to view the full text, you can choose either of these options to unwrap it:

  • Overflow: the text will overflow until the cell to the right is populated.
  • Clip: the text will automatically be cut off according to the boundary of the cell itself.

FAQs (about text wrapping)

Here’s some frequently asked questions related to text wrap in Google Sheets:

Why is my text not wrapping?

Google Sheets doesn’t automatically wrap text, which is a shame. Most likely, your style is set to Overflow or Clip.

Press ALT and Enter or go to Format > Wrapping to get to the format menu and change your settings.

How do I wrap text in Google Sheets without changing cell size?

Go to the menu called Format. If you choose the Text wrapping option, a window will pop up with three choices: Overflow, Wrap and Clip.

If you select Overflow, the size of the cell stays the same, but the text that doesn’t extends out.

How do I get text to stay at the top of a cell in Google Sheets?

Select the whole table so that all of the cells are chosen and the text is aligned at the top.

Then, right-click on the table, go to Format > Alignment, and change the alignment to “Top.”

Summary

In this tutorial, I covered how to wrap text in Google Sheets. Want more? Check out all the Google Sheets Tutorials.