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Is it possible to fit a large amount of text within a cell in Excel 2007?

I have 1,890 words - consisting of 10,110 characters (without spaces) - that I need to put into a single cell in Excel. I have set the cell to the maximum size (column width of 255 and row height of 409.5), yet it fails to contain all of the text. I have also set the text to the minimum size - size 1 (even though it is unreadable) - just to see if this helps, but it does not unfortunately.

I am required to keep all of the text in a single cell, so cannot branch into surrounding cells.

Is there a way around this that I am missing or overlooking?

Many thanks.

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Curious to know why you need to do this. –  Isaac Rabinovitch Nov 8 '12 at 1:54
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If you need to place a 5 page text into a cell you're using the wrong tool. –  stevenvh Mar 27 '13 at 13:48
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5 Answers

There are two points here; containing and displaying.

Per Microsoft 32,767 characters is the max a cell can contain. So yes you can fit 10,110 characters in the cell.

As allready discussed in other answers, no you can not display that many characters in a fashion that will be readable.

Reference http://office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel-help/excel-specifications-and-limits-HP010073849.aspx

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Do you see just #### or is your text just not displayed fully?

When you see just ###, then you might have formatted this cell as text - although this is correct, it limits your view to 255 Characters. You can easily test this with the REPT function, using a single character and 255 or 256 repetions. Then copy this as a value to a text-formatted cell or a default-formatted cell.

So, in order to see your characters, you need to use another format - like default.

On the matter of full display of this amount of characters, you will be limited to the max size of a cell (255-409,5).

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My problem is the latter - my text is visible; it is merely truncated. –  SnookerFan Nov 6 '12 at 11:27
    
In order you have to prove it to someone, use this: office.microsoft.com/en-us/excel-help/… -> as long as you cannot break these limitations, you won't improve your situation - except maybe by using some wild hack - but I don't think it would be able to break those limits. –  Jook Nov 6 '12 at 11:32
    
:-) Thank you for this (even though I highly doubt that I will have to prove it to anybody!). –  SnookerFan Nov 6 '12 at 11:35
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Maybe this helps:

"However, you can increase the number of characters displayed if you add line breaks in the cell (press Alt+Enter)."

Source: http://www.contextures.com/xlfaqApp.html#CharInCell

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Thank you, but I am aware of this and tried it first of all. –  SnookerFan Nov 8 '12 at 12:12
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You can use the 'Wrap Text' option under Alignment group of the Home tab. Wrap Text option allows you to place text on multiple lines within a single cell rather than have the text spread over multiple cells in the worksheet.

Note: Although the screenshots are for Excel 2010, this should work in Excel 2007 as well.

Here's a quick how to:

  1. Type or paste the text into a the cell you want. In this example, I have used the rand function in Word then copied and pasted the text in cell A1.

    enter image description here

    enter image description here

    As seen above, the entire text borrowed spaces to multiple cells up to column CJ.

  2. Select the cell that contains the text. In the example, that would be cell A1.

    Go to Home tab → Alignment group → Wrap Text.

    enter image description here

    Here's the sample output:

    enter image description here

    This sample output consists of 1,665 words with spaces and font size of 8. It is still readable in Excel.

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Thank you for your effort and very detailed answer, but for the purpose of this particular task, this is not suitable as I require the use of separate lines. I believe that the simple answer may be "no, it cannot be done". :-) –  SnookerFan Nov 8 '12 at 12:14
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MS reckons that the longest formula you can have is 8192 characters. So it would seem not!

http://office.microsoft.com/en-gb/excel-help/excel-specifications-and-limits-HP010073849.aspx

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Thank you for this suggestion, but I am not sure that this is the case because if I edit the cell contents, I am able to scroll down and view the remainder of the text. Therefore, I believe the problem to be linked to how large a particular cell can be, rather than how much text it can contain as the text does exist, but is just not visible. –  SnookerFan Nov 6 '12 at 9:48
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Oh well fair enough then. I have to say, if you are coming up against limits like this, it does sound like you should maybe be doing things in a different way. But obviously I know nothing about your particular case! –  benshepherd Nov 6 '12 at 10:05
    
Believe me, if it was up to me I would be doing things very differently; I would use Word for a start! Unfortunately, however, it is not up to me and I am required to create this particular table within Excel. I will do my best to convince my manager that it can only be done in Word, but for the time being, any further help with this particular matter would be greatly appreciated! –  SnookerFan Nov 6 '12 at 10:07
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