Excel shrink to fit text in cell

In this article, we will learn how to use shrink to fit option to adjust text in cells in Excel.


Whenever working with data, we always receive data in an untidy manner. So first we need to clean data via editing cells to make it presentable. So this article helps you to shrink long text data in cells. Below is the detailed understanding of the shrink to text option.

How to solve the problem?

Here we will follow a process which will help you understand how Excel interprets long text data in cell. Usually excel cells spill the text over to the next cell when the length of string is more than the length of the cell. But if the adjacent cell is occupied, then either the exceeded text is hidden or the cell shows #####. So we can just select the whole column and double click on the right side of the column as shown below.

Here in the above gif, it shows a table where the G column length is extended to the limit of the longest string in the column. Below is the detailed understanding of shrink to fit option and other options used along with this option.


Example :

All of these might be confusing to understand. So let's take a sample of untidy data and clean it step by step and at last you will understand how a cell interprets data in excel. 

Here we have a sample of data of customers who bought products from a superstore. Now the manager wants to see the data to verify numbers, but he receives this data. The data has some spilled over text, some ##### values. So, for this we will follow a process explained below to clean data including shrink to fit option. Here we in the process we will fix row and column size of the data.

Select the data and use the centre align option to align all text to centre vertically and horizontally.

Now we select the small triangle on the top left of data and double click the column gap and row gap, which adjusts cell length according to the largest length in a particular column as shown below.

As you can see from the above gif, all values are visible and centre aligned. 

Now we fix an average length of all rows in data. Select the rows from the numbers on the left side and then use right click -> Row height -> fix length to 30. 

As you can see, the length of rows are extended. Follow the same process for the required columns only as shown below. Here the required column in the G column.

Now we fixed the length of the cells. Now we select the whole data again -> right click -> select Format cells from the drop down list as shown below.

Format cell dialog box appears, now select the Alignment tab. The box will appear as shown below.

Select the option Shrink to fit option, If this option is disabled. Then first deselect the wrap text and then select the Shrink to fit as shown below.

The table will be shown like as shown below.

As you can see in the table from the above image, the longer text values shrink to fit. As you edit the value, the text length will be changed automatically. You can also use the wrap text option to wrap strings in lines in the same cell as explained below.

Select the data and click wrap text from the format cell dialog box or wrap text option on the front panel.

Now click the option and the table values will shrink by wrapping text into different lines as shown below.

Now you can do these steps in any manner as it doesn't affect or edit any cell. This process is used to shrink values in data by either varying the font size of the value or wrapping text in different lines. You can vary the length row and column by just dragging the end limit to required length.

Hope this article about How to shrink to fit text option in Excel cell is explanatory. Find more articles on text formulas here. If you liked our blogs, share it with your fristarts on Facebook. And also you can follow us on Twitter and Facebook. We would love to hear from you, do let us know how we can improve, complement or innovate our work and make it better for you. Write us at info@exceltip.com

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