Word Processing Options in Excel | AccountingWEB

Word Processing Options in Excel

There is an old saying "Life is more than bread and water", meaning  quality goes beyond the basics. The basics in Excel are the numbers and calculations, but more is required to present a good report  and convey meaningful information.  Often textual descriptions and explanations are necessary.  I find writing text in Excel is cumbersome depending on the length and complexity of the message.  "Real" word processing is practically impossible because of cell limitations.  A cell is limited to 32,767 characters.  Of course 32,767 characters will extend beyond the visual of the cell as well as the screen itself as long as the cells to the right of the cell containing the text are blank.


Below is the introduction paragraph above copied into a single cell in Excel.

There is an old saying "Life is more than bread and water", meaning  quality goes beyond...

This text has to be sized down several rows to be legible.  First, starting with the cell that contains the text, Highlight the area across columns and down rows where the message should reside.

Then click on Merge & Center then on Wrap Text (in that order), and the text will expand to the highlighted area.

A major drawback to this method is that the area size may not be correct and some of the text will be cut-off.   The cells have to be unmerged and a new expanded area has to be set in order to correct this problem.  Sometimes the exact area size is a matter of trial and error.



The comment acts like a post-it note attached to a specific cell.  Add a comment by pressing SHIFT + F2 or right click on a cell and select  Insert Comment.

Cells with comments are denoted by a small red triangle that appears in the upper-right corner of the cell.  Right click on the cell containing a comment for  options to show, hide,  edit, or delete the comment.  A comment can be printed from a selection in the sheet tab of the Page Setup Dialog Box.



A Word document can be inserted into a spreadsheet by clicking on the Object button in the Text group on the Inset tab.



My favorite method for recording text is the use of Text Boxes or Callouts.  All of my Excel articles are written in Excel including this one.  Text Boxes permeate within this article.  They are simple to use and easy to manipulate.  A Text Box can be created by clicking on the Text Box button in the Text group on the Inset tab.

Callouts are Text Boxes with arrows to help direct the discussion within the Text Box to the object.   Create a Callout by clicking on the Shapes button in the Illustrations group on the Inset tab, then click on one of the callout buttons at the bottom of the selections.





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by Chris Wood, CPA - Chris Wood is a CPA with experience in Big Four, large regional and local public accounting firms. Write to the good Captain on everything under the sun concerning the captivating world of Excel!



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