Word Processing Options in Excel

Jul 14th 2010
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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.


Replies (6)

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By Sugiantoro
Jun 25th 2015 20:10 EDT

I work on agriculture company (palm oil plantation & mill), I often
work with report that make from data analysis, so I has to use Word and
Excel for the same job, e.g. :
1. Annual budget & action plan :
this report consist of executive summary, analysis description, this
year condition, next year action plan, SWOT analysis description, that
build with Word ; otherwise, I use Excel to make this year and next year
data (accounting, financial, production, salary, etc). The Report in
Word has to synchronizing with large data in Excel.
2. Employee
Satisfaction Survey and Customer Satisfaction Survey : Word for
questionnaire, summary, suggestion and analysis description, Excel for
large survey data analysis with statistical function.
3. Annual Report, 3-Monthly Report, Monthly Report : same above
have to use Excel to process data and I have to use Word to make a
report, with embeded Excel data in Word or use paste-link. It is not
simple for me. Especially if I have to copy these files to another
computer, the formulas was still in older folder, so I has to change
link folder source.Was imagined in my mind if one of sheets in
Excel can format as word processor, so report and data was saved in one
file, over tab in one file, the data link formulas not change, copy one
Do others have this dream? Or enough with embeded data?

Captain Excel, with text box in Excel, there are no format function, no justify alignment, no paste special menu to paste embedded data, no other Word function.
with insert object, we can only get 2 pages ; I have tried to expand the object, but after editing return to 2 pages.

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Replying to Markus Schopenknecht:
By Sugiantoro
Jun 25th 2015 20:11 EDT

No comments???????????????????????????

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Replying to jmbiel:
By Sugiantoro
Jun 25th 2015 20:11 EDT

What's your opinion Mr Captain Excel? No comments or No attention?? That's a year ago.

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Replying to Markus Schopenknecht:
By Sugiantoro
Jun 25th 2015 20:11 EDT

I think it is very simple way: convert Sheet1 as true word sheet, with full feature of Word, without cell limitation. I hope Microsoft team can do it. Thanks

Thanks (0)
By Justin Pinter
Jun 25th 2015 20:11 EDT

I use Excel for my call log in my sales career so I can sort and order customers/prospects ect. I have a column of "comments" for each client. Is there a way to make each cell work more like a word document? ie paragraph formation, tabs, ect.

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By curvafiesole
Oct 20th 2020 22:25 EDT

I don't use Excel to work because I don't have to do report annually. However, I'm still in intermediate level because there are not only report that need excel, some formulas are very difficult to do and I don't know what work will use it

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