Re: How to make sure that formatting is perfect in Excel

Quentin Christensen

Getting formatting to visually look "right" in Excel can be tricky.  I cover quite a few tips in the Microsoft Excel with NVDA module (available from  ), however, it can take a bit of exploration to work out what works best in your own spreadsheets.

By default, Excel will allow cells to overflow - that is the text to continue off out the right hand edge of a cell - if there is text in the next cell the right, it "cuts off" the first cell text (visually - the text is still there).  If there isn't, the text is allowed to flow across to the right until it hits a cell with text, but even if it doesn't, that doesn't always look right either.

In format cells (CONTROL+1), on the alignment tab (control+tab), there is an option to "wrap text".  That makes the cell (and thus its row) taller to ensure that all text in the cell is visible (it wraps down to a second, third, or more lines as needed in order to fit in the width allowed.

Alternatively, on the Home Ribbon (alt+h), under "format", (o), there are options to autofit row height, or column width (or manually specify either) to ensure text fits.  Again, this will work better in some situations than others, and it is hard to offer a blanket rule here.

One caution - there is an option in format cells -> aligment, called "shrink to fit", which does what it says - it shrinks the size of the text to ensure it fits in the cell.  That sounds good as it doesn't alter the size of the cells, but it could make text miniscule, or at the very least inconsistent with surrounding cells.  I would avoid using that option.

Remember with any of those options, you can set it for one specific cell, but often it is easiest if you select a whole column, or row and then set it - for instance, if you have a column of figures, you can select the column (control+spacebar to select a column - and for completeness, shift+spacebar to select a row), then autofit column from the home ribbon, and it will fit the column to the width of the widest text in it.

Kind regards


On Fri, Jul 12, 2019 at 4:58 PM Mohd. Ahtesham Shaikh <mohd.ahtesham@...> wrote:
Hi friends,
I have a job where formatting is very important in excel. I always face issues relating to some text getting hidden in a cell due to reasons like cell size being small, alignment/ indentation of the text or any thing like this.
Is there any training tutorial or podcast which gives training on tackling such issues and preparing a perfectly formatted excel based document like purchase order. Any clarification needed to understand this problem is always welcome. Please help me in this matter. It is affecting my performance at my work place.
Mohd. Ahtesham
From India
Using Windows 8.1 at home and windows 10 pro in office

Quentin Christensen
Training and Support Manager

NVDA 2019.2beta1 now available!

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