Excel: Use Excel as a Word Processor

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Problem: I need to type some notes at the bottom of a report. How can I make the words fill each line as if I had typed them in Word?

  1. This paragraph needs to fit in A:G.

    Strategy: You can use Fill, Justify. Follow these steps:

    1. To have the words fill columns A through G, select a range such as A70:G85. Include enough extra blank rows in the selection to handle the text after word wrapping.
    2. Select Home, Fill dropdown, Justify. (The Fill dropdown now appears in the Editing group of the Home tab. It often appears as a blue down-arrow icon.)

    Results: Excel will rearrange the text to fill each row.

    Gotcha: If you have a few words in bold in one cell, this formatting will be lost. Gotcha: If you later change the widths of columns A:G, you will have to use the Justify command again to force the data to fit. Gotcha: Do not use this method if any of your cells contain more than 255 characters. Excel will silently truncate those cells to 255 characters without any notice!

  2. Select Fill Justify.

    Alternate Strategy: You can also use a text box to solve this problem. You simply click the Text box icon on the Insert tab, draw a text box to fill columns A through G, and paste your text into the text box. You can then format the text box to hide its border: Select the text box and on the Drawing Tools Format tab, select Shape Outline, None.

    Additional Details: Starting in Excel 2007, you can give a text box multiple columns. To do so, you select the text box. On the Drawing Tools Format tab, you click the dialog launcher icon in the bottom-right corner of the Shape Styles group to display the Format Shape dialog. In the left pane, you choose Text Box. Then you click on Columns and specify two columns, with separation between them of 0.1".

  3. Textboxes now support multiple columns.