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Wrapping Text in Google Sheets: How to Keep Text In Cell

Suppose you’re entering some data in a spreadsheet, and it’s time to input some addresses (or descriptions or any other long strings). You’ll probably run into an issue like this:

Spreadsheet named "Pixar Movies" with movies, information in corresponding columns, and a "Notes" column with overflowing text

The text is too long to fit in the cell, so it either continues past the column or cuts off (if there’s another column filled next to it). We’ve all been there.

This is where Google Sheet’s wrap text feature comes in. Wrapping text means your inputted string will automatically fit to the column width by extending cell height via new line breaks. For instance, when wrapped, my Notes text now looks like this:

Spreadsheet named "Pixar Movies" with movies, information in corresponding columns, and a "Notes" column with wrapped text

There are several ways to wrap text on Google Sheets, so we’ll go through them all and let you know which best suits certain use-cases. Let’s begin!

Wrap Text on Google Sheets via Toolbar

This is the quickest method and only requires a couple of clicks!

  1. Open spreadsheet on Google Sheets.
  2. Select the cells, columns, or rows you wish to text-wrap.
  3. Locate Toolbar (row full of formatting buttons above your sheet) > Click Text wrapping button (two parallel vertical lines with a horizontal arrow through the middle). Note: If the Text wrapping button doesn’t immediately appear on your Toolbar, click on the More button (three dots in a row) and it should appear in a drop-down underneath.
Same Pixar Movies spreadsheet with Notes row selected and Text Wrapping button on the Sheets toolbar highlighted


  1. Click the Wrap button (two parallel vertical lines with a curved arrow in the middle).
Same Pixar Movies spreadsheet with Notes row selected and Wrap button on the Sheets toolbar highlighted


  1. Voila! Your text should now be wrapped within the cell.


Wrap Text on Google Sheets via Format tab

This is another easy method to wrap text. You may opt for this one if you’re having a hard time locating the Text wrapping button.

  1. Open spreadsheet on Google Sheets.
  2. Select the cells, columns, or rows you wish to text-wrap.
  3. Go to Format > Text wrapping > Wrap.
Same Pixar Movies spreadsheet with Notes row selected and Format tab open


Wrap Text on Google Sheets via Mobile App

If you’re looking to format your spreadsheet on the go, you can even wrap text on the Sheets mobile app! Check it out below.

  1. Open spreadsheet on Google Sheets.
  2. Select the cells, columns, or rows you wish to text-wrap.
  3. Press the Formatting button on the top right (icon of the letter A with horizontal lines) > Click the Cell tab > Toggle Wrap text button on.
Same Pixar Movies spreadsheet on Google Sheets Mobile App with Notes row selected, Format tab open, and Wrap text on

Manually Wrap Text on Google Sheets

While this isn’t the most convenient option, sometimes you may want to manually format your text to choose where the line breaks occur and/or control the width of your lines independent of the cell width. Here’s how you do it:

  1. Open spreadsheet on Google Sheets.
  2. Select cell > Move text cursor to desired line break location > Press Ctrl + Enter.
  3. Repeat step 2 as necessary.

Note: As you can see, the column’s text-wrapping setting is still “overflow” (aka text visually spills into the next cell if empty), but I’ve manually entered line breaks at random places, which varies the width of the text in each cell.

Same Pixar Movies spreadsheet with Notes row selected and manually inputted line breaks

Other Things to Keep in Mind

Column Width

Once you start wrapping text, you’ll find out that setting an appropriate column width is crucial in nice formatting. You likely don’t want a bunch of words stacked on top of each other like this: 

Same Pixar Movies spreadsheet with new Description column that has wrapped text and small column width

Yikes! In this case, be sure to extend your column width so the spreadsheet is more readable. Now, this is much more appealing:

Same Pixar Movies spreadsheet with new Description column that has wrapped text and adjusted column width

Other Text Formats

It’s also important to keep other text wrapping options in mind, so you’re aware of all your options when formatting your spreadsheet! There are the three following styles:

A table on Google Sheets showing the different text formatting options listed above.
  • Overflow: text will visually spill into the next cell if it’s empty (set as default).
  • Wrap: text will automatically fit to the column width by extending cell height via new line breaks.
  • Clip: text will be contained to the column width and height, but any content beyond that will not be visible.

How to wrap text in Google sheets

  1. Select the cell, row or column where you would like your text to be wrapped.
  2. Select Format in the file Menu.
  3. Select Wrapping.
  4. Click Wrap.

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We hope this article has helped you and given you a better understanding of how to wrap text in Google Sheets. You might also like our articles on how to add a hyperlink and how to highlight in Google Sheets.

To optimize your workflow, we recommend reading our guide on how to extract a domain from an email in Google Sheets and trying our software for tracking loan portfolio deadlines!

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