Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Entering Text: Trespassing Allowed
Figure 2–17. Run out of space?
thereby raising an ancient spreadsheet question. You’ll note that our phrase appears to overrun cell A3
and invade the neighboring B3, implying in turn that the text occupies two different cells—but that isn’t
the case. In fact the entire phrase is still positioned in A3, appearances notwithstanding; but apart from
the fact that I’ve done this a few thousand times, how do I know that?
I know it because I can direct my attention to that long strip to the right of the name box, called the
formula bar (and again, we’ll need to explain that name). Click cell A3 again and check out the formula
bar—you’ll see Figure 2–18:
Figure 2–18. The Formula Bar: recording the actual contents of a cell
Note the visual relationship in force here. I’ve clicked on cell A3. The formula bar records what I’ve
typed there, confirming that the phrase in A3 indeed occupies that cell, and only that cell. If you need
additional proof, click cell B3 and turn to the formula bar—which now shows…nothing.
Yeah, this is another have-to-know, actually a few of them. First, we’ve learned that whatever you
type in a cell is wholly confined to that cell, no matter what optical illusions are perpetrated on the
worksheet. Second, we’ve learned that the formula bar tells you exactly what’s going on in the cell you
click, a point that will acquire additional importance as we proceed.
But there’s more to this. If I go ahead and actually type something in cell B3—say, “Thursday”—the
worksheet reports what you see in Figure 2–19:
 
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