Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Entering Text: Trespassing Allowed
Figure 2–19. The case of the disappearing word
Now , Houston, we have a problem—a rather obvious one. We have seen that as long as the
adjoining cells to the right remain empty, it’s perfectly permissible to enter a lengthy phrase (at least one
comprising text—more on this soon) in a cell, even if its contents encroach on the nearby cells. But type
anything—even one character—in one of the adjoining, empty-till-now cells, and the cell reclaims its
own turf, barring any excess text from other cells to its left. As a result, you’ll have two obvious questions:
Has the clipped text in cell A3 been somehow deleted, and, whatever the answer to that question, what
do we do next?
The answer to the first question is: No. Click back on cell A3 and scan the formula bar. You’ll see that
the phrase “Microsoft Excel” is intact. None of it has been deleted, but rather some of it—that segment
which had spilled into B3—has been obscured by the text entered in that latter cell. And that’s what
happens to text if it exceeds its column boundary: it continues untouched across empty, adjoining
cells—until one of those cells is empty no longer. It’s then visually restricted to its own column.
And as for question two: If we delete the entry in cell B3, then all the text in A3 reappears on screen.
But if we want to keep “Thursday” in its place, we need to widen the column in which “Microsoft Excel”
resides—in this case—the column A. Doing so should make room for all the text in both cells.
There is, as is usual with the Office programs, more than one way to do this. The two easiest and
fastest are carried out as follows:
With your mouse, move up to the right boundary of the column you wish to widen (and not row
1). What started out as Excel’s familiar thick white cross—the one you see when you move about the
worksheet proper—should now appear as the slender, black, double-arrowed object seen in Figure 2–
20:
 
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