Weekly Computer Tip # 403
8 September 2013

Adjust the formula bar to read or edit a large amount of text (Excel 2007-2013)

The total number of characters that a cell can contain is 32,767. That's a lot and it can therefore sometimes be tricky to read or edit text. Although you can use the up or down arrows at the end of the formula bar to cycle through the content, line by line, it might be easier to expand the formula bar to display the entire content of the cell. (With thanks to Sonia Woodend for the inspiration of this week's tip.)

Here's how:

  1. Click the chevron button at the end of the formula bar. The button looks like a v but if you cannot spot it or prefer keyboard shortcuts press CTRL+SHIFT+U. OR
  2. Hover over the formula box until the pointer changes to a vertical double arrow and then double-click the vertical double arrow (or drag it to where you want it).

This will make it easier to format part of the cell (see tip 141) or enter line breaks. (Remember ALT + ENTER?)