Excel: Indent Text within Spreadsheet Cells

Before you start...

Pressing the [Tab] key in Excel does not indent text in a cell; it simply moves the cell pointer to the next cell. To indent text in a cell, follow the steps below.

Use the Increase Indent button

  1. Enter your text into the document.
  2. Select the cell(s) whose entries you want to indent.
  3. Under the "Home" tab, in the "Alignment" group, click the "Increase Indent" button.
  4. Each time you click the button, the selected text will nudge to the right.
  5. If you go too far, select the the "Decrease Indent" button to nudge the text back toward the left.

Use multiple lines of text using "Wrap Text" option

If your text entry extends beyond the right edge of the cell, you will probably want to change that cell's text alignment so that the text wraps within the cell with the following instructions.

  1. Select the cell.
  2. Under the "Home" tab in the "Alignment" group, choose "Wrap Text."
  3. Excel will make the contents of each cell visible by displaying it on multiple lines.

Indent individual lines of text in a cell

While you can change the indentation for a whole cell, you can not automatically indent individual lines of a cell. For example, Excel doesn't have an option to make the first line of a cell flush left and the second line of a cell indented. However, if you would still like to get this effect, complete the following steps:

  1. Select the desired cell(s).
  2. Turn on "Wrap Text" using the instructions above.
  3. Click your cursor into the desired cell.
  4. Type the desired text. To go to a new line, click [Alt]-[Enter].
  5. To indent individual lines of text, use the space bar to insert the desired space.

Warning!

When you indent individual lines of a cell by inserting spaces, note that the formatting may change if you resize the cell.


Keywords: excel tab, tab cell in excel, office 2013, office 2010, wrap text, show all text

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