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Solved: Limited Excel cell capacity for text


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theseus75's Avatar
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04-Mar-2008, 02:14 PM #1
Solved: Limited Excel cell capacity for text
Hello,

I am trying to find a way to get Excel 2003 to allow a large amount of text be placed into one cell without restricting the vertical size of the cell. I am importing several fields, one of which is a comments section that often has up to 500 words. However, when it dumps into Excel, the default is for the cells to be expanded horizontally, not vertically, and I'm limited on how tall I can make the text cells until it no longer accommodates me and just keeps the text at a fixed height, while the width is ridiculously long.

Is this something that I can manipulate somehow? It seems to do this no matter if cells are merged or not, but the way.

Thanks in advance for the help.
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04-Mar-2008, 02:33 PM #2
If I recall you can only have 255 or 256 displayed characters in a field. Try splitting the text in half and putting the rest of it in the cell underneath of the first cell.
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04-Mar-2008, 04:20 PM #3
Are you checked to WRAP TEXT in the cell formats? Can you bring the information over and just PASTE VALUES into your spreadsheet so as to leave your formats?

- Castleheart
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04-Mar-2008, 07:03 PM #4
If you are importing from another program, try pasting your text as csv formatted, not the native Excel format - it will actually allow you to get more into a cell than what is "allowed".
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05-Mar-2008, 01:26 PM #5
Wrap text is indeed selected. Pasting below is possible, though might grow tedious with many records. The app I'm using exports directly to Excel, but may have the ability to export as CSV; I'll give it a try.
Thanks for your help. I'll be sure to post the avenue that works best once I've tried them all.
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05-Mar-2008, 01:44 PM #6
Another trick is to paste not into the cell but into the formula bar - you can get an enormous amount of text into a cell in that manner. For example, I got 24919 characters and spaces (20341 characters only - using Word to count these later - took up 7+ pages in Word) into a single cell in a few moments of pasting....
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06-Mar-2008, 12:52 PM #7
Aye slurpee, but did it actually display all of it in the cell? Don't ask me why I say aye all the time. I must think I am British or something.


If you bring the data into access you can setup that field as a memo field which will indeed support up to 65,535 characters as well.
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06-Mar-2008, 04:02 PM #8
Aye (oh, and International Talk Like A Pirate Day isn't until September 19), it "displays" in the cell - but to be honest, it is insane to do that (had a client request it once and couldn't talk him out of it - dunno what in the world he did with it later).
No, it isn't really legible - except by clicking into the formula bar, and then that expands to cover about 2/3 of the sheet...and, for a lot of data, you still have to scroll down (and down and down) to read it all.
I never even tried to see how such a mess would print.
But, for all the drawbacks, it is another thing for the poster to know about.
And, something else no one has mentioned, but what about embedding a word document into Excel?
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06-Mar-2008, 04:33 PM #9
That was what I was getting at actually. For you to see the whole text you have to click in the formula bar. It only displays up to 255 characters in the cell actually, but will display them in the formula bar.
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06-Mar-2008, 04:44 PM #10
I guess that is so - as a beginner I recall being told ("authoritatively") that you could not, under any circumstances, get more than 255 characters into a cell. Well, I quickly learned how to get around that, but made some people unhappy in the process....
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