Keep text enclosed in cell when editing content

I would like to edit a cell’s content without having it expand beyond the cell if it’s longer. Instead, I would like the text field to stay inside the cell and crop the displayed content if necessary, just like how most text fields behave in most programs.
Is there an option for that?

What do you mean by “rename a cell”? Do you mean “Change the textual content of a cell” (In general cells cannot be renamed - you only can assign a name to a cell or a range).

And if you mean it in the sense above: I cannot confirm any cell changing its width, if the text requires more space than provided by the cell width (and the font / font size used). The only thing happening is, that the text will look like to expand to adjacent cells, if these adjacent cells are empty). If you mean, that is is required to expand manually: That’s not true - just write the text and press ENTER - Start editing by double click into the cell and move your cursor to the end of the text. No need to change column width manually (you may also use Formula Bar to insert / change the text).

Sorry for my lack of clarity. You understood correctly though. When you rename a cell (with F2 or double click), the content expands beyond the cell if necessary. I would like to prevent that so the adjacent cells stay visible. But I don’t want to resize the column. Just keep the text field inside the cell and crop the displayed content. There is already an option for that except it doesn’t apply when you edit the cell content.


the behaviour cannot be changed. You need to see what you edit. If you don’t like that, you need to use the Formular Bar on top of the sheet and add your text there (after having selected the cell you want to change)

Please Note:* The column doesn’t resize - just as long as you edit you get an local extension of the edit/input field and after you’ve pressed ENTER the field reduces to its original width (visually - again: the real column width doesn’t change at any time of your edit) and you’ll notice a red arrow on the right side of the cell, if the text requires more space than available. I cannot imagine to edit without seeing what I’m editing and the price for this is a temporary invisibility of adjacent cells. If the adjacent cells do not contain any data, the text "looks* like to expand to these cell but in fact keeps strictly bound to the original cell. I’m not aware of any functionality to prevent this visual appreance other than to configure a cell to Wrap text automatically (see Format -> Cells -> Tab: Alignment -> Category: Properties -> Option: Wrap text automatically), but this would definitely change the height of a cell (its related row), besides you also set the row height to a specific value. If you set both if these, the cell expands to the cells below on editing, but reduces to its original size after you have finished the edit.

The main reason I’m asking this is because I have long formulas which contain links to adjacent cells.
The cells which are called in a formula have a colorized border to help you see which cell is being used in the formula at a glance. But since the formula itself expands on top of the cells it’s calling, I can’t see the colorized borders anymore, so I have to read the formula and find the cells it’s calling by looking at the row and column headers. It’s no huge deal, just a bit annoying.

Small workaround: Set the text alignment.

  • Left aligned if you want to see cells on the left.

  • Right aligned to see the right side.

  • Centered if you want to possibly see the whole formula while blocking the left and the right sides.

  • Justified will do what centered should have done and will stay within the left/right bounds but will go down and block the cells below. Similar to word wrap but without auto changing the row height.

Nice workaround. Not ideal but helps. Thanks

I’ve often wondered why this happens at all. As it is, if it blocks large swathes of cells from being selectable, and even the argument that ‘you need to see what you edit’ seems daft, as you can just expand the edit field at the top to show multiple lines. I mean, really? Just include it as an option. Is it THAT hard?

What does this post answer? This site isn’t a discussion forum but a Q&A site. If you find the application behaviour strange and that it might be not that hard to implement another behaviour, the right place to do so would be Bugzilla. We are just users like you dealing with software as it is.

It was supposed to have been a comment rather than an answer.

For comments there is a “add comment” function - that’s how this site is supposed to work.

You’re a funny guy. No, really you are… Unintentionally so.

As far as I can make out, you select wherever you want text wrapped, a cell, row, column, or the whole page or document, then click the “wrap” button on the toolbar. It’s next to the three “align” buttons. You may now find at least two “sub issues”.
The cell and all cells in that row have been extended vertically to hold all the text. The solution is to force the row height back to the same as all the others by Format>Rows>Height and select required height or the default. Now you may find that when you narrow the column width only the bottom row oftext is displayed, that is, the last word or two and a blank to the end of the line. You probably want to see the first few words, so go to the Align (Top) button on the toolbar. If you don’t see what you want on the toolbar you have to go Select required>Format>Cells and in the window select the Align tab and work from there, where you can align and also select wrap in the properties section.