• Text formatting in Excel

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    #2486254

    Like a lot of people, I suspect, I’m working on a project that uses Excel to capture and monitor issues and progress. We’re using Office 365 for Enterprise. I came along part-way through the project at which time these Excel tracker sheets were already prepared and in use. Cell contents are primarily text and some of the updates are quite fulsome.

    The problem we’ve hit is the maximum row height. Although the cell can contain all of the data in the updates, the 285 point maximum row height can’t display it all without selecting the cell and scrolling. It’s been entered top to bottom with the most recent note at the bottom of the text block. This means that the latest updates bleed off the bottom of the row and can only be seen if we select the cell and scroll.

    If we were starting afresh, I’d suggest entering new updates at the top on the cell so the history would appear in reverse date order and we’d always see the most recent text. Hindsight’s a wonderful thing, right?

    Trouble is, there are a lot of trackers now, with a lot of entries, and reverse-engineering them at this late stage will be cumbersome and time-consuming.

    So, my question is, could we format the cell in some way such that, rather than anchoring the start of the first note to the top of the cell, we could anchor the end of the last note to the bottom of the cell?  Thus we’d see the most recent updates without having to select and scroll.

    I fully suspect the answer is going to be ‘No’, as Excel is designed to manipulate numbers rather than text, but I can’t be the only one that’s hit on this problem. I’ve seen Excel used in this way in almost every client company I’ve worked with and was hoping someone else may have a solution.

    If I’ve missed something obvious in the Excel cell formatting options, forgive me. I tried bottom aligning the cell contents, which was my first thought for a solution, but, if the cell is ‘too full’ so to speak, it doesn’t result in any change.

    Thank you in advance.

    • This topic was modified 1 month, 4 weeks ago by SteveTetch.
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    • #2486272

      I don’t know an Excel function that will add text to the top of other text in a single cell, but I do have a couple suggestions that could work.

      Make each “issue” to be tracked a line in a dropdown list. You can easily move an added issue to the top of the dropdown list. This has a 256 character limit for each entry.

      Alternatively, on the first line of the cell you can make a bullet list by pressing Alt + 7 (on number pad) to enter the bullet, add space , and press Alt + Enter. This will leave a blank bullet at the top of the cell. Now every time a new issue is enter, first place the cursor in that first blank bullet, press Alt + Enter to enter a new line under the bullet where you can type the new issue. If desired you can add a bullet before each entered issue by pressing Alt + 7.

      The problem we’ve hit is the maximum row height. Although the cell can contain all of the data in the updates, the 285 point maximum row height can’t display it all without selecting the cell and scrolling.

      The maximum row height is 409 not 285 and if you merge the cell with the cell below or above it you can increase the cell height to 818 (as rows are merged the max row height is added together).

      HTH, Dana:))

    • #2486299

      How about adding a display cell next to the note which shows the last few lines of the note?
      This would need a UDF to manipulate the note, but should be doable.

      What sort of separator do you use between updates?
      Can you post a sample so we can see what can be done?

      cheers, Paul

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