Excel cells are limited to 256
characters. However, the cell’s size and ability to display its contents change
with the size of its surrounding columns. Excel 2007’s text boxes overcome
these potential limitations.

For example, say you have allotted
each department $5,000 per month for new computer equipment. The departments
will need to start replacing notebook computers for the next release, and they will need
to know how many they can replace on that budget. You decide to create a
spreadsheet that calculates how much they can finance at the different interest
rates they can obtain from local banks. Your spreadsheet lets each department
enter a monthly payment within their equipment budget, and then click a button
to get the result. To put these instructions into a text box at the top of the
worksheet, follow these steps:

  1. Click the Insert tab and then click Text Box.
  2. Click and drag to draw a text box from D3:K6.
  3. Right-click the text box border.
  4. Click on Size And Properties.
  5. Under the Properties tab, click to select Move but
    don’t size with the Cells button.
  6. Click Close.
  7. Right-click the text box border.
  8. Click Format Shape.
  9. Click Text Box.
  10. Click the Resize Shape To
    Fit Text check box and then click Close.
  11. Click within the text box to type your text. If the
    text extends below row 6, the box will expand vertically to accommodate
    the extra text. (Note: You can
    change the widths of the underlying columns, and the text box will retain
    its original size.)

Miss a tip?

Check out the Microsoft Excel archive, and catch up on our most recent Excel tips.

Help users increase productivity by automatically signing up for TechRepublic’s free Microsoft Office Suite newsletter, featuring Word, Excel, and Access tips, delivered each Wednesday.