Enter text without changing the underlying cells in Excel 2007

Mary Ann Richardson discusses text boxes, which can hold unlimited amounts of text without affecting any of the cells in your Excel 2007 spreadsheet.

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.)

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