In Microsoft Office Excel a long text string is readable over multiple columns whenever the next (right) column is empty. Is that also possible within Google Spreadsheet?


4 Answers 4


If you do not want your text to overflow use Format > Text wrapping > Clip. This will work even if the next cell is empty.

  • I came here searching for this answer, thank you! Commented Oct 3, 2019 at 10:38
  • This should be the accepted answer. The actual accepted answer doesn't provide any useful information at all. Commented Oct 10, 2019 at 9:06
  • Some kind of contents won't follow the overflow rule. For example if there is an implicit formatting, like dates, currencies...
    – Sandburg
    Commented Jan 19, 2021 at 10:01

That's only possible when you're using the new Google Spreadsheet:

screen shot without text in adjacent column

and now with text in column B:

screen shot with text in adjacent column

Read all about the new Google Spreadsheet in this official blog

  • It would be much appreciated if this feature could be turned off. It clutters up the display if you optionally have text in the column to the right.
    – Jonny
    Commented Feb 5, 2015 at 6:51
  • Did you test @black_falco answer? I don't know back then, but now it works for me.
    – tokland
    Commented Jan 15, 2016 at 9:05
  • This answer is outdated. Hiding overflow can now be performed, cf Quentin Caron's answer
    – Nino Filiu
    Commented Apr 1, 2019 at 14:38

If Format - Text wrapping - Clip isn't resolving your issue, try:

Select All (Ctrl+A or Ctrl+Shift+Space) and Ctrl+/ to Clear Formatting.

Can be also done from the Format menu (at the top), choose the last Option, Clear Formatting.


This problem can also arise if there is some clever cell merging - as is often the case if using templates. Either select the existing cells and adjacent one doing the cut-off and Format-MergeCells-.. or unmerge them (or use tool at the top of page)

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