Excel Table Formatting

EE Pros,

I'm working on a "data collection" exercise where I have 6 columns and am trying to determine if I use simple Cell Formatting or create a Table.  What I need is control over the text formatting.  This may include highlighting the input data in that column or row, or adding numbers or bullets for each item statement.  Also, by wrapping the text, I need the spreadsheet to auto adjust to the row height.  A further example; if I have a column where the text that will be entered needs to be "bulleted" I can't seem to locate how to do that for that particular column each time new text is entered and a CR is created.  Any insight or help or advice on this would be appreciated.

1.) Better off with cell formatting or creating a Table with certain characteristics?
2.) How do I select auto adjusting for the row height when I have "wrap text" on?
3.) How do I get auto bullet points as I add a carriage return within a cell?

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Rob HensonFinance AnalystCommented:
Excel does not have the option to add numbering or bullets within a cell whether it is a standard data list or a data table.

A word Table does have that option. Will there be calculations required on the data? If not then I would suggest you use Word and create a table in Word. The row height adjusts automatically, if a row of the table overlaps two pages the start of the row should move to the next page so it doesn't get split. Tabbing out of the last cell in a table will add a new row for the next set of data.

Rob H
Bright01Author Commented:

Great comments.  What would you recommend given I have a WB that has numerous Tabs and I don't really want the user to have to switch between Apps.... Word and Excel?  Can I embed a Word Doc or table into a Excel Tab?

Rob HensonFinance AnalystCommented:
Look at OneNote....

You can create different tabs like in Excel and you can use Formatted text like in Word. I believe it can be in Tables.
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Rob HensonFinance AnalystCommented:
To answer your question re embedding files, it is possible to embed an Excel document into a Word file and vice verse.
When you paste into either Word or Excel, there is a Paste Special option that lets you paste a link to the source data. The link will display the source content as if Word was embedded into Excel. When the user opens Excel, they will get prompted to update the linked content. It's actually pretty slick, and fairly easy to use.
Danny ChildIT ManagerCommented:
the other option to "fake" bullets in Excel would be to use Alt+Enter to create linebreaks in each cell, and then start the next line with a bullet character (and some spaces) - look at Wingdings.

It gets quite clumsy to use though with long lists, so for any major task, one of the options above is better.

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Bright01Author Commented:

I like this approach.  One other option is to have a separate cell that contains the Wingding symbol.  Then you could add a macro that when you type text into the cell to the right, the cell containing the Wingding could automatically show up and populate next to the text (in the separate cell).  It may also be doable with conditional formatting...... thoughts?

Thanks .... Ron and Dan,

Rob HensonFinance AnalystCommented:
To do what you have suggested you would only be able to activate the macro on exiting the cell. I guess it would then do a Find and Replace within the cell, replacing each "Carriage Return" with a "Carriage Return and Symbol".

However, what happens if you go back into the cell and add further lines?? On exiting the cell it would look at the cell for "Carriage Return" and would find previous Carriage Returns as well as new. These would then be replaced with "Carriage Return and Symbol" so you would end up with Carriage Return and Symbol twice.

Unless the routine looked for symbol and replaced with nothing and then looked for Carriage Return and replaced with Carriage Return & Symbol.

Conditional formatting cannot change the contents of the cell but only the appearance of those contents or the cell itself.
Bright01Author Commented:
Hey guys.  You have answered my question; and sometimes it's better to work with Excel for the way it is designed instead of making it do "hoops".  For that reason, I'll simply put the text in as complete sentences instead of trying to "get cute" with bullets.

Thanks again!

Danny ChildIT ManagerCommented:
I think you made a wise choice there.  Trying to make Excel into a Word Processor ultimately gets ugly.  Generally better getting your head around tables in Word, or using Excel as you have done, in a simpler manner.
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