Word wrap

Updated: 11/13/2018 by Computer Hope

Word wrap may refer to any of the following:

1. Sometimes referred to as a run around, word wrap is a feature in text editors and word processors that moves to the next line when reaching the end without requiring you to press Enter. For example, in the picture below you can see as each section is shrunk the sentence is wrapped, so it does not extend past the border. You can see a live example of how text wraps by resizing the browser window on this page.

Word wrap

Live example of word wrap

In all online textarea fields like the example below, when text reaches the end of the box the cursor moves to the next line.

Why is word wrapping used?

Word wrapping is used to help contain text within an area and to prevent text from being cut off or missed. For example, all of the text contained on this page is wrapped in an HTML div tag for easy reading. If there was no word wrapping, you would be required to scroll horizontally (left-to-right) instead of vertically (up and down) on any long line of text making it harder to read.

Turning off word wrap

Word wrap button examplesWord wrap is almost always set up by default and can be turned off by enabling hyphenation, clicking on the word wrap button, or adjusting the program's settings. In the picture to the right is an example of what a word wrap button may look like or resemble for programs that have the option.

Note: If word wrap is disabled, the line of text continues horizontally on the same line until the Enter key is pressed.

Why would someone want word wrap turned off?

When working with files that contain long lines of text, it may be easier to view and find text with word wrap turned off. For example, if you had a .csv file that was of an Excel spreadsheet with hundreds of rows that each had dozens of columns it would be easier to read if word wrap was turned off.

How to wrap text at a certain number of characters

You can use our text tool to wrap any text at a certain length. For example, if you wanted to wrap your text at 100 character length you can paste your text into the tool and enter "100" into the "wrap text at" section.

2. In Microsoft Excel and other spreadsheet programs, word wrap is more commonly referred to as Wrap Text.

Alignment, Soft return, Text wrap, Word, Word processor terms