Re: Creating help files in Excel

Subject: Re: Creating help files in Excel
From: Dick Margulis <margulisd -at- comcast -dot- net>
To: Gary Robinson <RobinsonG2 -at- michigan -dot- gov>
Date: Sat, 09 Sep 2006 06:27:18 -0400

Gary Robinson wrote:

So far, I can find no way to create or import formatted text or line
breaks in Excel. Has anyone found a way to produce formatted text and
line breaks within a single spreadsheet cell? I'm no Excel guru, in
fact I rarely have to use it for anything and this is the first time
I've been requested to use it to create help files.


You can format Excel text. Whether the program that extracts the cell contents for compilation into Help preserves the formatting is another question, but it should be able to if it uses Office DLLs to do so. Otherwise, you're going to have to type html code into the cell, I suspect.

When you are typing in an Excel cell, Alt+Enter gives you a line break (twice for a line space between paragraphs). You can format the text in the cell (italics, bold, etc.) using keyboard shortcuts or toolbar buttons, as in Word. You can also format the cell itself (Format > Cells), to set up basics like font and size so that you don't have to do that part manually.

Tip: Put your cursor in the cell and double click. That way you can work in the cell rather than in the formula bar.

Note: I don't think there is a way to embed an image within a cell. Excel seems to want images to be separate objects that you position relative to the sheet rather than relative to the cell. This might be a problem if you need images in your compiled help. Maybe someone else can chime in with a way to include an image within a text flow in a cell. If not, you might try a strategy of putting a link to an image in the cell text: <img src="images/image001.jpg"> as you would in html anyway.

Good luck,



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