overwriting adjacent cells

Hello, I have Excel 2007

I have a sheet with rather narrow columns.

Starting with a blank sheet,... if I enter a long text string into the 1st column (column A) it displays fully as it overlaps the ajacent columns B,C.... which are empty.

If I enter anything at all into column B, even the null character, or an IF function which evaluates to null, the text string is truncated to the width of column A.

Is there any way of getting the text to overlap adjacent columns if their cells are null ?

( I am aware of the wrap and rotate options, but they would require a large row height.)

Thanks for all ideas