How to Change Column Width in Excel [Video]

Whether you’re creating a new Excel spreadsheet or modifying one that has already been built, you’ll often find that the default column width just doesn’t work with your data.

If you see titles that are cut off or number signs (##) in place of values, you should consider adjusting column width in your spreadsheet.

Columns are too narrow

Here’s How to Change Column Width in Excel

You can adjust the width of an individual column in a spreadsheet or you can set the width of multiple columns at the same time.

Here are 3 ways you can change column width in Excel.

1) Manually Adjust Column Width Using Your Mouse

If you need to manually adjust column width, position your mouse pointer over the right border of the column heading. When your pointer becomes a double-headed arrow, drag to set the desired column width.

To adjust the width of multiple columns, select two or more column headings then drag the border of any selected column header to adjust the width of all selected columns.

2) Double-Click to Autofit Column Width

To autofit column width, double-click the right edge of any column heading. Auto fit adjusts the width of the column to display the widest entry.

Drag to select two or more column headings then double-click the border of any column heading in the selected range. This will automatically resize all selected columns.

3) Use the Column Width Box

To adjust column width with more precision, right-click a column heading and select Column Width from the shortcut menu. In the Column Width dialog box, enter a custom column width by typing a number between 0 and 255.

You set column width by typing the number of characters that should be visible in that column. Keep in mind this measurement unit is approximate and may not reflect the width of characters using a standard font.

Default Column Width

The default column width is 8.09, if you ever feel like resetting your column widths back to their original values.

Adjust Column Width with Ease

Whether you prefer to manually adjust the width of the columns in your spreadsheet or have them automatically adjusted when you autofit column width, the end result will be the same. You spreadsheet will be legible and easier to understand.

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By Michael Belfry

Working as a full-time training consultant, Michael provides Microsoft Office courses to government and private sector clients across Canada.