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Tutorial: Adjusting column widths and row heights in Excel

Make your column widths match your data in Microsoft Excel. Discover how in this tutorial by Sean McManus, from the book 100 Top Tips: Microsoft Excel

Here are some tips for adjusting the width of columns. Similar ideas apply to rows.

  1. To adjust the width of a column, click and drag the line to the right of its letter above the column. Here, I'm adjusting the width of column C.

    screenshot of Excel showing how to adjust column widths

  2. To make the column width snap to the width of the content in the column, double-click this same dividing line above the column, on its right.

  3. You can select several columns and adjust them at the same time, making them equal width, or making them all snap to their content width. To select a column, click its letter. Click and drag on the letters to select multiple columns, or use Ctrl + click to select columns that aren't adjacent.

  4. You might want to set the column width to a particular cell in the column, rather than the widest cell. Perhaps one cell contains a title that you're happy to run into other cells. Select the cell you want to adjust the width to, go to Format in the Cells group of the Home tab, and select AutoFit Column Width.

    screenshot of Excel showing an example of Autofit


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About 100 Top Tips: Microsoft Excel

This tutorial is from 100 Top Tips: Microsoft Excel. The powerful pocketbook helps you to learn more from your data, be more productive with Excel, and improve the accuracy of your spreadsheets. It's packed with shortcuts, tips, and hacks for Excel that solve everyday business problems. Find out more and download a free PDF sampler here, and order the book online here.

Book cover: 100 Top Tips: Microsoft Excel

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