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Excel 2003 Essential Training with Mark Swift is a movie-based workshop for users who are new to working with spreadsheets, or those wanting to improve their skills. This workshop begins with a basic overview of the application and quickly advances to cover useful formulas, functions, techniques for enhancing spreadsheets, charts, and much more. Exercise files accompany the training, allowing you to follow along and learn at your own pace.
As we begin talking about formatting our worksheets, we'll start with column widths and row heights. Let's go back to a familiar friend, the Quarterly_Sales spreadsheet and again I remind you, please don't open it from here or from the File > Recently Used Documents. Open it up. I'm going to browse to my Student Files. Open it up from the Chapter 4 folder. So here we are Quarterly_Sales. This file is going to start developing as we go right now. So you can see that we have First Quart, Second Q, Third Quar, Fourth Quarter, and here's something else I take the opportunity to tell you. In E1, the word Fourth Quarter is completely readable because F1 has no data in it right now. If I were to enter something into F1, it would be truncated the same as D1 and C1 and B1 are. It's obvious that we either need to shrink the size of our titles or increase the width of these columns. When you first open up a blank workbook all of the worksheets within that workbook have a unified width and height to the rows and columns. As you begin to layout your information to make it more readable, more appealing, better for print, you're going to want to customize that spacing so that you can see your data more easily. So let's adjust the column widths for these titles. Here I have First Quarter. One of the easiest ways you can adjust your column width is to hover between, now you see as I go up to the column heading it turns into that down arrow where if I click it's going to select the entire column. Well, let's go back here. If I hover between B and C, then I get the straight bar with the left and right arrows indicating that I can adjust the column width, or I can adjust that barrier between. So I'm going to click and drag and now the pop-up text that just appeared is telling me that I have a width of 8.43. I happen to know that that's the default width for the entire spreadsheet right now. Every column is 8 .43, and it will continue to report, as I move to the right, here I am dragging, dragging, dragging. Let's try 13 and see what we get. Now as you can see it's also very difficult to stop exactly where I want. To the right of the 13- point column width, it's telling me how many pixels it is, just in case I'm going to be publishing this to a screen format, something where I'm going to be showing it in PowerPoint or using it on the web. So let me release. Now I have more than enough space to deal with the First Quarter title. Now that has a width of 13. Let's see how 13 works for Second Quarter. And here again it's very difficult to get exactly 13 when you're clicking and dragging depending on the accuracy of your mouse and your dexterity. 13 was just enough to hit Second Quarter. It's kind of tight in that space, I would say. Let me show you another way, an easy way to size your columns. If I move into that same space where I could click and drag, I can double-click to automatically adjust the column width. Let me do that again for E. And here it is, taking the longest string of text, or the longest number value and it sized my column to fit that value, cause automatically I know that I have enough space. If I were to double-click the line between B and C, it's going to shrink the column B down, because it was set too wide for the information that was in that column at that time. That's all well and good, you know. My column widths, they're looking okay, but I think that for my purposes, for the presentation of this information, I'm going to want to have everything separated in a uniform width. So in that case I need something it's a little more precise than these methods. Let me select this entire column, go up to Format, and now I have options specifically for rows, and options specifically for columns, and here I have my Column Width. So now I can enter specifically the value 12, hit OK. Now I can select this one, Format > Column > Width > 12.
Ah, but we've already learned that that's not wide enough for that coumn. Plus this is a slow method of going about it. If I click and drag, so that I could select all four columns, I can go Format > Width > 13, and there we have it. All four columns are now uniform, they're identical, and they all fit the title and heading that's within them. Changing your row height is much the same exercise, but it's done for different reasons. Excel has the ability to wrap text. In other words I could have the word Quarter fall below the word Second, in which case row 1 would have to be much thicker to accommodate the two lines.
If I increase the font size, let me just do that. I'll select B through E by clicking and dragging, and then I'll go up to the Formatting toolbar and I'll increase the font size to 14. You can see now it's increased the height of row 1 to accommodate that automatically, but honestly barring any increase in text size, there usually isn't a great demand for adjusting your row height. But say I did do this and I wanted to drag the row height down a little bit, you can see it's at 18 points right now, 24 pixels. I can click and drag that manually, just as I did before. I can double- click to auto-size it, or go up to the Format menu and go Row > Height and choose an exact value here. So those are some options for controlling the width and height of your columns and rows.
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