Join Dennis Taylor for an in-depth discussion in this video Adjusting row heights and column widths, part of Excel 2016 Essential Training.
- You can easily adjust the width of columns and the height of rows. And as we look at this worksheet called Rows and Columns in the workbook called 04 - Formatting, maybe we want to make sure that these columns here, B, C, D, E, F and G are all exactly the same width. Much of the time, when you adjust column widths and/or row heights, you need not go into the menu system. You can simply use the boundaries between columns or the ones between row numbers to make adjustments.
Now two possibilities here. If we want all of these monthly columns to be wider, since we've dragged across to select them, we can point to any boundary between the column letters, click and drag. Notice as we do this, we see the number of pixels above it. Now most of the time, we don't really care but sometimes you might. I'll make these 75. Main idea is I want them of a certain width, and I want them all to be the same. So if I were to click right here on the boundary between F and G, holding down the mouse, it's 75 pixels.
And over here between B and C, same thing. Now it could be that these numbers vary a little bit. Do we want Column H to be the same? We could possibly make it be the same. We could just click here and it is 75 already, but we could possibly make that wider. Or what if we wanted these to be just as wide as they need to be? By double-clicking, you activate a feature called best fit. Now this doesn't necessarily mean they're going to be the same width. In fact, as we look at them, it looks like February might be wider than January.
Why is that? The numbers aren't any wider, but February takes up more horizontal space than January. What I'm getting at here without getting too picky is the idea that at different times, we have different needs. You can click and drag to make any column wider. If you've got multiple columns selected, you're going to make that happen on multiple columns. If I want just Column D to be narrower, I can certainly click and drag this way or double-click to make it be so called best fit. It's pretty apparent I wouldn't leave them in this look here.
If I want all columns to be a best fit, in other words, I want each column to be wide enough to handle the widest entry, then simply click in the upper left corner, double-click any boundary between column letters, and we see what's happening there. If I were working with this and adjusting Column A manually and it's too narrow, Column E is too wide and for the moment, I'm doing this on purpose, some are too wide, some are too narrow, we can readjust all of them quickly simply by clicking in the upper left corner then double-clicking any boundary between columns.
You're much less likely to want to adjust row height but you can certainly do that in the same general way. Maybe I want these numbers to stand out a little bit more, maybe I'm going to be printing this, and I want some space between these. With these four rows highlighted, I'm going to click one of the row boundaries and drag downward. Now it's taller, each row is taller as we wish here. We can also, after doing this, possibly adjust the placement of the text within these by going to a button here for middle align.
Make the data appear that way. So at different times, we've got different reasons. At any time, you can take any column, make it wider or narrower. At other times, you'll double-click for so-called best fit. Sometimes, these adjustments seem to happen almost automatically. And sometimes, you'll be putting in a long word or entry, maybe this says Balance of Payments. Now it looks like the column is wide enough, but if it weren't, what would happen? It spills into the other column over here because that cell is empty.
Later, if we want to adjust, double-click the boundary between A and B. It does that. Take this out, press delete. I'll double-click, it readjusts because that's no longer there. If you have a merged cell, you might not be familiar with how that works, but if you have a merged cell here, it essentially is ignored. If this were not merged, and I'll go to Merge & Center here, and unmerge it, sometimes you're in for a surprise here. If I were to say let's make Column A be a best fit, I'll double-click the boundary between A and B, and it does that.
So in that case, if you didn't want to merge but you wanted Column A to adjust, you'd have to do Column A manually and then adjust the others as needed. Now again, best fit does not mean the same width. Column H, for example, has a number over a thousand, whereas June and the other numbers here are not. Therefore, Column H is going to be wider. That's just the way it is if you used best fit. If you'd like to readjust the rows here, go back and select the entire worksheet, double-click any boundary between row numbers and then readjust it this way.
So you want to have the feeling that you've got complete control over the width of columns and the height of rows. Also note that if a column is too narrow and it has numbers in it, you will see pound signs. There will be times too when you see pound signs if you zoom in, possibly using that slider bar in the lower right-hand corner; or zoom out. Sometimes you'll see more or fewer of the pound signs, and that's a little bit confusing. That's just a flaw in the design of Excel, don't worry about it too much.
Focus on the particular display percent that you want, and then readjust the column widths. Let's readjust all of these again, double-click. There we are. Easy to adjust column widths and row heights.
- Working with the Excel interface
- Entering data
- Creating formulas and functions
- Formatting rows, columns, cells, and data
- Working with alignment and text wrap
- Adjusting rows and columns
- Finding and replacing data
- Printing and sharing worksheets
- Creating charts and PivotTables
- Inserting and deleting sheets
- Using power functions such as IF and VLOOKUP
- Password-protecting worksheets and workbooks
- Sorting data
- Analyzing data with Goal Seek and Solver
- Creating and running macros