Excel Column Auto Width

What is the Autofit Column Width?

For everything, there is a default setting or value in excel, so does for the width of the column and height of the rows. Apart from these default settings, we can give our own width and height for columns and rows, respectively. There are so many ways where we can fit the width of the columns in excel; if you are a beginner in excel doesn’t have any knowledge about column auto width, then this article will guide you on this in detail.

Default Column Width in Excel

When you open a new workbook of excel, it comes with default settings for column width and many other settings. So in order to view the default width of the column, place your cursor on the end of the column, and you will see a four-way arrow keys symbol.

Excel Column Auto width Example 1

When you move the arrow, you can see the default column width.

Excel Column Auto width Example 1-1

There we have the default column width as 8.43 Characters, which is equal to 64 pixels.

We can change this column width by dragging the column edge to the right by holding your left click of the mouse.

Excel Column Auto width Example 1-2

As you can see in the above image, when we are dragging the right corner of the column to the right side column width is changing, like this, we can set the column width to our reference by dragging.

We can also select column width under the excel home tab; for an example, our current active column is “A.”

Column Autofit Example 1-3

Under the HOME tab, go to “FORMAT” and click on the drop-down list in Excel to see many formatting options, from that, choose the “Column Width” option.

Column Autofit Example 1-4

This will open below the “Column Width” window showing the current column width.

Excel Column Auto width Example 1-5

Since the current column has the default width, it is showing the width as 8.43 Character only. We can also open a column width setting by using the shortcut key ALT + H + O + W.

shortcut to open column width window

This shortcut key is used to open up the above “Column Width” window, and as per the character number, it will adjust the column width accordingly.

Column Autofit Example 1-6

We had given the width as 20, and if we click on “Ok” it will adjust the column width to 20.

Column Autofit Example 1-7

There you go, the current column width is adjusted to 20 from default 8.43.

Column Width is Not Auto Adjusted to the Largest Value in the Column

When we type some data into the cell, that value not necessarily within the default width of the column; when the cell value is more than the default character width, the respective column of that cell won’t change its width automatically.

  1. For example, look at the below image.

    Column Autofit Example 1-8
    In cell A1 we have typed “Google Inc,” and it is surely over the default column width.

  2. Since there is no value in cell B1, we can still see the full value of cell A1, but when we enter some other value into cell B1, we no longer see the full value of cell A1.

    Column Autofit Example 1-9
    We can’t see the full value of cell A1 and the same case with B1 as well this cell value too over the column width.

  3. Now we need to adjust the column width to the cell value, so to auto adjust the column width to the excel cell value, place your cursor on the right corner of column A first.

    Column Autofit Example 1-10

  4. When you see that four-way arrow key, just double click on your mouse to auto adjust the excel column width, which is equal to the highest lengthy value in the column.

    Column-Autofit-Example-1-11
    When we double-click on the column right corner, it has adjusted the column width, which is equal to the value in the cell A1 which is 9.57 characters.

  5. Similarly, do the same thing for column B as well.

    Column-Autofit-Example-1-12
    Column B auto width is adjusted to 12.43.

AutoFit Column Width Using Excel Shortcut Key

We can also autofit column width by using excel shortcut key ALT + O + C + A.

Shortcut to Autofit Column Width

For example, look at the below data.

Column Autofit Example 2

As shown above, we have three values in three cells, first place a cursor on the A2 cell.

Column Autofit Example 2-1

Now press the shortcut key ALT + O + C + A.

Column Autofit Example 2-2

As we have seen above, upon pressing the excel shortcut key, it has auto-adjusted the column width, which is equal to fit the A2 cell value only, and the A3 cell value still is not adjusted to the column width, so to impact the entire column width we need to select the entire column and then press the shortcut key.

Column Autofit Example 2-3

Now press the shortcut key ALT + O + C + A.

Column Autofit Example 2-4

So the entire column will be adjusted, which is equal to the highest value in the column.

Things to Remember

  • Alternative to ALT + O + C + A key is ALT + H + O + I.
  • A double click should be done at the end of the right corner of the column.
  • To Auto fit the column width to the entire column, we need to select the entire column and perform the auto fit activity; otherwise, only the selected cells will be Autofitted.

This has been a guide to Excel Column Auto Width. Here we discuss how to autofit column width (manually, dragging, and with Shortcut Key) in excel. You may learn more about excel from the following articles –

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