Excel Column Width

Column Width in Excel

Adjusting the column width is one of the important activities while working with excel. It is one of the important activity performed by a user while preparing the reports, creation of dashboards, development of summary tables, and use of worksheets to do calculations on data. Microsoft excel facilitates a set of options for changing the width of the column. Columns in excel worksheets are not able to automatically adjust the width based on the data.

  • A column in excel has a default width of 8.43 characters, which is less than one inch. Excel presented different ways, including dragging through a mouse, using the shortcut menus on the ribbon, and double-clicking on the right side edge of the column heading.
  • The present article focuses on the discussion of the various effective ways to adjust the width of columns manually by covering the following topics.

Explanation

  • In an excel worksheet, a user is able to set the width of a column in the range from 0 to 255. In this, one character width is equal to one unit. For a new excel sheet, the column width is equal to 8.43 characters, which are equal to 64 pixels. A column will be hidden if its width is equal to zero.
  • When a user inputs data into the columns of the excel sheet, they do not automatically adjust the size of the column. If the value presented in a cell is big to fit with the default of the width of the column, it overlaps into the next cells by crossing the border of the cell.
  • The text string cell in overlaps the cell border, whereas the numeric string displays in the form of #####. To avoid these problems, we need to apply various commands to adjust the column width.

In excel, a different type of command is available to format the width of a column. Those include column width, auto fit column width, and default width.

  1. Column width: This command sets the width of the column to a certain number of characters.
  2. Autofit column width: This command helps in fitting the content to the widest column width.
  3. Default width: Adjusts to column width to the default widthColumn Width To The Default WidthTo autofit the column width to the entire column in Excel, select the entire column and drag the column according to the data. read more.
Excel-Column-Width

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How to Adjust Column Width in Excel?

  • Presenting the data in a readable format adjusting the column width.
  • Matching the width of a column in excel to another column.
  • Unhide of data that is not visible to the readers.
  • Setting the specific width to a column to fit with the content produced.
  • Application of proper formatting to the cells and their data.
  • Precise controlling the column width by changing the different fonts and their size.

Examples

Below are the examples of excel column width.

You can download this Column Width Excel Template here – Column Width Excel Template

Example#1 – Adjusting the Excel Column Width by Using the Mouse

This example illustrates the adjustment of the column width for the following data.

Column Width Example 1

As shown in the figure, data in two columns is not in a readable format; the following steps must be followed.

Step1: To adjust the width of only one column, drag the border of the column to the right side until the required column width is reached.

Column Width Example 1-1

Step2: Next, drag the column B width until the desired width is reached

Column Width Example 1-2

Step3: Next, drag the column C width until the desired width is reached

Column Width Example 1-3

We can adjust the width of all columns at a time by selecting the three columns.

Step4: Select three columns pressing CTRL+A or clicking the ‘All Button’ and drag on any column header shown in the screenshot

Column Width Example 1-4

The result will be shown as

Column Width Example 1-5

Example#2 – Setting the Width of the Column to a Certain Number

The following data is considered for this example.

Column Width Example 2

Follow the steps to set the width of certain number of columns in excel.

  1. Select the single or more columns that want to adjust the width


    Column Width Example 2-1

  2. Go to the “Format” option under the “Home” tab and click on Format


    Column Width Example 3-2

  3. Select the ‘Column width’ from the list of options, it opens the column width dialog box.


    Column Width Example 2-4

  4. Enter the desired value in column width box (for example 15) and click on OK


    Column Width Example 2-5

  5. The result is obtained as


    Column Width Example 2-6
    This method results in the same width for the columns selected.

Example#3 – Use of Autofit to Adjust the Column Width in Excel

This example is to illustrate the procedure to autofit the width of all columns to contents. The following data is considered for this example.

Use Autofit Example 3

Step1: To autofit the single column, double click on the right border of the column.

Step2: To apply the auto fit to two columns, double click on the boundary presented between them by selecting the two columns

Step3: To apply the auto fit to all columns, select the columns by pressing CTRL+A or select all button

Use Autofit Example 3-1

Step4: Go to the “Format” option under the “Home” tab and click on Format

Use Autofit Example 3-2

Step5: Select the ‘Autofit Column width’ from a list of options as shown in the screenshot

Use Autofit Example 3-3

It auto fits the width of all columns, as shown in the screenshot.

Use Autofit Example 3-4

Example#4 – Setting the Default Width for Columns in Excel

This example illustrates the way to change the default column width for a worksheet or total worksheets in a workbook. The following data is considered for this example.

Column Width Example 4

Step1: Select the single or more worksheets that want to adjust the default width of a column. For this example, we are considering only one worksheet.

Column Width Example 4-1

Step2: Go to the “Format” option under the “Home” tab and click on Format

Column Width Example 4-2

Step3: Select the ‘Default Column width’ from a list of options as shown in the screenshot

Column Width Example 4-3

It opens the standard width dialog box.

Column Width Example 4-4

Step4: Enter the desired width into the standard column width box as 20.

Example 4-5

Then, the result is obtained as

Example 4-6

Things to Remember

  • ‘Autofit’ of column width doesn’t have any effect on width if the width of the column is sufficient for the content
  • When a user wants to modify the default width of an excel file, save the empty workbook as a template in excel.

Recommended Articles

This has been a guide to Excel Column Width. Here we learn how to adjust the column width in excel by using the mouse and autofit to adjust the column width along with examples and a downloadable excel template. You may learn more about excel from the following articles –

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