How to Make Columns Wider in Excelby Kevin Lee, Demand Media
Use your mouse or keyboard to make Excel columns wider.
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When you add text to a cell in your business spreadsheet, that cell will not widen automatically to accommodate your text unless you change a few settings. This behavior can be frustrating when you need to type long data values in a column in the column is too narrow to display all the data. Excel has several methods you can use to make columns wider using your mouse or by typing values into a dialog window.
Resize Using Dialog WindowStep 1
Launch Microsoft Excel and open a spreadsheet that has data.
Resize Using Dialog WindowStep 2
Click the column you would like to make wider. If you want to resize more than one column, press "Ctrl" and click additional columns to select them.
Related Reading: How to Combine First & Last Name Columns in Excel
Resize Using Dialog WindowStep 3
Click the ribbon's "Home" tab and find the ribbon’s Cells section. Click "Format" to display a format menu that displays multiple formatting options.
Resize Using Dialog WindowStep 4
Click the menu’s "Column Width" option to open the Column Width dialog window.
Resize Using Dialog WindowStep 5
Type a width value in the "Column Width" text box and click "OK" to resize the columns.
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Resize Using MouseStep 1
Select one or more columns you'd like to make wider.
Resize Using MouseStep 2
Click the right boundary of one of the columns you selected.
Resize Using MouseStep 3
Hold down your left mouse button and drag your mouse to the right to make the columns wider.
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- After clicking "Format" to display the menu containing formatting options, you can click "AutoFit Column Width" instead of clicking "Column Width." Clicking “AutoFit Column Width” forces Excel to adjust the width of the columns you selected so that they are wide enough to display their contents.
- Every Excel spreadsheet has a "Select All" button. Find this to the left of the spreadsheet's first column. Click that button when you want to select all a worksheet’s columns.
- Change the default width for all columns in a worksheet by clicking the worksheet's tab at the bottom Excel and returning to the menu that displays the formatting options as described previously. Click the menu's "Default Width" option and type a value for the width you'd like to use in the Default Width text box. Click “OK” to save your changes. To change the default width for all worksheets in a workbook, perform these steps after right-clicking a worksheet tab and clicking "Select All Sheets."
About the Author
After majoring in physics, Kevin Lee began writing professionally in 1989 when, as a software developer, he also created technical articles for the Johnson Space Center. Today this urban Texas cowboy continues to crank out high-quality software as well as non-technical articles covering a multitude of diverse topics ranging from gaming to current affairs.
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