Fitting Your Information

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 6, 2012)

It is important to remember that the default size for Excel columns is only a starting point. In fact, one of the most common formatting tasks you will do in Excel is to adjust the width of columns. If you want to make sure that all the information in a cell is visible, try this:

  1. Select a cell in the column you want to adjust, making sure you select the one that has the widest information you want displayed.
  2. Choose Column from the Format menu. This displays a submenu.
  3. Choose AutoFit Selection from the submenu.

The column width is adjusted so that the information in the cell you selected is entirely visible. Another quick way to do a similar adjustment is to simply double-click on the divider bar between the column heading for the column you want to adjust and the column to the right. That may sound confusing, but it is really quite simple. For example, let's say you wanted to adjust the width of column D. All you need to do is double-click on the divider bar between D and E in the gray column headings at the top of the worksheet area.

There is one difference between these two methods. If you use the AutoFit Selection method, the width is set based on the cell you have selected. If you use the double-click method, the width is set based on the widest item in the column, not what you have selected.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (1932) applies to Microsoft Excel , 8, , 10, and .

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He  is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...


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