Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Double-Clicking to Widen Columns Won't Work.

Double-Clicking to Widen Columns Won't Work

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated January 30, 2016)

2

Normally, Excel allows you to double-click on the divider bar between column heads in order to widen a column. For instance, if you need to widen column C, all you need to do is move the mouse so it points to the divider between column headers for column C and column D; the mouse pointer changes to a double-headed arrow. When you double-click, column C is widened to accommodate the widest information in its cells.

There are times when double-clicking to widen a column won't work, however. In particular, Excel won't widen a column in this manner if the worksheet is protected. (The obvious solution is to unprotect the worksheet.)

You also cannot double-click to widen if the column is formatted using the Wrap Text attribute. You can use any different method of widening the column, but you cannot double-click.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (2583) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) here: Double-Clicking to Widen Columns Won't Work.

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. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Getting Rid of Automatic Page-Break Lines

A little trick to get rid of pagination marks when you have background pagination turned off.

Discover More

Converting Endnotes to Regular Text

If you have a document with lots of endnotes, you may need them converted to regular text so that they can be used ...

Discover More

Controlling Entry Order on Unprotected Cells

When you protect a worksheet, one of the benefits is that you can limit which cells can be used for data entry. How a ...

Discover More

Program Successfully in Excel! John Walkenbach's name is synonymous with excellence in deciphering complex technical topics. With this comprehensive guide, "Mr. Spreadsheet" shows how to maximize your Excel experience using professional spreadsheet application development tips from his own personal bookshelf. Check out Excel 2013 Power Programming with VBA today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Changing Column Width

When creating a worksheet, you often need to adjust the width of columns so your data looks great. Here's how to quickly ...

Discover More

Unhiding Columns that are Persistently Hidden

If you were trying to format a worksheet and nothing you did could make the first two columns appear, would you be ...

Discover More

Centering Across Columns

Have a heading you need centered across a few columns? It's easy to do using the tool described in this tip.

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is 8 + 0?

2016-11-01 14:33:36

Nancy F

Neither of these situations is my case and I still cannot widen with a double click. Any other ideas?


2016-01-30 10:06:20

Henry Noble

A simpler description of double-clicking the column divider is that it triggers AutoFit Column Width. So, it will shrink or expand a column.


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.