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: Displaying a Set Column Range.

Displaying a Set Column Range

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated December 28, 2013)


Let's say that you want to display a specific number of columns on a worksheet in the available window space. You can manually figure out the necessary width of each column and do the adjustments, or you can write a macro that will figure out, proportionally, how the width of each column should be adjusted to get the desired results.

An easier method, however, is to just adjust the zoom factor for a desired number of columns. This can be done manually by selecting the columns and then choosing View | Zoom | Fit Selection.

If you want to do it programmatically, it is even easier. Right-click a worksheet tab (the one you want this macro to apply to) and then choose View Code from the resulting Context menu. Excel displays the Visual Basic Editor, and you should enter the following into the code window:

Private Sub Worksheet_Activate()
    ActiveWindow.Zoom = True
End Sub

This particular macro assumes that you want to view columns A through L in the window. It selects the range A1:L1, and then sets the zooming factor to display just that selection (the columns you want). Finally, it selects cell A1 and ends.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3117) 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: Displaying a Set Column Range.

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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What is five more than 3?

2014-06-02 09:52:35


I wanted some help with plotting Excel Chart changing the range of Axes without changing the relationship between my variables. Can anybody help out?

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