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: Random Width and Height Changes.

Random Width and Height Changes

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated July 29, 2023)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Gary has a workbook set up with twelve worksheets, one for every month. He has framed the information in these worksheets so it just fits on his screen. At some point he opens his workbook to find that the June column widths have expanded so that they don't all fit on his screen. It is only the June columns that expand, but all worksheets will have their row heights expand from 12.75 to 13.50. If Gary resizes everything back so it once more fits his screen, everything is fine for a week or so, and then the resizing happens again.

It is unclear what might be causing this problem, but there are a few things you can check. If the workbook is stored on a network, where it can be accessed by other people, it could be that the change is occurring while someone else has the workbook open. In addition, if the workbook is opened on different machines, it could be that the other machines on which it is opened may be affecting the workbook, provided they have different screen resolutions or different printer fonts installed.

Being unsure as to the cause, it may be that the best solution is to create a macro that runs automatically when the workbook opens. This macro could go through the worksheets and set the column widths and row heights to what you need The following macro will perform these steps:

Private Sub Workbook_Open()
    Dim wSheet As Worksheet

    For Each wSheet In Worksheets
        ' Change to the columns you need
        Columns("A:M").Select
        ' Change to the width you need
        Selection.ColumnWidth = 12

        ' Change to the rows you need
        Rows("1:15").Select
        ' Change to the height you need
        Selection.RowHeight = 13
    Next wSheet
End Sub

Note:

If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3175) 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: Random Width and Height Changes.

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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