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: Setting Cell Width and Height Using the Keyboard.

Setting Cell Width and Height Using the Keyboard

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated July 15, 2022)
This tip applies to Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003


Sawan wonders if there is a way to adjust the height and width of a cell by using the keyboard, without using the mouse. (Some people are really adverse to using the mouse!) The answer is yes, there is a way. The problem, however, is that it isn't a terribly intuitive way.

Here's how you set the row height:

  1. Press Alt+o. Excel displays the Format menu.
  2. Press r. Excel chooses the Row option and displays a submenu.
  3. Press e. Excel chooses the Height option and displays the Row Height dialog box.
  4. Type the value you want for the row height.
  5. Press Enter.

The method for changing the column width is equally obtuse:

  1. Press Alt+o. Excel displays the Format menu.
  2. Press c. Excel chooses the Column option and displays a submenu.
  3. Press w. Excel chooses the Width option and displays the Column Width dialog box.
  4. Type the value you want for the column width.
  5. Press Enter.

Here's a different method of changing the row height:

  1. Press Shift+Spacebar. Excel selects the entire row.
  2. Press Shift+F10 to display a Context menu. (This is the same menu you see if you were to right-click on the selection.)
  3. Press R to indicate you want to change the row height. Excel displays the Row Height dialog box.
  4. Type the value you want for the row height.
  5. Press Enter.

A similar sequence will work for setting the column width:

  1. Press Ctrl+Spacebar. Excel selects the entire column.
  2. Press Shift+F10 to display a Context menu. (This is the same menu you see if you were to right-click on the selection.)
  3. Press C twice to choose the second "C" command in the Context menu (Column Width).
  4. Press Enter. Excel displays the Column Width dialog box.
  5. Type the value you want for the column width.
  6. Press Enter.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (3529) 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: Setting Cell Width and Height Using the Keyboard.

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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