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: Finding Columns of a Certain Width.

Finding Columns of a Certain Width

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated June 25, 2018)

Howard has a need to discover all the columns in a worksheet that are a given width. For instance, he needs to know which columns have a width of 3.6.

This can be done by using a macro. One of the properties your macro can access is the width of each column. This means that you can step through the columns and check those widths against the desired width (3.6) in the following manner:

Sub ListColumns()
    Dim dColWidth As Double
    Dim sMsg As String
    Dim x As Integer

    dColWidth = 3.6
    sMsg = ""
    For x = 1 To ActiveSheet.Columns.Count
        If Columns(x).ColumnWidth = dColWidth Then
            sMsg = sMsg & vbCrLf & x
        End If
    Next
    If sMsg = "" Then
        sMsg = "There are no columns with" & _
          vbCrLf & "a width of " & dColWidth
    Else
        sMsg = "The following columns have" & _
          vbCrLf & "a width of " & dColWidth & _
          ":" & vbCrLf & sMsg
    End If
    MsgBox sMsg
End Sub

This macro displays a message box that lists the columns that match the desired width. The macro can be made more robust with some simple changes. For instance, the following example prompts the user for a column width, counts the number of matches, and even compensates if the worksheet is using R1C1 referencing mode.

Sub Find_ColumnWidth()
    Dim Col As Integer          ' Column (loop variable)
    Dim ColsFound As Integer    ' Columns Found Count
    Dim Desired_Width As Double ' Column Width To Find
    Dim OutStr As String        ' Output String
    Dim Title As String         ' Msgbox Title
    Dim I As Integer
    Dim S As String

    ' Find out column width wanted
    S = InputBox("Enter ColumnWidth to find ?", _
      " Find ColumnWidth on " & ActiveSheet.Name)
    Desired_Width = Val(S)
    If Desired_Width = 0 Then Exit Sub

    ' Initialize Columns Found Count and Output String
    ColsFound = 0
    OutStr = ""

    For Col = 1 To ActiveSheet.Columns.Count
        If Columns(Col).ColumnWidth = Desired_Width Then
            ColsFound = ColsFound + 1

            If Application.ReferenceStyle = 1 Then
                ' Using "A1" format
                S = Cells(1, Col).Address(ReferenceStyle:=xlA1)
                S = Mid(S, 2, Len(S) - 3)
            Else
                ' Using "R1C1" format
                S = Trim(Str(Col))
            End If
            OutStr = OutStr & S & vbCrLf
        End If
    Next

    ' Construct MsgBox Title string
    Title = "Width=" & Desired_Width _
      & " on " & ColsFound & " column" _
      & Left("s", - (ColsFound > 1)) & " "

    If ColsFound = 0 Then
        OutStr = "No matches found"
    End If

    MsgBox OutStr, vbOKOnly, Title
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 (3827) 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: Finding Columns of a Certain Width.

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

Inserting the User's Initials

One of the pieces of information tracked by Word are your name and initials. You can insert your initials by using the ...

Discover More

Displaying Zeros

There are times when displaying zero values in a worksheet (especially if there are lots of them) can be distracting from ...

Discover More

Printing Show/Hide Characters

Non-printing characters are very handy to view when editing a document. But what if you want those characters to no ...

Discover More

Comprehensive VBA Guide Visual Basic for Applications (VBA) is the language used for writing macros in all Office programs. This complete guide shows both professionals and novices how to master VBA in order to customize the entire Office suite for their needs. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2010 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Moving Macros from the Personal Workbook

Need to move a macro out of your Personal.xls workbook and into a regular workbook? You can do it using familiar editing ...

Discover More

Swapping Two Numbers

When programming macros, variables are used extensively. At some point you might want to exchange the values held by two ...

Discover More

Storing a User's Location before Running a Macro

Macros are often used to process information in a workbook. If your macro makes changes in what is selected in the ...

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 six minus 6?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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.