Changing Column Width and Row Height

In Excel column width can be modified, as can row height and width in Excel. Learn to modify Excel cells in this free Excel 2003 lesson.

Adjusting column widths

By default, Excel's columns are 8.43 characters wide, but each individual column can be enlarged to 240 characters wide.

If the data being entered in a cell is wider or narrower than the default column width, you can adjust the column width so it is wide enough to contain the data.

Column Too Small for Data

You can adjust column width manually or use AutoFit.

To manually adjust a column width:

  • Place your mouse pointer to the right side of the gray column header.
  • The mouse pointer changes to the adjustment tool (double-headed arrow).

    Selecting a Column's Border
  • Drag the Adjustment tool left or right to the desired width and release the mouse button.

    Drag Column To Enlarge It

To AutoFit the column width:

  • Place your mouse pointer to the right side of the column header.
  • The mouse pointer changes to the adjustment tool (double-headed arrow).
  • Double-click the column header border.
  • Excel "AutoFits" the column, making the entire column slightly larger than the largest entry contained in it.

To access AutoFit from the menu bar, choose Format Column AutoFit Selection.