Modifying Columns, Rows, and Cells

In Excel column width can be modified, as can row height and width in Excel. Learn to modify Excel cells in this free Excel 2010 lesson.

Working with columns, rows, and cells

Video: Modifying Cells, Rows, and Columns in Excel 2010

Launch video!Watch the video (3:22).

By default, every row and column of a new workbook is set to the same height and width. Excel allows you to modify column width and row height in different ways.

Optional: You can download this example for extra practice.

To modify column width:

  1. Position your mouse over the column line in the column heading so the white cross Cursor becomes a double arrow Double-arrow.
    Positioning mouse over the column line Positioning mouse over the column line
  2. Click and drag the column to the right to increase column width or to the left to decrease column width.
    Increasing the column width Increasing the column width
  3. Release the mouse. The column width will be changed in your spreadsheet.
    Increasing the column width Increased column width

If you see pound signs (#######) in a cell, it means the column is not wide enough to display the cell content. Simply increase the column width to show the cell content.

To set column width with a specific measurement:

  1. Select the columns you want to modify.
  2. Click the Format command on the Home tab. The format drop-down menu appears.
  3. Select Column Width.
    Increasing the column width Increasing the column width
  4. The Column Width dialog box appears. Enter a specific measurement.
    Increasing column width to 258 pixels Increasing column width to 258 pixels
  5. Click OK. The width of each selected column will be changed in your worksheet.

Select AutoFit Column Width from the format drop-down menu, and Excel will automatically adjust each selected column so all of the text will fit.