How to Change Column Width in Excel

Last Updated: October 29, 2023

- Written by Puneet

In Excel, a sheet has multiple cells of the same size, and each cell contains 8.43 characters.

Especially, while preparing reports, creating data tables, or doing other calculations, you often need to alter the width of a column. And, by increasing your columns wider, you can easily get the visibility of the whole data on your sheet.

In this tutorial, we will learn several effective ways to adjust the width of the columns.

Adjust Column Width with Mouse

Adjusting the width of the column by clicking and dragging is very easy to do and understand. Now, let’s do this step by step.

  1. To change the width of “Single or multiple columns”, first, select that specific column on the spreadsheet.
  2. After that, move the pointer of the mouse to the border of the selected column in the column header.
  3. Once it looks like a four-sided arrow, press and hold the left button of the mouse and drag it towards the right side to increase its width size.
  4. For changing the width of “All Columns”, press Ctrl + A first to select all columns from the sheet and now drag on any column header to adjust it as you required.

You can also view the current width of the column by clicking on the border of the column in the column header with its pixels.


Set Column Width to a Specific Number

  1. Again, you need to select the column first to change its width to a specific number.
  2. Then, in the Home tab, go to the Cells group and now click on “Format”.
  3. Next, choose “Column Width” from the list of the drop-down.
  4. Once you click, it opens the dialog box of column width. Now, enter the exact value of the width that you want in the box and click “OK” to apply.

Set Column Width by Right-Click

You can also open the same “Column Width” dialog box by right-clicking on the selected row.


In the column width box, you can enter the desired value, and click ok.


Adjust Column Width by AutoFit Option

If your data in the columns are not visible, then you can use the autofit option to adjust the width of the columns collectively. The following are the steps to do:

  1. For this, you must first select the single, multiple, or all columns to set the width.
  2. Next, go to “Format” in the cells group under the Home tab. Select the “Autofit Column Width” option from the list of options.
  3. Then, it autofits the width of all selected columns automatically so that you can see all the data easily, as shown in the following picture.

Setting the Default Width of Columns

With default column width, you can change the width of complete worksheet columns and also set the width for all worksheets in a workbook at once.

  1. Select the single or multiple spreadsheets where you would like to adjust the default width. Here, we are selecting the single worksheet as an example.
  2. Now, go to the “format” and click on the “Default Width” option.
  3. Then, it will open the “Standard Width” dialog box. There, you can see the current width of the blank columns, and it’s 20.
  4. Last, you need to enter the “Standard Column Width” in the box and click “OK” to apply.

Point to Remember

  • The standard default width applies to all the blank cells in the worksheet instead of those cells which have data already.
  • The autofit column width doesn’t apply if the column width is sufficient for the data in the column.