Auto-resizing a cell in Excel

Office 365 / SharePoint Blog

When you work in Excel, the default width for a cell column is 8.11 and the default height for a cell is 14.4. When looking up where those measurements came from, there doesn’t seem to be rhyme nor reason. The default column width has to do with default font size, and 8.11 of a standard character fit in the column. Who knew? The row height apparently has to do with the number of pixels, and again, seems somewhat arbitrary, but there you have it.

So why do we care? Because while we appreciate the uniformity of the grid system, not everything we do fits into these 8.11×14.4 cells, and we sometimes need to make them bigger or smaller, depending on our needs.

What is your preferred way of resizing a cell?

Do you click in between cells until you get a cross hair and then drag it to fit?

Excel: Column Width Slider

If you double-click in the same spot where that cross hair appears, the cell will Autofit to accommodate the widest or tallest content the row or column.

Excel: Column Width - Wider

Another way to get rows and columns to Auto resize, is to use the FORMAT | AUTOFIT option from the HOME ribbon bar.

Excel: Format | Autofit

I hope this helps you in your Excel journey, and that it saves you some time. Note: You cannot use Autofit feature for rows and columns that contain merged cells in Excel.

Bonus Tip from Microsoft: if you manually modify the height of a row, and then later wrap text in a cell in that row, Excel will not auto-adjust the height of that row to fit. Essentially, it figures you made the choice to make it that height, and so it’s not changing it unless you tell it to.

When this happens, you will need to select the row you want to adjust, then click AutoFit Row Height from the Format button in the HOME ribbon.


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