Automatic Sizing of Spreadsheet Cells

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

Q. I know that I can adjust a column width in Excel by dragging the right side of the column heading to the desired size. I know, too, that I can automatically adjust the whole column to fit the widest cell by double-clicking on the boundary on the right side of the heading. But how can I do that for the whole worksheet?

A. You apparently don’t know about the Select All button. That’s not surprising, since Microsoft doesn’t clearly label it. The Select All button is the gray box to the left of the A column and right above row 1. When you click on it, you highlight the entire workbook.

Now you can automatically size all the cells—either by width or height. If you want to fit width, go to Format, Column, and click on AutoFit Selection; if you want to fit height, click on Row and then AutoFit Selection. If you want to AutoFit only selected rows or columns, hold down the Ctrl key while you highlight those rows or columns.

Select All button. Hold down the Ctrl key and highlight any rows and/or columns.

If you use the AutoFit Selection method, the width is based on the width of the cell you have selected. If you use the double-click method, the width is based on the widest item in the column, not what you have selected.

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