Fast Way to Adjust Height and Width of Cells in Excel

BY STANLEY ZAROWIN

When I’m working in Excel, I frequently need to adjust the height and width of a cell. I can do it with a mouse, but that means I have to shift my hand from the keyboard to the mouse. I’m beginning to realize I can be more efficient if I keep both hands on the keyboard. So, is there a keyboard sequence for that?

I like the way you think. While the mouse is handy, keystrokes are far more efficient. Here’s how to adjust the size of cells using the keyboard:

For pre-2007 Excel, press Alt+O (that’s the letter, not a zero) and the regular formatting screen will appear (see screenshot below).

Then click on just the letter R (for the Row option) and the Row submenu appears. Press E and the Height option opens. Enter your choices and press Enter.

To change the column width, press Alt+O and then press C (for Column) and then W (for width). Type your values and press Enter.

In Excel 2007, press Alt, which puts Excel into a shortcut key mode (see the January 2009 column, page 74, for more on the use of KeyTips) and press H for the Home tab of the Ribbon. Press O (capital letter O) to open the Format tool in the Cells group with a dropdown list. Press H for Row Height. For Width, press W.

Another way to adjust the height of an entire row in any version of Excel is topress Shift+Spacebar, and then press Shift+F10, which displays the Context menu (see screenshot at right).

To change the Row Height, press R. To reset a Column Width, press Ctrl+Spacebar, then Shift+F10, then press C twice to choose Column Width, which is the second command that starts with the letter C (see screenshot at left).

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