How to Resize Columns or Rows with Precision in Excel

Everyone knows the simplest way to resize a row or column in Microsoft Excel is to simply click and drag it to the desired size, letting go of the mouse button only after you’ve reached the desired result. But aside from the numerical help that pops up as tooltips (the inch measurements seen as you’re dragging the bar left, right, up, or down), this really doesn’t offer much precision. Besides, it’s slow, and a manual process that requires doing it for each column or row you want to resize.

There’s a better way.

1. Open Excel and choose a document to load. I’m going to load a Blank workbook, for the sake of this guide. 

2. Place the mouse pointer inside a cell and click to select it. 

3. Click the Format icon in the ribbon (on the right side) and select Column Width (or Row height if you want to change the height of a Row instead). 

4. Enter the desired width, and press OK. 

To do this for all columns, instead of a single one, keep reading. 

1. Select an area by clicking in one cell, and dragging the highlighted portion to span the entire width and height of the section you’d like to resize.

2. Repeat steps 3 and 4. 

As an aside, there are also two cool tools within the Format menu (from step 3) -- AutoFit Row Height and AutoFit Column Width. These two will automatically resize the column or row to encompass the size of the characters within it. For dates, it’ll remains small, while names and URLs will grow in size to accommodate. 


Microsoft Excel Tips