Resizing Cell Widths in Excel the Easy Way

I can’t tell you how many time I’ve watched users struggle to resize all of the columns in an Excel spreadsheet individually, and manually. The need to resize the width of Excel columns is probably one of the most common tasks every Excel user needs to perform – most users do want the information in individual cells to be completely visible in most cases. When data in a cell exceeds the width of a cell and cell directly to its right also has data entered (ie, is not empty), Excel will automatically “cut off” the cell’s contents.

Let’s say that you have data entered in cells A1, B1, and C1, and all of the data extends beyond the right-hand edge of the cell. The contents of cells A1 and B1 will be cut off, while the contents of C1 will be completely visible, at least until data is entered in cell D1. Most users will try to resize the columns one at a time by placing their cursor between the A and B columns, left-clicking, and then dragging the cursor to the right until all of the data in column A is visible. Then they’ll repeat the process by resizing column B, then C, and so forth.

The easier solution? To automatically resize every column in your Excel spreadsheet such that all text is visible, click the small square at the intersection of Excel’s column letters and row numbers. When you click this cell, the entire Excel spreadsheet will be selected. To “automagically” resize every column on your sheet, just double-click between columns A and B at this point. It’s a huge time saver!

Author: Dan DiNicolo

Dan DiNicolo is a freelance author, consultant, trainer, and the managing editor of He is the author of the CCNA Study Guide found on this site, as well as many books including the PC Magazine titles Windows XP Security Solutions and Windows Vista Security Solutions. Click here to contact Dan.