If you want your spreadsheets to look neat, you can’t have text spilling out of cells, which makes the data difficult to read. Fortunately, Excel comes with Autofit feature that helps you adjust column width or row height with a few clicks.
In this article, we will go through three ways to autofit columns and rows in Excel. That way, you can find the one that suits your style of work. Also, we’ll discuss when you can’t use Excel Autofit and how to work around it.
1. Double-click to AutoFit
This is the easiest method, and works great when you’re editing a small spreadsheet and want to auto-fit single columns and rows, so you can have your file ready to print.
Simply hover the cursor over the edge of a column or row. The cursor should change to a two-way arrow. Now, double-click on your mouse or touchpad left-key.
No matter which method you use, if you need to auto-fit multiple columns or rows, simply click on the headers to select them. To auto-fit the entire spreadsheet, press Ctrl+A or click the Select All button and double-click the column or row boundary.
Even if you have selected all the cells and used the AutoFit feature, Excel will not adjust the columns or rows as you type. You’ll have to autofit the cells again when you’ve finished editing them.
2. Use the Excel Ribbon to AutoFit
If you’re using a multi-display setup, you probably aren’t sitting very close to your monitor, so you might find it hard to see the double-sided arrow. In this case, you should use the AutoFit feature from Excel’s ribbon.
3. Use a Keyboard Shortcut
There is also a possibility to use keyboard shortcuts to access Excel Autofit to save time and effort. Similar to the previous methods, select the rows or columns you want to auto-fit. Press Alt+H, then press O. Now, if you want to autofit the width of a column, press I. To autofit the height of a row, press A.
For this keyboard shortcut to work, do not press the keys together. If you slowly press them in the correct order, you can see what happens after each key is pressed.
Even if you can’t remember the entire key combination, you can still use it, as Excel will show you the keys you need to press to access the ribbon menu or tools.
When You Can’t Use AutoFit
According to Microsoft, you cannot use the AutoFit feature for rows or columns containing merged cells. A quick fix is to manually adjust the column width and row height. However, if you are editing a large spreadsheet, this may not be the best approach.
A more efficient option is to select all cells and use the Excel tool to format the cells. In the Home tab, go to the Cells menu and click Format > Format Cells. Then, in the Alignment tab, select Wrap or Fit Text to Collapse and click OK.
Upgrade Your Excel Skills
Knowing how to autofit column widths and row heights is one of the basic Excel skills that will help you keep data organized.
Fortunately, Excel has more tools and features that will save you from completing boring and repetitive tasks manually. And there are some great Excel courses available online, so you’ll be an advanced Excel user in no time.