How to Adjust Column Width in Excel: Step-by-Step (2024)

Do you find yourself scrolling back and forth in Excel?

The default column width might be the problem. Excel is an incredibly powerful tool for organizing and analyzing data. But sometimes, the default column width just doesn’t cut it.

Learn how to adjust column width in Excel with our step-by-step guide 😉

Spend less time scrolling and more time analyzing your data like a pro!

Change column width of a single column

Changing column width is extremely easy and takes only a couple of seconds. Let’s see how to do it below.

Say, we have a sample data below.

Sample data to adjust column heading width

We want to change the column width of column A.

To do that,

  1. Hover your mouse cursor over the right edge of the column header. The cursor changes to a horizontal double arrow.
Default width of the column - autofit row height
  1. Drag the column right or left to increase its width.

And it’s done 🤩

Adjusted column width

Or you can try another method as:

  1. Select the column header whose width is to be changed.
Multiple rows selected to autofit one column
  1. Go to the Cells group and choose Format.
Format group - double click
  1. Click the drop-down menu and select Column width.
Selecting column width option for column headings.


Alternatively, you can also select Autofit column width. This will automatically set the width of the selected column to where its data extends.

  1. The Custom column width box appears on the screen.
Enter the value for your target column
  1. Enter the width you want the column to be and press Ok – we entered 19.
  2. The column changes to the entered number as:
the column is adjusted as above

Pretty easy, no? 😎

Kasper Langmann, Microsoft Office Specialist


You can also use a cool keyboard shortcut to change the column width. Select the column whose width you want to change and press the keys Alt + H + O + W.

The standard column width box will appear on the screen. Enter the width and press Ok.

You can also use a shortcut to autofit column width. For that, press Alt + H + O + I.

Change column width of multiple columns

Similar to what we did above, we can change the width of multiple columns in one go 🤓

Say, we have the following example data.

Sample data to autofit multiple columns

As evident, the data is very congested and it is difficult to understand. We want to change the width of all these column headers and make everything clear.

To do that,

  1. Select a cell from the columns and press CTRL + A.
Select column widths
  1. Go to Cells group > Format and select Column width. You can also use the shortcut ALT + H + O + W.
Select column width option
  1. The column width box will appear.
Enter the column width
  1. Enter the desired width – 19 – and press Ok.

The columns will be set to the specified width:

columns are set to the desired width as above.

Looks much more coherent now, no? Try it yourself 🧐

That’s it – Now what?

In this article, we saw how to change the width of a column in excel in seconds. We saw how to autofit column width and set column width for single and multiple columns.

Adjusting column width in Excel might seem like a small task. But it can completely change the overall look of your sheet.

By following this guide, you will be able to customize your Excel spreadsheet in no time ⌚

Excel has many other fantastic features to explore apart from adjusting column width. These features can really add to your Excel skills.

The most important of these are functions, and Excel has over 400 of them. The most important functions include IF, SUMIF, VLOOKUP, etc.

You can learn them for free in my 30-minute free email course that teaches this and more. It goes straight to your inbox only at the cost of your email address. So sign up now! 🚀

Other resources

Did you enjoy reading this article? If yes, then you’d love to read more.

Try similar topics: How to Add Column in ExcelHow to Get a Column Number, and more.

Frequently asked questions

You can lock your Excel sheet to permanently fix column width. To do that, set your desired column width. Right-click the column header > Format Cells > Protection Tab > Locked.

Go to the Review tab > Protect Sheet. Enter the Password, confirm it, and it’s done. The column width has permanently been fixed.