Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Widening and Narrowing Columns
Widening and Narrowing Columns
But that explanation still leaves us with the problem: we can’t see the whole phrase in
B6—and we want to. It’s a classic spreadsheet dilemma—and the way to resolve it is to
widen the column containing the “missing” text, revealing it completely on the
There are several ways in which to widen Excel columns, and we’ll explore what are
probably the two most popular:
Altering a column manually
Using the auto-fit feature
Altering a column manually
Let's try the first method to widen a column:
Position the mouse over the right border of the column you want to
widen—in this case column B—and click (don’t release the mouse).
You’ll see:
Figure 2–13. The first step toward widening a column. Note the double-arrowed cursor.
Now drag the column boundary toward the right. You’ll see the B
column expand, revealing more of the text in B6 as you drag. When
you’ve exposed all of the text, release the mouse.
That was easy, wasn’t it? Just click on the right column boundary (it must be the right),
and drag to widen. Just keep in mind that you need to click on the column boundary,
and not on row 1 of the worksheet in order to carry out this task.
If you want you can narrow a column, too, by dragging to the left , in the same way.
Now that’s pretty neat, but the process is slightly hit-or-miss and trial-and-error—
because if you‘ve written a very lengthy text phrase in a cell, you may have to try the
click-and-drag repeatedly until you‘ve widened the column to precisely the dimension
you want. And that takes us to Method 2—the auto-fit.
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