Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Changing the Widths of Columns and Heights of Rows
Changing the Widths of Columns and Heights of Rows
When Excel starts and displays a blank worksheet on the screen, all of the columns
have a default width of 8.43 characters, or 64 pixels. A character is defi ned as a letter,
number, symbol, or punctuation mark in 11-point Calibri font, the default font used by
Excel. An average of 8.43 characters in 11-point Calibri font will fi t in a cell.
Another measure of the height and width of cells is pixels, which is short for picture
element. A pixel is a dot on the screen that contains a color. The size of the dot is based
on your screen’s resolution. At a common resolution of 1024
Hidden Columns
Trying to unhide a range
of columns using the
mouse can be frustrating.
An alternative is to use
the keyboard: select the
columns to the right
and left of the hidden
columns and then press
PARENTHESIS ). To use the
keyboard to hide a range
of columns, press CTRL + 0
( ZERO ).
768, 1024 pixels appear
across the screen and 768 pixels appear down the screen for a total of 786,432 pixels. It is
these 786,432 pixels that form the font and other items you see on the screen.
The default row height in a blank worksheet is 15 points (or 20 pixels). Recall
from Chapter 1 that a point is equal to 1/72 of an inch. Thus, 15 points is equal to
about 1/5 of an inch. You can change the width of the columns or height of the rows at
any time to make the worksheet easier to read or to ensure that Excel displays an entry
properly in a cell.
To Change the Widths of Columns
When changing the column width, you can set the width manually or you can instruct Excel to size the column
to best fi t. Best fi t means that the width of the column will be increased or decreased so the widest entry will fi t in the
column. Sometimes, you may prefer more or less white space in a column than best fi t provides. Excel thus allows you
to change column widths manually.
When the format you assign to a cell causes the entry to exceed the width of a column, Excel automatically
changes the column width to best fi t. If you do not assign a format to a cell or cells in a column, the column width
will remain 8.43 characters. To set a column width to best fi t, double-click the right boundary of the column heading
above row 1.
The following steps change the column widths: column A to 14.11 characters; columns B and C to best fi t;
column D to 6.00 characters; columns E, G, and J to 9.00 characters; and columns F, H, and I to 12.67 characters.
Point to the boundary on the right
side of the column A heading
above row 1.
ScreenTip shows
proposed column
When the mouse pointer changes
to a split double arrow, drag until
the ScreenTip indicates Width:
14.11 (134 pixels). Do not release
the mouse button (Figure 2–53).
mouse pointer
What happens if I change the
column width to zero (0)?
If you decrease the column width to
0, the column is hidden. Hiding cells
is a technique you can use to hide
data that might not be relevant to
a particular report or sensitive data
that you do not want others to see.
To instruct Excel to display a hidden
column, position the mouse pointer
to the right of the column heading
boundary where the hidden column
is located and then drag to the right.
dotted line shows
proposed right
border of column A
current right border
of column A
Figure 2–53
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