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Excel Guide

Mastering Column Width Adjustment in Excel: A Comprehensive Guide

Microsoft Excel offers two convenient methods to alter the width of columns, empowering users to customize their spreadsheet layouts effortlessly. Learn how to resize columns by dragging the border or by using the Column Width dialog box with the steps provided below.

Change Column Width by Dragging

To dynamically adjust the width of a column through dragging, adhere to these steps:

  1. Hover your mouse pointer over the right or left border of the target column.
  2. When the pointer transforms into a double-headed arrow , click and hold the left mouse button.
  3. Drag the border to the desired width.

As you drag, Excel displays the new column width next to the mouse pointer.

Change Column Width in the Column Width Dialog Box

For a precise adjustment using the Column Width dialog box, follow these steps:

  1. Select the column or columns you wish to resize.
  2. Right-click on one of the selected columns.
  3. Choose "Column Width" from the shortcut menu.
  4. In the Column Width dialog box, input your desired value in the Column width box.
  5. Click OK to apply the changes.

Change the Default Column Width in Excel

Customizing the default column width in Excel ensures consistency in your workbook. Follow these steps:

  1. Click on File, then select Options.
  2. In the Excel Options dialog box, navigate to Advanced in the left pane.
  3. Under Display options for this workbook, find the Default column width box.
  4. Input your preferred value and click OK.

Now, any new columns created in your workbook will adhere to the specified default column width.


Mastering column width adjustments in Excel provides users with flexibility and control over their spreadsheet layouts. Whether opting for the intuitive dragging method or the precision of the Column Width dialog box, these techniques empower efficient customization. Additionally, setting a default column width ensures a consistent layout for all future columns in your Excel workbook.