Excel Basics: Adjusting the Size of Columns or Rows

Excel Basics: Adjusting the Size of Columns or Rows


Excel Spreadsheets are wonderful tools that can make your life much easier. You can create data charts and then make graphs from the data, create a catalog of your books or movies, make an address list, or even create your bank register to balance your checkbook. With every computer program, there are basic tools that can help you to navigate or manipulate the program more easily. Here are a couple for using Excel.

Cell Addresses – Each of the small rectangles on the spreadsheet are called cells and they each have their own ‘address’. The address for a cell is the column letter and row number. The cell highlighted in the figure above is J2, column J and row 2.


Adjusting cell sizes – Although the cells are all the same size they can be adjusted as needed.

Cell Width Adjustment – Move your cursor to the line at the right of the column you wish to adjust. The cursor should change to a vertical line with arrows pointing both ways. (See figure on the left). This means you can increase or decrease the size of the column of cells. Click, hold and drag the cursor left or right until the column is the size you want.

Cell Height Adjustment – The same as above but the cursor will be horizontal and you will drag it up or down.

Note – In the figure below you can see that column C is cut off. The information entered is all there you just can’t see it. If I were to print this spreadsheet as it is it would print the cut off column exactly as it is with some of the information obscured. If you just want to see the information when on the computer, you just double click in the cell and you will be able to see everything in the cell it will not permanently change the cell width. If you are going to print the spreadsheet then you should adjust the width of column C first.

If you hit ctrl+a it will select everything and you can adjust all the rows or all the columns at the same time – right click on the rows (1, 2, 3 for example) or the columns (A, B, C for example) and a drop-dowm menu will appear. Select the row or column height and type in the exact size you want.


There are a lot of things to remember when working with a program. After you have worked with a program for a while they will become second nature to you. It is always helpful to experiment when you are learning a new program but when you need help there are always internet sources to help you I have listed one below to get you started.



[PDF]Excel 2016 Quick Reference Guide – CustomGuide



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