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How to AutoFit Columns in Excel & Google Sheets

This tutorial demonstrates how to autofit columns in Excel and Google Sheets.

 

autofit intro

 

When you create a new worksheet in Excel, each column has a default equal size. When you type more information into a cell in a column, the text spills over to the adjacent cell as long as that adjacent cell is blank. If the cell is not blank, then the text looks like it has been cut off as the only visible text is what fits into the actual column size.

There are a number of ways you can make the size of your columns autofit to show all the text that is contained in each cell.

Double-Click the Column Header

To autofit a column using the column header, position your mouse at the right side of the column you wish to size.

 

autofit column header

 

Once the mouse pointer has changed to the one illustrated in the graphic above, double-click the mouse.

AutoFit Column Width With the Ribbon

Highlight the column you wish to size and then, in the Ribbon, select Home > Cells > Format > AutoFit Column Width.

 

autofit ribbon

 

Note: if you click in a single cell in the column, then the column width is sized to the length of the text in that cell, and not the longest text in a cell in the column itself.

AutoFit Column With Keyboard Shortcut

There is not a dedicated keyboard shortcut for adjusting column width, but you can use the ALT key to do so if you prefer using the keyboard to the mouse.

  1. Click in the column you wish to size.
  2. Press ALT + H to activate the Home tab on the Ribbon.

 

autofit column alt h

 

  1. Press ALT + O to activate the Format command in the Cells group.

 

autofit column alt o

 

  1. Press ALT + I to auto size the column accordingly.

 

autofit column alt i

 

The column is sized to the length of the text for the cell that is selected.

 

autofit column auto width

 

How to AutoFit Columns in Google Sheets

You can autofit your columns in Google sheets by double-clicking on the column header. As with Excel, position your mouse at the right side of the column you wish to size.

 

autofit column gs double click

 

Double-click to autofit the column width to the widest contents of the column.