Spreadsheets have a standard column width and row height. This width and height don’t always show all the information in a column or in a row. In this example, we have a column that is too small to show the complete student names. There are several ways we can resize this column.

We’ll move our mouse pointer between columns A and B. An arrow pointing to the right will appear between the columns. Click and drag to the right.

spreadsheet with highlight between columns A and B

The divider between the columns will turn blue as we move it to the right. This blue line acts as a guide to let us know how far we are moving the right side of the column.

blue line guiding width adjustment

The columns don’t update while we are moving the column width, so we need to stop and check to see if the column width allows us to view the information in the column as we would like it to be seen. If it does not show all the information we will need to resume dragging the column width.

incomplete view of column A information

Instead of guessing where the column width should be, we can double click between the columns and this will automatically resize the column to fit the widest piece of information in the column.

column A highlighted with arrow between columns

In our example, the column width extends beyond the names we see here. This is because there are rows that contain names that are much longer than the ones we see.

column A width set to wident element

Another way we can resize a column is by entering a specific width value. In this example, we want to return the column width to its original size. We’ll move our mouse pointer over the column heading so we can see the actions menu option appear. Click on the actions menu.

action menu in top righ corner of column heading

One of the options available in the menu is the option to resize the column. select this option.

action menu items

A resize dialogue box will open. The current width of this column is 351 pixels. The information above the value box is letting us know that the default value is 120 pixels. Let’s enter this value into the box and click the Ok button.

resize column field information

The column will return to its original width.

column resized to default

We can use the same process to resize rows. We can use the mouse to resize the row manually or we can double click the row to fit the row height to the contents. Rows don’t have an action menu option to enter a pixel value, so we will need to use the contextual menu to enter a value.

arrow and blue highlight between rows

Right click on a row and select the option to resize the row.

contextual menu with resize option

The dialogue box to resize the row is similar to the one we used to resize columns. The default value for rows is 20 pixels. In this example, we’ll resize the row to 40 pixels.

resize row dialogue box with default value

The row is now 40 pixels in height.

row 6 set to 40 pixels

We can use the steps in this lesson to resize multiple columns or rows. In this example, we have four columns to reduce in size. To select multiple columns or rows, click on the column or row heading of the first column or row, then hold the shift key on the keyboard and click on the last column or row heading.

If you’re not a fan of modifier keys like shift and click, click and drag from one column or row heading to the last in the selection.

columns d to h selected

Move the mouse pointer between any of the columns or rows until the arrow appears. Click and drag to resize the selected columns or rows.

adjusting column width with arrow

All the selected columns or rows will be sized to match the width or height.

columns adjusted to a smaller width

We can also double click between multiple selected columns or rows to have them automatically resize to the data. We can use the manual resize option to resize all the columns or rows to a specific pixel width or height.