By default, Excel cells are not very wide. You can fit a total of eight full characters, which is enough for many numbers, but not much for text. In this guide, we'll be showing you how to autofit cells in Excel to remedy this.
What is Excel autofit?
Excel autofit automatically adjusts the size of your cells to match the longest content in the column or row. This saves a lot of manual adjustment when you're changing the width or height of multiple cells.
Where is autofit in Excel?
There are several ways to access autofit, including the Excel autofit shortcut, by double-clicking cell boundaries, and through the “Format” menu. We'll be showing you how to use all of them below:
How to AutoFit Column Width in Excel via Cell Labels
The most common use of autofit is to adjust the width of its columns. The most user-friendly way to do this is through interaction with the column's label:
- Click and drag the column divider to manually adjust the cell width
- OR: Double-click the right-hand cell divider to autofit the column width in Excel
- Your cell will automatically resize to fit your number or text
Autofit multiple columns by selecting them and double-click the right-side of one of their borders to autofit
You can select multiple columns by clicking and dragging over the column headers if they are next to each other. If they aren't, you can Ctrl + Click only the columns you'd like to adjust.
- Excel will adjust your selected columns to fit
- How to autofit all columns in a sheet in Excel
You can autofit all columns in your spreadsheet at once by clicking in the top-right corner of your cell labels and double-clicking any right-hand cell border.
How to AutoFit Row Height in Excel
Though it's less commonly needed, you can also autofit the height of your cells. This is separate from the text wrapping feature (which we'll cover below), and is mostly useful when you have larger font sizes:
- Click and drag the row border downwards or double-click its separator
The row will automatically increase its width and height to fit.
How to AutoFit Columns and Rows in Excel via the Ribbon
Lining your cursor up with the cell borders can sometimes be a struggle. In these situations, you can use the format function in the ribbon to autofit cells in Excel instead:
- Select the cells you want to adjust and press “Cells > Format > AutoFit Row Height” in the “Home” tab of the ribbon
- Excel will adjust your row heights to fit the tallest content
- Select the columns to adjust and click “Autofit Column Width” instead
You'll find this option in “Cells > Format” in the “Home” tab of the ribbon once you have selected your columns.
- Excel will autofit your columns to the content in them
How to Use the Excel Autofit Shortcut
To autofit in Excel even faster, you can use the autofit column width and row height shortcuts. While not the easiest to remember, they do allow you to be quite efficient if you're doing this a lot.
- Select the cells to resize and press the shortcut keys
To autofit column width, the shortcut is “Alt + H”, followed quickly by “O”, then “I”.
To autofit row height, replace the “I” at the end with an “A”.
Extra: How to Move or Swap Columns in Excel
Now you've autofitted your columns, you may want to rearrange them. If you need help doing so, follow our how to move or swap columns in Excel guide.
Extra: How to Color Alternating Rows in Excel
Or, if you want to make your spreadsheet even more legible, consider our Excel zebra stripes tutorial. We show you how to make your tables prettier and easier to follow.