How to automatically adjust and format your data in Excel

If you want your spreadsheet to look clean and tidy and easy to read, you can’t let the text-overflow from the cells. Fortunately, Excel’s native AutoFit feature can help you adjust column width or row height with a few clicks.

Next, we will introduce three methods for you to automatically fit columns and rows in Excel. This way, you’ll be able to find a way to suit your work style.

1. Double-Click to AutoFit

This is the easiest way to do it, and it works well when you edit a small spreadsheet and want to automatically adjust individual columns and rows so you’re ready to print your files.

Just hover over the edge of a column or row. The cursor should switch to a double-sided arrow. Now, double-click the left mouse or touchpad button.

Whichever method you use, if you need to automatically fit multiple columns or rows, just click on the headers to select them. If you want to automatically adjust the entire spreadsheet, press Ctrl + A or click the Select All button, and then double-click the border of a column or row.

Note that even if you select all the cells and use the auto-fit feature, Excel will not adjust the columns or rows as you type. When you finish editing, you have to automatically adjust the cells again.

2. Use the Excel ribbon for automatic matching

Excel’s AutoFit is powerful, so you should learn how to use it:

1. Select the rows or columns.

2. Open the Home tab.

3. From the Cells menu, click Format.

4. There, use the AutoFit Row Height or AutoFit Column Width option.

3. Use keyboard shortcuts

You can also use keyboard shortcuts to access Excel Autofit to save time and effort. Similar to the previous method, select the rows or columns that you want to automatically adjust. Press Alt+H, then O. Now, if you want to automatically adjust the width of the column, please press I. To automatically adjust the height of the row, press a.

You can’t press these keys at the same time because this will make the keyboard shortcuts useless. If you press them slowly in the correct order, you can notice what happens after you press each key:

1. Alt + H select the Home tab.

2. O opens the Format menu.

3. I or A select AutoFit Columns Width or AutoFit Row Height.

Even if you don’t remember the whole key combination, you can still use it because Excel will show you the keys you need to access the ribbon menu or tools.

When you cannot use AutoFit

According to Microsoft, you can’t use the auto-fit feature on rows or columns that have merged cells. A quick workaround is to manually adjust the width of the column and the height of the row. However, if you are editing a large spreadsheet, this can be quite time-consuming.

A more efficient alternative is to select all cells and use Excel tools for formatting cells. In the Home tab, head to the Cells menu and click Format > Format cells. Then, in the Alignment tab, select Wrap text or Fit to shrink and click OK.

Improve your Excel skills

Knowing how to automatically adjust column width and row height is one of Excel’s basic skills that can help you keep your data organized.

What’s more, Excel has many more tools and features that will save you from having to manually complete boring and repetitive tasks. If you are willing to give a little time, you should be able to become an advanced Excel user in a short period of time.