Formatting Columns

Columns are central to your worksheet in Excel and as such, can be formatted as a unit to change how they are displayed. Use the following articles about Excel's column formatting capabilities to make your columns appear just right.

Tips, Tricks, and Answers

The following articles are available for the 'Formatting Columns' topic. Click the article''s title (shown in bold) to see the associated article.

   Changing Width and Height to Inches
Want to set the width and height of a row and column by specifying a number of inches? It's not quite as straightforward in Excel as you might hope.

   Countering Compressed Columns
If you open a workbook and find that the width of some of your columns has been changed, the discovery can be frustrating. Here's some ideas on why this might occur in some workbooks.

   Double-Clicking to Widen Columns Won't Work
One way you can widen the columns in a worksheet to fit whatever is in the column is by double-clicking the right edge of the column header for that column. This may not always work, however. Here's why.

   Hiding and Protecting Columns
Want to hide certain columns within a worksheet so the contents are not visible to others? The answer lies in formatting the protection features in Excel.

   Hiding and Unhiding Columns
Want to hide a column so it doesn't appear in the worksheet? It's easy to do using the formatting capabilities of Excel.

   Hiding Columns Based on a Cell Value
Need to hide a given column based on the value in a particular cell? The easiest way to accomplish the task is to use a macro; several are highlighted in this tip.

   Hiding Columns Not within a Date Range
Want to automatically hide some columns that don't meet a date criteria that you set? You can't do it automatically, but you can make the manual hiding of the columns easier by using a macro.

   Shortcuts to Hide Columns
Need a quick way to hide and unhide columns in a worksheet? The shortcuts described in this tip can help fill the bill.

   Unhiding a Single Column
In a worksheet with lots of hidden columns it is a real pain to try to unhide just one or two columns. The best solution is to use a macro to do the unhiding, as described in this tip.

   Unhiding Columns that are Persistently Hidden
If you were trying to format a worksheet and nothing you did could make the first two columns appear, would you be frustrated? (I know I would.) There are many potential reasons why those columns might not be visible, as described in this tip.

   Widening Multiple Columns Proportionally
It is easy to adjust the width of columns in Excel. It is much harder to adjust the width of a range of columns proportionally. This tip provides a macro that can make the proportional adjustment easy.

This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.

Links and Sharing