Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Double-Clicking to Widen Columns Won't Work.

Double-Clicking to Widen Columns Won't Work

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated September 4, 2021)

Normally, Excel allows you to double-click on the divider bar between column heads in order to widen a column. For instance, if you need to widen column C, all you need to do is move the mouse so it points to the divider between column headers for column C and column D; the mouse pointer changes to a double-headed arrow. When you double-click, column C is widened to accommodate the widest information in its cells.

There are times when double-clicking to widen a column won't work, however. In particular, Excel won't widen a column in this manner if the worksheet is protected. (The obvious solution is to unprotect the worksheet.)

You also cannot double-click to widen if the column is formatted using the Wrap Text attribute. You can use any different method of widening the column, but you cannot double-click.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (10032) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Double-Clicking to Widen Columns Won't Work.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Understanding Scope for Named Ranges

When you add a named range to a worksheet, you can specify if you want that named range to apply to the workbook or only ...

Discover More

Suppressing ASK Fields When Printing

Do you like using ASK Fields in your documents to get information from the user but don't want Word to update the fields ...

Discover More

Precisely Adjusting Tab Stops

When you need to be very specific about where a tab stop is located, you'll want to become familiar with the Tabs dialog ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Widening a Column to a Particular Cell's Width

Do you want to set a column's width based on whatever is in the currently selected cell? There are actually a number of ...

Discover More

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 ...

Discover More

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 ...

Discover More
Subscribe

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

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is three less than 3?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


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
Subscribe

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.