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Microsoft Excel 2008

Working with Rows and Columns

Excel allows you to adjust your worksheets to achieve the desired look. Rows and columns can be resized either automatically or manually to fit your information and when necessary, you can add or delete rows and/or columns.

return to topAdjusting Row Height and Column Width

When you start working on a worksheet, all columns are 8.43 characters wide (in default font) and row heights are set to fit the content of the cell with a maximum of 15 points. Excel may widen the column or increase the row height to fit the cell content. Adjusting the width or height is easy to do and can be done using the dialog box option or the mouse option.

Since columns and rows extend throughout the worksheet, the setting applies to the entire column or row. If you need to have two settings, you will have to move some of your information to another row or column with the correct settings.

Adjusting Row Height: Dialog Box Option

  1. To adjust a single row, select any cell from the row to be adjusted
    To adjust multiple non-contiguous rows, press [Apple icon] + select cells from each row to be adjusted

  2. From the Format menu, select Row » Height...
    The Row Height dialog box appears.
    Row Height dialog box

  3. In the Row height text box, type the desired height

  4. Click OK
    The row height is adjusted.

Adjusting Row Height: Mouse Option

If you choose to adjust multiple rows at once, all selected rows will be adjusted the same amount no matter which row border you move.

  1. To adjust multiple non-contiguous rows, press and hold [Apple icon] while clicking the ROW ID for each desired row
    To adjust multiple contiguous rows, press and hold [Shift] while clicking the first and last ROW ID for the desired range

  2. Along the row ID (e.g., 1, 2, 3, ...), point to the border below the row to be adjusted

  3. When the pointer turns into a double-arrow, click and drag
    HINT: For a shorter row, drag up; for a taller row, drag down.
    A box appears next to the pointer, indicating the current row height as you drag it.
    Row\Height graphic

  4. When the row reaches the desired height, release the mouse button
    The row height is adjusted.

Adjusting Column Width: Dialog Box Option

  1. To adjust a single column, select any cell from the column to be adjusted
    To adjust multiple non-contiguous columns, press [Apple icon] + select cells from each column to be adjusted

  2. From the Format menu, select Column » Width...
    The Column Width dialog box appears.
    Column Width dialog box

  3. In the Column width text box, type the desired width

  4. Click OK
    The column width is adjusted.

Adjusting Column Width: Mouse Option

If you choose to adjust multiple columns at once, all selected columns will be adjusted the same amount no matter which column border you move.

  1. To adjust multiple non-contiguous columns, press and hold [Apple icon] while clicking the COLUMN ID for each desired row
    To adjust multiple contiguous columns, press and hold [Shift] while clicking the first and last COLUMN ID for the desired range

  2. Along the column ID (e.g., A, B, C, ...), point to the border right of the column to be adjusted

  3. When the pointer turns into a double-arrow, click and drag
    HINT: For a narrower column, drag left; for a wider column, drag right.
    A box appears next to the pointer, indicating the current column width as you drag it.
    Column/Width graphic

  4. When the column reaches the desired width, release the mouse button
    The column width is adjusted.

return to topUsing AutoFit to Adjust Rows and Columns

To adjust the column width or the row height, Excel can determine the best width and height based on the information in the column or row.

Using AutoFit to Adjust Row Height: Mouse Option

  1. Along the row ID (e.g., 1, 2, 3, ...), point to the border below the row to be adjusted

  2. When the pointer turns into a double-arrow, double click
    The row height adjusts so the tallest item in the row is displayed in full.

Using AutoFit to Adjust Row Height: Menu Option

  1. To select a row to be adjusted, click the ROW ID (e.g., 1, 2, 3, ...)
    The entire row is selected.

  2. From the Format menu, select Row » AutoFit
    The row height adjusts so the tallest item in the row is displayed in full.

Using AutoFit to Adjust Column Width: Mouse Option

  1. Along the column ID (e.g., A, B, C, ...), point to the border right of the column to be adjusted

  2. When the pointer turns into to a double-arrow, double click
    The column width adjusts so the widest item in the column is displayed in full.

Using AutoFit to Adjust Column Width: Menu Option

  1. To select a column to be adjusted, click the COLUMN ID (A, B, C, ...)
    The entire column is selected.

  2. From the Format menu, select Column » AutoFit Selection
    The column width adjusts so the widest item in the column is displayed in full.

return to topAdding and Removing Rows and Columns

When working with worksheets, you will often need to make changes to the original worksheets, such as deleting old information or adding new information. To make this task easier, you can add new rows and columns or delete existing rows and columns.

Adding Rows

  1. Select a cell below where you want to add a new row

  2. From the Insert menu, select Rows
    A new row is added above the selected cell.

Adding Columns

  1. Select a cell to the right of where you want to add a new column

  2. From the Insert menu, select Columns
    A new column is added left of the selected cell.

Deleting Rows

WARNING: When you delete a row, everything in the row is deleted. If you do not want to delete the whole row, delete information from specific cells instead.

  1. To delete a single row, select any cell from the row to be deleted
    To delete multiple non-contiguous rows, press [Apple icon] + select the cells from each row to be deleted

  2. From the Edit menu, select Delete...
    The Delete dialog box appears.

  3. Select Entire row

  4. Click OK

Deleting Columns

WARNING: When you delete a column, everything in the column is deleted. If you do not want to delete the whole column, delete information from specific cells instead.

  1. To delete a single column, select any cell from the column to be deleted
    To delete multiple non-contiguous columns, press [Apple icon] + select the cells from each column to be deleted

  2. From the Edit menu, select Delete...
    The Delete dialog box appears.

  3. Select Entire column

  4. Click OK

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