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(Archives) Microsoft Excel 2007: Working with Rows and Columns

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This article is based on legacy software.

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 you can add or delete rows and columns if necessary.

Adjusting 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 Ribbon 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: Ribbon Option

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

  2. From the Ribbon, select the Home command tab.

  3. In the Cells group, click Format. format

  4. In the Cell Size section, select Height...
    The Row Height dialog box appears.
    row height

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

  6. 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 [Ctrl] 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

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

Adjusting Column Width: Ribbon Option

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

  2. From the Ribbon, select the Home command tab.

  3. In the Cells group, click Format. format

  4. In the Cell Size section, select Width...
    The Column Width dialog box appears.
    column width

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

  6. 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 [Ctrl] 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.
    width

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

Using 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: Ribbon 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 Ribbon, select the Home command tab.

  3. In the Cells group, click Format. format

  4. In the Cell Size section, select AutoFit.
    cell size
    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: Ribbon Option

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

  2. From the Ribbon, select the Home command tab.

  3. In the Cells group, click Format. format

  4. In the Cell Size section, select AutoFit Selection
    cell size
    The column width adjusts so the widest item in the column is displayed in full.

Adding 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 Ribbon, select the Home command tab.

  3. In the Cells group, click the arrow arrow on the Insert button » select Insert Sheet 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 Ribbon, select the Home command tab.

  3. In the Cells group, click the arrow arrow on the Insert button » select Insert Sheet 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 [Ctrl] + select the cells from each row to be deleted.

  2. From the Ribbon, select the Home command tab.

  3. In the Cells group, click the arrow arrow on the Delete button » select Delete Sheet Rows.
    The row(s) are deleted.

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 [Ctrl] + select the cells from each column to be deleted.

  2. From the Ribbon, select the Home command tab.

  3. In the Cells group, click the arrow arrow on the Delete button » select Delete Sheet Columns.
    The column(s) are deleted.

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