When you work in Excel, you’ll typically find yourself placing data in multiple columns. When you open a new Excel spreadsheet, you’ll notice that each empty column is exactly the same width. This is because Excel sets columns to a preselected default width. Fortunately, this is easy to change to better fit your needs. Let’s learn how to change default width in Microsoft Excel.
How to Change Default Width in Excel
Open a blank spreadsheet and click your cursor on the vertical line between two column headers. You’ll see the following text appear: Width: 10.00 (65 pixels). This fits small data strings, but you may want to choose a wider default so that more characters will fit into a cell. By changing the default width, you can avoid the need to adjust columns one by one.
To change the default width in Excel, begin by ensuring that you’re working on the Home tab. This is found on Excel’s ribbon, the list of menus and options across the top of your screen.
On the right side of the Home tab, you’ll see a dropdown menu labeled Format. Go ahead and click on it. You’ll see an assortment of options appear. The one you need is in the second section: Default Width. Click on it.
Excel opens the Standard Width menu. Notice that it measures the width as 10. To change the width, simply type in a new number and press OK. For example, typing 20 will double the default width of all columns in Excel.
As you can see, it’s easy to change the default width in Excel. This is a quick way to change up the visual appearance of your spreadsheets. It helps avoid the need to manually adjust column widths over and over by making the adjustment universal across your file.