How Do You Resize a Cell & Not a Column in Excel

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Resizing cells in Microsoft Excel is an essential part of making your spreadsheets presentable, but unfortunately, resizing cells doesn't always work in the way you might prefer. For example, there is no simple and direct way to change cell width without affecting the whole column. While it's easy to change the width a column, the only way to adjust Excel cell width for one cell and not the rest of the column is to merge the cell with one next to it. Merging cells is technically different from resizing a single cell, but the result is essentially the same.

Excel Cell Width Adjustment

The simplest way to adjust cell width is to change the width of a column in Excel. You do this by going to the dividing line on either side of the column the cell is in. Scroll to the top of the column so you can see the letters that label the columns. Then, hover your mouse over the dividing line on either side of the column so your cursor turns into a vertical line with two horizontal arrows sticking out of the middle. Left-click and drag the column to expand the whole column. This is the most basic answer for how to change cell size in Excel.

You can also achieve the same thing by highlighting a cell and then clicking "Format" from the "Cells" section of the ribbon at the top of the screen. Choose "Column Width" from the options in the drop-down menu and enter a number to widen the cells. The default width is 8.43, but you can set it to any number up to 255. Entering 17 roughly doubles the width of the cell. The setting affects the entire column, not just a single cell.

Excel Row Height Adjustment

Adjusting the height of a row of cells works just like adjusting the width of a whole column. Instead of hovering your mouse over the dividing line between the columns, you move the cursor over to the left of the spreadsheet and put it over the dividing line separating the number of the row from one of the adjacent rows. Left-click and drag the row to make a basic Excel row height adjustment.

You can also do this by clicking "Format" from the "Cells" section of the ribbon. Choose "Row Height" and then adjust it from the default of 15, up to a maximum of 409.

Width Adjustments for Individual Cells

If you want to change cell size in Excel for an individual cell, the only way to do it is by merging cells. Do this by highlighting the cells you want to merge, either by clicking one cell and dragging across all the cells you want to highlight or by clicking one cell and then using "Shift" and the arrow keys to highlight more than one cell. When you have the cells you want to merge selected, click on the "Merge & Center" option in the "Alignment" section of the ribbon at the top of the screen to join the selected cells into one cell. The text or numbers you entered are centered in the middle of the now-larger cell.

If you want to change cell width without affecting the entire column, this isn't exactly what you're looking for, but if you take care with how you use it, you can achieve the same results.

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