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

By Brian Walker

Microsoft Office Excel is a powerful and popular spreadsheet program for the computer. With it you can create rows and columns of cells to display information in a multitude of ways. Additionally, the program makes it easy to adjust various aspects of the spreadsheet such as size and number of cells. However, you may become stumped if you wish to change the size of just a single cell.

Individual Cell Resizing

The simple answer to this problem is that it is actually not possible to resize an individual cell with an Excel spreadsheet. While at first this may seem like a simple feature that should be present, it has never been included as a possibility within the program. To change the height or width of one particular cell within your spreadsheet, you have to change the height or width of the entire row or column containing that cell. Allowing you to resize just a single cell without altering the size of the cells in the corresponding row or column would create extreme distortion in the spreadsheet and make things unreadable and unusable. However, if you absolutely must make one cell larger but don’t want to necessarily change the size of the row or column it resides in, there is one solution that in certain circumstances may come in handy: cell merging.

Merging Cells

Merging cells essentially means combining two or more adjacent cells into one. This allows you to select a cell and then as many cells as desired in a row or column extending directly out from it and combine them into one cell that then becomes the size of all those cells put together. Thus you can artificially resize a cell to make it larger without altering the height or width of the rest of the row or column that contains it. Once the cells are merged, the new cell can be selected, used and formatted just like any other cell in the document. While merging cells won’t help you make a single cell smaller, it can come in handy if you need to make an individual cell larger without affecting the size of the rest of the cells around it. To merge two or more cells, simply select them all by pressing and holding the “Ctrl” key and clicking on each cell you wish to merge together. Then right-click on the selected cells, and choose “Format Cells.” From here, click the Alignment tab and select the “Merge cells” option to complete the merge.