MS-Excel / Excel 2003

Setting a new standard column width

If you're working on a spreadsheet that almost universally requires a different standard column width (usually one wider than the 8.43 characters or 64 pixels standard), you can easily set a default width for every column in the worksheet:

  1. Choose Format → Column → Standard Width.
    Excel opens the Standard Width dialog box.
  2. Enter the new width in characters (between 0 and 255) in the Standard Column Width text box.
    Setting a column width to 0 is the equivalent of hiding the column in the worksheet by choosing Format → Column → Hide. You can use this technique to hide columns you use in calculating certain worksheet formulas but don't necessarily want printed as part of the final spreadsheet. However, if you enter 0 here as the new standard width, you hide all the columns in the worksheet, making it impossible to add, edit, or print data in any of its cells!
  3. Click OK to close the Standard Width dialog box.

Changing the value in the Standard Width dialog box changes the default column width for all the columns in only the active worksheet. Using this command has no effect on the width of columns that you manually resized or resized with the AutoFit feature. If you want to change the default column width for all the worksheets in your workbook, select all the sheets (by Ctrl+clicking their sheet tabs or right-clicking the tab of the active sheet and then clicking Select All Sheets on the shortcut menu) before you open the Standard Width dialog box and set a new default value.

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