How do you use Google Sheets autofit column width? Adjusting the column width when working with Google Sheets is something everyone needs to do. Sometimes it’s too narrow, and sometimes just too wide.
While you can adjust the column width manually, there is also a way to ensure all the columns auto-fit the cells in Google Sheets.
This will make sure there is no text spilling over to other cells, and there is no extra white space in the column (other than what’s necessary).
In this tutorial, I will show you several ways to use the Google Sheets autofit column width function. So let’s get started!
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Google Sheets Autofit Column Width with Double-Click
The easiest way to use the Google Sheets autofit column width function is to select all the columns that you want to adjust the width of and use a simple double-click.
Suppose you have the dataset as shown below, and you want to autofit column A (which has the company names).
Below are the steps to autofit a column:
- Select the column that you want to autofit
- Place the cursor at the right edge of the column title. You will notice that the cursor changes to a double-pointed arrow.
The above steps would instantly auto-fit the column based on the text in the cells.
Note: The Google Sheets auto-fit column width function adjusts to accommodate the cell with the maximum text. So if you have a cell with a lot of text, autofit may widen the column a lot.
In case you want to autofit column width for multiple columns at once, follow the below steps:
- Select the columns that you want to autofit (these could be contiguous or non-contiguous columns)
- Place the cursor at the right edge of any of the selected column titles. You will notice that the cursor changes to a double-pointed arrow.
This would adjust the column width of all the selected columns in one go.
If you want to do this for the entire sheets, you can select all the cells by clicking on the gray box at the top-left of the worksheet. Once selected, you can autofit columns by double-clicking for any of the columns.
Google Sheets Autofit Column Width with ‘Fit to Data’ Option
If you don’t like the double-click method, there is another way to apply the Google Sheets autofit column width function.
Suppose you have the dataset as shown below, and you want to autofit column A.
Below are the steps to adjust and autofit column width in Google Sheets:
- Select the column (or columns) that you want to autofit
- Right-click on any of the selected columns.
- Click the “Resize Columns” option
- In the “Resize Column” dialog box that opens, select the “Fit to Data” option
- Click “OK“
The above steps would instantly change the column width to autofit the cell that has the maximum text in it. This way, no cells would have text that spills over to the next cell.
Note: If you change the cells to add or remove content and need to auto-fit again, you will have to repeat the same steps shown above.
AutoFit Vs. Wrap Text
Autofit allows you to make sure the columns are wide enough to accommodate the cell with the longest string in it. This works great, but in some cases, you may have a few cells with a long text string, and because of this, all the cells have a large column width.
In such cases, it makes more sense to wrap text so the long string can be converted into multiple lines in the same cell (like a paragraph).
But when you use Wrap Text, you may notice that auto-fit doesn’t work as expected.
Here is what happens.
When you wrap text, the cell on which it has been applied can put any extra text on the next line. So, there is no spilling of text to the next cell. And since there is none of it, the width seems fine to Google Sheet.
So when you have a cell (or some cells) that have wrap text applied:
- If there is a cell that is overflowing to the next cell, Google Sheets will adjust to make the width wider (note that a cell with wrap text will never overflow)
- If the cell(s) with wrap text applied have white space, autofitting will adjust the column width to ensure there is no extra space.
So these are two simple ways to use the Google Sheets autofit column width function. I personally prefer the double-click method as it’s faster and more efficient, but in case you’re not a double-click person, you can also use the “Fit to Data” option.
Also, note that all the methods that we have covered in this tutorial also work when you have to resize and autofit rows in Google Sheets.
Hope you found this tutorial useful!
You may also like the following Google Sheets tutorials:
- How To Group Rows & Columns In Google Sheets
- Limitations of Google Sheets (Row/Column/File Size)
- How To Hide Columns In Google Sheets
- How To Number Rows in Google Sheets (Add Serial Numbers)
- How To Apply a Formula to an Entire Column in Google Sheets
- Autofit Columns in Excel
- How To Rename Columns in Google Sheets