AutoFit Excel Shortcut: The Quick Guide to Resizing Columns and Rows

AutoFit in Excel is a quick way to automatically adjust the width of columns and the height of rows to match the size of the content within them. Simply select the column or row you want to auto-adjust, double-click the boundary line next to the header, and voila! The column or row will resize to the perfect fit.

After you complete the action, the selected columns or rows will be resized to accommodate the content within them, making your spreadsheet look cleaner and more organized.


Excel spreadsheets are a staple in the world of data organization and analysis. Whether you’re a financial analyst crunching numbers or a student organizing research data, the ability to quickly and efficiently format your spreadsheet can save you time and frustration. One of the most common tasks in Excel is adjusting the size of columns and rows to fit the content within them. This is where the AutoFit feature comes in handy.

AutoFit is a quick and easy way to resize columns and rows to the exact size needed for the content inside them, eliminating the need for manual adjustments and ensuring a tidy and readable spreadsheet. This feature is particularly useful when working with spreadsheets that have varying lengths of content, as it instantly provides a uniform look without any extra effort. In this article, we’ll explore how to use the AutoFit Excel shortcut for columns and rows, making your Excel experience smoother and more efficient.

How to Use the AutoFit Excel Shortcut for Columns and Rows

This section will guide you through using the AutoFit feature in Excel to resize columns and rows to match their content.

Step 1: Select the columns or rows you want to AutoFit

Click on the header of the column or row you want to adjust.

Selecting the correct columns or rows is crucial for the AutoFit function to work correctly. If you want to apply AutoFit to multiple columns or rows at once, simply click and drag to select them all.

Step 2: Double-click the boundary line of the selected column or row header

Position your cursor on the line between the headers until it changes to a double-sided arrow, then double-click.

Double-clicking the boundary line is the key action that triggers the AutoFit feature. It tells Excel to automatically adjust the size of the selected column or row based on the content within it.


Saves TimeManually adjusting each column and row can be time-consuming, especially in large spreadsheets. AutoFit instantly resizes them with a double-click.
Enhanced ReadabilityAutoFit ensures that all content is fully visible without any extra effort, making your spreadsheet easier to read and analyze.
Avoids Human ErrorManual adjustments can sometimes lead to inconsistent column widths or row heights. AutoFit eliminates this risk by automating the process.


May Not be Ideal for Visual LayoutsAutoFit is based purely on content size and doesn’t consider visual design. This may lead to an undesired aesthetic if you have a specific layout in mind.
Possible OverextensionFor cells with lengthy content, AutoFit may extend the column or row more than desired, potentially disrupting the overall look of the spreadsheet.
Limited CustomizationAutoFit does not allow for precise control over the resizing, which may not be suitable for users who need specific dimensions.

Additional Information

The AutoFit Excel shortcut is a game-changer for anyone who regularly works with spreadsheets. It streamlines the process of formatting columns and rows, allowing you to focus on the data itself rather than the appearance of the spreadsheet. However, there are some additional tips and tricks to keep in mind when using AutoFit. For instance, if you need to AutoFit all columns and rows in a worksheet, you can click the Select All button at the top-left corner of the spreadsheet before double-clicking a boundary line.

Additionally, you can access the AutoFit feature through the Excel ribbon by selecting your columns or rows, navigating to the Home tab, clicking on Format, and then selecting AutoFit Column Width or AutoFit Row Height. This method offers the same result and may be preferred by some users. Remember, the key to effectively using the AutoFit feature is understanding that it’s designed to make your life easier, so don’t hesitate to use it whenever you find your spreadsheet looking a little cluttered.


  1. Select the columns or rows you want to AutoFit
  2. Double-click the boundary line of the selected column or row header

Frequently Asked Questions

What is AutoFit in Excel?

AutoFit is a feature that automatically adjusts the width of columns and the height of rows to fit the content within them.

Can I AutoFit multiple columns or rows at once?

Yes, you can select multiple columns or rows and apply AutoFit to all of them simultaneously.

Is there a keyboard shortcut for AutoFit in Excel?

While there is no direct keyboard shortcut, you can use Alt + H to access the Home tab, then O followed by I for column width or A for row height.

Will AutoFit work with merged cells?

AutoFit will adjust the entire merged cell to fit the content, but it may not work as expected if the content spans multiple lines within the merged cell.

Can I undo the AutoFit action if I don’t like the result?

Yes, you can use the Undo function (Ctrl + Z) to revert the changes made by AutoFit.


Mastering the AutoFit Excel shortcut for columns and rows is a small yet impactful way to enhance your efficiency when working with spreadsheets. It’s a simple feature, but its ability to quickly and automatically adjust the size of your spreadsheet’s columns and rows not only saves you time but also ensures that your data is presented in a clear and accessible manner.

Whether you’re a seasoned Excel pro or a beginner, incorporating AutoFit into your routine can help you maintain organized and professional-looking spreadsheets with ease. Remember, though, that while AutoFit is a powerful tool, it’s not always the perfect solution for every situation. Keep in mind the potential drawbacks and use it judiciously to make sure your spreadsheets always look their best.

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