Windows from the Keyboard Tips, Microsoft Excel – Auto Adjust Column Width, November 25, 2020

Attention: This blog series will end December 9, 2020. If you have an idea for a future GTT blog series email it to:

Hello. This is Gerry Chevalier from the GTT Edmonton Chapter. This weekly blog provides tips that I find useful as a keyboard user of Windows 10 and Office 365.

The tips in this Windows from the Keyboard series do not require a screen reader unless specifically noted. Thus, the tips apply whether you are a keyboard user or low vision mouse user. Here is this week’s tip.

Microsoft Excel – Auto Adjust Column Width to Fit Contents

Excel sets a default width for each column. If you type more text than can fit in a column, or if a calculation yields a large number that is too wide for the column, then visually the extra characters are cut off. They are not visible. However, for screen reader users the complete cell contents are still spoken, so screen reader users won’t know if some of their cells have cut off text that cannot be seen. . Note: JAWS does have a setting to control notifying you of nonvisible text and NVDA notifies you automatically.

To ensure all the data in your columns is visible to sighted readers, you will want to automatically adjust the column width to fit the contents. To do this:

  • Press Control+Space to select the column.
  • Press Alt+H, O, I and press Enter. Excel will automatically adjust the column width to fit the widest cell.

That’s it for this tip. Only 2 tips remain! Don’t forget to contact CCB if you have ideas for future blogs.