When starting a new excel spreadsheet, columns are set to a standard width of 8.43. Simply put: you’ve only got so many characters you can type into cells before you start seeing something like this:
It is easy to manually widen those cells so you can see the data, but by using a very basic macro the columns can autofit on the fly as you enter and subtract data.
FYI: A macro is an embedded command in excel that automates tasks in the spreadsheet. Note – sometimes your ‘IT’ department will disable macros in office products as they can be used to distribute malicious code, so check with your IT team if you aren’t able to get this to work.
- Right click on the sheet tab at the bottom and select View Code
- A new window will pop up called Microsoft Visual Basic for Applications
- Select Worksheet in the first drop down menu
- In the area below that, type: Cells.EntireColumn.AutoFit
Close out of that window once you have entered the code. This command is now embedded in your sheet, so as you populate data into cells, Excel will automatically adjust the width of your columns to fit the data you are entering.
If you are dealing with lots of data, this can be a great time saver.