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I have a spreadsheet with many columns. The columns are all a small standard width. Double-clicking the partition line between columns will expand the column width to encompass the longest string in that column.

Is there a shortcut to perform this operation on every column in the spreadsheet?

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Just a comment: "howto" as one word usually means "this is a guide" not "how do I". – msanford Jul 8 '10 at 22:08
up vote 95 down vote accepted

Click where the row and column headers meet, this will select the entire sheet, like so:

alt text

Then double-click any one of the column partition lines.

I do this all the time, and it's as quick as you can get.

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I don't know about shortcut. I use menu.
1) Select The Full Spreadsheet
2) Select Format
3) Column
4) Autofit Selection

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+1 I like this solution because it works on whatever range you select and you can exclude, for instance, titles that you want to span many columns. – dkusleika Jul 8 '10 at 17:02
Sometimes for long strings the autofit does not expand to fit the longest line in that column. navigating this tip brought me to the other options of manually setting the width which was useful. – Paul Aug 12 '14 at 14:51
And for particularly long strings there are times when Excel just fails. Although, I haven't run into this yet with the newer versions. – Dave Aug 13 '14 at 17:11
Could you update this for 2010 please? Or at least specify the version you are explaining this for. – LaRiFaRi Jul 8 '15 at 7:40
At the time of this post I believe I was using a 2000 version of office at home and 2003 at work. – Dave Jul 10 '15 at 1:43

Try selecting everything (CTRL + A twice rapidly, or just select the columns you want), and then double-click a partition line. In Excel 2007, that solution seems to work just fine; in other words, it automatically sizes each column to its own longest string.

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doesn't work in 2003 – Dave Jul 8 '10 at 16:18
It does work in 2003. In both versions, you have to make sure the whole column is selected, not just a range of cells. – dkusleika Jul 8 '10 at 17:01
Why CTRL+a twice? Was that really needed in some version of Excel? – LaRiFaRi Jul 8 '15 at 7:46

Ctrl+A to select all cells, then press Alt+H, O, I.

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Is that working in all excel versions? – boboes Feb 19 '15 at 8:30
@boboes works for 2010 – LaRiFaRi Jul 8 '15 at 7:42

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