32

In Excel, I usually solve ##### errors by double-clicking offending column headers. However, this can get a bit tedious when there are multiple error columns. Is there a quicker way to solve this?

  • 32
    No need to swear! – Andrew Grimm Jun 16 '15 at 14:24
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    @AndrewGrimm, this is Excel we're talking about. – Mark Jun 16 '15 at 22:16
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    Is ##### actually an error? – Scott Seidman Jun 18 '15 at 12:49
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    @ScottSeidman it's not #NULL!, DIV/0!, VALUE!, #REF!, #NAME?, #NUM! or #N/A - so not, it wouldn't be identified as an error by something like iferror() – Raystafarian Jun 18 '15 at 13:15
  • @Raystafarian -- then its just a display convention, or some such. – Scott Seidman Jun 18 '15 at 13:42
46

You can autosize multiple columns at the same time by double clicking, just like you do with a single column.

Step 1. Select multiple columns:

Either select all columns by clicking in the arrow in the upper-left corner: enter image description here

Or click and drag to select a smaller range of columns: enter image description here

Step 2. Autosize selected columns:

Now double click on the right boundary of any of the selected columns, when your cursor changes to the column-resizing double arrow.

enter image description here

enter image description here

  • This is a worse solution than autofit because it resizes columns to the same width – JamesRyan Jun 18 '15 at 11:27
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    @JamesRyan - It seems to autofit properly. I just verified with different length values. Are you sure you're double clicking to resize the column instead of clicking and dragging? – Reinstate Monica Jun 18 '15 at 13:01
  • ah I think that has changed since earlier versions when I learnt not to do it – JamesRyan Jun 18 '15 at 14:17
39

Yes, on the ribbon go to Home - Cells and click Format

Under there, you can choose Autofit either Row Height or Column Width.

enter image description here

  • does this automatically do all columns in a worksheet? – Rick Jun 17 '15 at 19:13
  • This also resizes cells with text in them. – M.Hesse Jun 12 '16 at 11:14
19

For the keyboard warriors, here's a technique that doesn't require the mouse:

  1. Select all - Control+A or Control+Shift+8
  2. AutoFit columns - Hold Alt, then press in sequence O, C, A. You can let go of Alt after you press O.

This feature, called Office Access Keys is a holdover from the pre-ribbon days. If you had memorized the old menus, you can continue to access them this way.

In this case, the navigation was:

  • Format
  • Column
  • AutoFit
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    Alt H, O, I is the new access key for this... it seems a bit slower though as for me it takes a few seconds for office to draw the shortcut keys (which it doesn't bother with for the old keys). – Random832 Jun 16 '15 at 20:36
2

In addition to narrow columns, the hashes can also be displayed when a cell containing a large text is formatted as Text. In Excel 2003 (and before?), this happens when the cell contains 256 to 1024 characters.

Changing the category from Text to General helps.

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