Copying and Pasting Column Widths in Microsoft Excel

Spreadsheets and graphs on a desk

Spreadsheet users are sometimes frustrated by perceived inconsistencies in Excel, for instance, sometimes column widths paste with your data, but sometimes they don’t – leaving you to manually adjust the column widths.

In this article I’ll explain some of the nuance involved with copying and pasting column widths, as well as empower you to consistently paste column widths when you want to. I’ll also explain the nuances and limitations of pasting row heights, as well as a line of programming code you can use to transfer row heights from one worksheet to another.

With regard to the question of “will it paste my column widths or won’t it”, the answer depends upon what area of the spreadsheet you selected. When you copy a range of cells, such as shown in Figure 1, Excel does what you asked and pastes just the cell contents. However, as shown in Figure 2, when you copy entire columns and paste elsewhere, Excel then pastes the column widths as well.

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About David Ringstrom, CPA

David Ringstrom

David H. Ringstrom, CPA, is an author and nationally recognized instructor who teaches scores of webinars each year. His Excel courses are based on over 25 years of consulting and teaching experience. His mantra is “Either you work Excel, or it works you.” David offers spreadsheet and database consulting services nationwide.


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