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Adjust row heights to make Excel spreadsheets easier to read

Are all the rows in your Excel spreadsheet crunched together? Mary Ann Richardson explains how to adjust the height of your rows to allow your numbers some breathing room—and your eyes a bit of white space to acclimate to the differences.

Excel automatically adjusts rows to the size of your font. If you don't want to increase the font and prefer to add white space between the rows to make your worksheets easier to read, you can insert an empty row between two lines of data. This works to a point—it could invalidate formulas that refer to values, which may change any time you insert a row. Rather than changing all the formulas' relative references to absolute values, a better alternative is to adjust row height; simply click and drag a row's boundary beneath the row's number until there is enough white space to easily read the data.

You can also change the height of more than one row. To do so, select the desired rows and then click and drag one of the selected row's boundaries until you reach the desired height. If you need to change the height of all the rows in a worksheet to make it more readable, click the Select All button in the upper left hand corner of the spreadsheet, then click and drag one of the selected row's boundaries to the desired height.

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13 comments
Quanta51
Quanta51

It really helped me. Thanks.

JosephBecket
JosephBecket

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andreaburton
andreaburton

it's pretty easy to adjust the row height, you just have to highlight the cells and right click and change them. Hope this helps :) Andrea B. Excel Spreadsheets

cmk7471
cmk7471

Another easy way to increase the row height is to select the rows you want to change, right click in the selection, choose "Row Height" and then enter a number. If you want the appearance of double-spacing, double the current number. This same options exists for columns.

techrepublic
techrepublic

While adjusting the height of a row (or the width of a column) is a perfectly good way to improve presentation of a worksheet, the claim that inserting rows can mess up formulas is, at the very least, confusing. When one inserts a row (or a column), Excel adjusts a formula reference so that it still refers to the intended cell. Just try it. In B2, enter =A1. Now, select row 2 and insert an additional row. Go a step further and select column B and insert a column. As expected, the formula will be in C3 but it will still read =A1.

IamaMavericK
IamaMavericK

In excel, there is a feature to adjust the column width to fit the content of the column by double clicking beside the column title. Is there a similar feature for adjusting Row Height to the contents in a Row?

Two Hawks
Two Hawks

That works nicely as long as all rows relevant to the range selection are the same number of lines. But if you have cells with varying number of lines this will not serve. I posted a solution at ExcelForums for handling this problem with a simple macro. It adds a little height to all rows relevant to a columnar-range selection. It might be a good starting point if you need to do this via multi-column-range selection. chek it out here: http://www.excelforum.com/excel-general/587064-possible-to-add-space-between-rows.html#post2380412

Spook0
Spook0

If you have formulas that include absolute references or macros that count rows or columns, adding rows or columns can result in less than optimum results especially when the formulas or macros are chained together.

PatriciaT
PatriciaT

The reason inserting blank rows is not good practice is this: If you are going to be using any database functions, Excel will not be able to determine the full range of the data, because it stops when it comes to a blank row or column. Also, in previous versions of Excel (not sure if this is still true), Excel included blank rows in the file size. Adding lots of blank rows and columns increases the size of the file. Bottom line, create "elegant" spreadsheets -- use the row height and column width features to keep it simple, straightforward and beautiful. (Like a good mathematical proof.)

xbnu
xbnu

Another advantage of simply adjusting the row (or column) height is the fact that when trying to quickly maneuvering around the worksheet, one gets to the desired cells quicker: when there are empty space rows, it means more cells to go through or hit. When you spend a lot of time in a spreadsheet and want to be efficient, extra "stop lights" are best avoided.

r.david
r.david

Yes, just like the column, you can fit-to-contents the row height. Alternatively you can go to the format menu and choose either column or row and adjust iy by Height (or width in the case of columns) or choose autofit

r.david
r.david

empty rows don't work well with macros, specially when you're trying to find the extent of data (SpecialValues function)

RogerAIA
RogerAIA

Insteaad of adding an empty row, you can make the row appear to be double spaced by htting ALt-Enter. But this doesn't work with numbers, only text, like row lables.

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