How to change and AutoFit row height in Excel

The tutorial shows different ways to change row height and resize cells in Excel.

By default, all rows on a new workbook have the same height. However, Microsoft Excel allows you to resize rows in different ways such as changing row height by using the mouse, auto fitting rows and wrapping text. Further on in this tutorial, you will find full details on all these techniques.

Excel row height

In Excel worksheets, the default row height is determined by the font size. As you increase or decrease the font size for a specific row(s), Excel automatically makes the row taller or shorter.

According to Microsoft, with the default font Calibri 11, the row height is 12.75 points, which is approximately 1/6 inch or 0.4 cm. In practice, in the latest versions of Excel 2016 and Excel 2013, row height varies depending on the display scaling (DPI) from 15 points on a 100% dpi to 14.3 points on a 200% dpi.

You can also set a row height in Excel manually, from 0 to 409 points, with 1 point equal to approximately 1/72 inch or 0.035 cm. A hidden row has zero (0) height.

To check the current height of a given row, click the boundary below the row heading, and Excel will display the height in points and pixels:
Excel row height

How to change row height in Excel using the mouse

The most common way to adjust row height in Excel is by dragging the row border. It allows you to quickly resize a single row as well as change the height of multiple or all rows. Here's how:

  • To change the height of one row, drag the lower boundary of the row heading until the row is set to the desired height.
    Changing the height of one row using the mouse
  • To change the height of multiple row, select the rows of interest and drag the boundary below any row heading in the selection.
    Changing the height of multiple rows
  • To change height of all rows on the sheet, select the entire sheet by pressing Ctrl + A or clicking the Select All button  The Select All button, and then drag the row separator between any row headings.

How to set row height in Excel numerically

As mentioned a few paragraphs above, Excel row height is specified in points. So, you can adjust a row height by changing the default points. For this, select any cell in the row(s) you'd like to resize, and do the following:

  1. On the Home tab, in the Cells group, click Format > Row Height.
  2. In the Row height box, type the desired value, and click OK to save the change.

Setting the row height numerically

Another way to access the Row Height dialog is to select a row(s) of interest, right-click, and choose Row Height… from the context menu:
Another way to change the row height in Excel

Tip. To make all rows on the sheet the same size, either press Crtl+A or click the Select All button to select the entire sheet, and then perform the above steps to set row height.

How to AutoFit row height in Excel

When copying data into Excel sheets, there are times when a row height does not adjust automatically. As the result, multi-line or unusually tall text is clipped like shown on the right-hand part of the screenshot below. To fix this, apply the Excel AutoFit feature that will force the row to expand automatically to accommodate the largest value in that row.

To AutoFit rows in Excel, select one or more rows, and do one of the following:

Method 1. Double-click the lower boundary of any row heading in the selection:
AutoFit rows in Excel

Method 2. On the Home tab, in the Cells group, click Format > AutoFit Row Height:
AutoFit row height in Excel.

Tip. To auto fit all rows on the sheet, press Ctrl + A or click the Select All button, and then either double click the boundary between any two row headings or click Format > AutoFit Row Height on the ribbon.

How to adjust row height in inches

In some situations, for example when preparing the worksheet for printing, you may want to set the row height in inches, centimeters or millimeters. To have it done, please follow these steps:

  1. Go to the View tab > Workbook Views group and click the Page Layout button. This will display the rulers showing the column width and row height in the default measurement unit: inches, centimeters or millimeters.
    Switch to the Page Layout view to display the ruler.
  2. Select one, several or all rows on the sheet, and set the desired row height by dragging the boundary below one of the selected row headings. As you do this, Excel will display the row height in inches like shown in the screenshot below:
    Setting the row height in inches
Tip. To change the default measurement unit on the ruler, click File > Options > Advanced, scroll down to the Display section, select the unit you want (inches, centimeters or millimeters) from the Ruler Units drop-down list, and click OK.

Excel row height tips

As you have just seen, changing row height in Excel is easy and straightforward. The following tips might help you resize cells in Excel even more efficiently.

1. How to change cell size in Excel

Resizing cells in Excel boils down to changing column width and row height. By manipulating these values, you can increase cell size, make cells smaller, and even create a square grid. For example, you can use the following sizes to make square cells:

Font Row height Column width
Arial 10 pt 12.75 1.71
Arial 8 pt 11.25 1.43

Alternatively, to make all cells the same size, press Ctrl + A and drag rows and columns to a desired pixel size (as you drag and resize, Excel will display the row height and column width in points / units and pixels). Please keep in mind that this method can only show square cells on the screen, however, it does not guarantee a square grid when printed.

2. How to change the default row height in Excel

As mentioned in the beginning of this tutorial, the row height in Excel is dependent on the font size, more precisely, on the size of the largest font used in the row. So, in order to increase or decrease the default row height, you can simply change the default font size. For this, click File > Options > General and specify your preferences under the When creating new workbooks section:
Changing the default row height in Excel

If you are not quite happy with the optimal row height set by Excel for your newly established default font, you can select the entire sheet, and change row height numerically or by using the mouse. After that, save an empty workbook with your custom row height as an Excel template and base new workbooks on that template.

This is how you can change row height in Excel. I thank you for reading and hope to see you on our blog next week!

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10 Responses to "How to change and AutoFit row height in Excel"

  1. Zeeshan Ali says:

    I love you, You are good professional in Excel

  2. Imran Masud says:

    Oh, Svetlana,it is pretty good. I check everyday this site for new post, when found its being pleasure for me.Thanks for ur selfless effort.
    Question: is it possible to setup row/column height in pixel?& how?

    • Hi Imran,

      Thank you for your comment!

      You can setup the row height /column width in pixels by dragging the boundary of the row/column heading. As you do this, Excel will display the row height both in points and pixels (please see the very first screenshot in this tutorial). If you want to resize multiple or all rows/columns at a time, select them, and then drag any heading boundary in the selection.

      • Imran Masud says:

        Yeh,I know what have u described.But I was actually want to know, is it possible to setup row/column height in fractional pixel. Suppose, 1.3 pixel?

        • Hi Imran,

          A pixel is a minute area of illumination on a screen, which is why it's not possible to use fractional pixels. According to the information from this Microsoft forum, when you set the row height in points, Excel actually sets it in pixels using this calculation:
          1 pixel = 72 / 96 points= 0.75 points

          Meaning, you can only change the row height in increments of 0.75 points. For more details, please see the above link.

  3. Rohan says:

    yes svetlana!! I am also wait if new article publish on this site. I always keen get new learning in excel. You are awesome

  4. Morris Edwards says:

    Thank you for sharing the handy stuff.

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