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Set It In Pixels?

Monday, January 9th, 2006 by | Filed Under: MS Excel, MS Office Help

A reader wrote in with an interesting Excel question. They were wondering if there was a way to set the column widths and row heights using pixels rather than the default numeric values. Hmm. Good question!

I did some looking around and found a solution – probably not the one the reader was hoping for but it’s worth mentioning.

While I couldn’t find a place to type in an actual pixel value I did notice something interesting while sliding column widths using the dividers between the column letters.


See it?

Yep – not only does that little info bubble list the current column width using the usual numeric value but it also lists in parentheses the pixel width. (It does the same thing when sliding row heights.)

So, it seems to me that if pixels are a necessity for the way you work then sliding widths / heights is a way to get what you need.

If it were me – I’d figure out and create a quick chart equating pixel values to the numeric values. Then I would know what number to use with the sizing methods in the Format menu.

Oh yeah – and by the way, what exactly does that column width number mean anyway?

I stumbled across and explanation – I don’t know if it will help but I found it interesting so here goes.

“The number that appears in the column width box is the average number of digits 0-9 of the standard font.” (The standard font is the default font for the worksheet.)

Check it out – if the column width is 8.43 and you go to a cell and type 012345678 you’ll find that it fits perfectly. However, if you add a 9 to that list the column will have to stretch to adjust.

OK – so this little factoid doesn’t demystify the universe but it does make a little extra sense out of the mysterious number system that seems to govern our worksheets.

~ April

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