How to Fit Your Excel Spreadsheet to Your Screen

Ryan Dube 04-12-2015

Excel is a powerful tool for so many things, but having to resize the sheet to fit your screen every time you open a file can be a major pain. Here are three quick solutions that can make your spreadsheet much easier to view.


Here at MakeUseOf, we’ve shown you how to use Excel for things like doing your taxes Doing Your Taxes? 5 Microsoft Excel Formulas You Must Know Your taxes are soon due and don't want to pay a late filing fee? Leverage the power of Microsoft Excel to get your taxes in order. Read More , general data analysis How to Create a Pivot Table for Data Analysis in Microsoft Excel The pivot table is one of the single most powerful tools in Microsoft Excel. Learn how to use the pivot table for data analysis. Read More , or even just managing your life How To Use Microsoft Excel To Manage Your Life It's no secret that I'm a total Excel fanboy. Much of that comes from the fact that I enjoy writing VBA code, and Excel combined with VBA scripts open up a whole world of possibilities.... Read More .

Regardless what you’re using Excel for, wouldn’t it be nice to be able to have your spreadsheet open up automatically so that you can see all the data on your screen? Wouldn’t it be sweet if your printouts contained every column resized so that it could fit on one sheet? Using one of the three steps below, you can accomplish this.

1. Fit All Columns to Screen

When you’ve opened a spreadsheet with more than a dozen columns or so, or maybe with very large text columns, it doesn’t take long for the end of the sheet to run off the right side of your screen.


People often put up with this because they think there’s no other way. The truth is that Excel is one of the best spreadsheet applications Excel vs. Google Sheets: Which One Is Better for You? Do you really need Excel? Both desktop and online solutions have their advantages. If you have trouble choosing between Excel and Google Sheets for managing your spreadsheets, let us help you decide. Read More for this — reconfiguring your sheet display so that all columns fit on the screen is actually pretty simple.


Step 1 – Highlight the entire first row of your spreadsheet across all columns.


Step 2 – Click on the View tab, and then select Zoom to Selection.



That’s all it takes for all columns to fit onto  your screen. No more cut off columns at the right side of your spreadsheet!


Problem solved, right?

Well, not quite. While this first solution works, it isn’t a permanent solution unless you’re willing to go through those two steps every single time you open your spreadsheet. What about when you open the spreadsheet on a different screen with a different resolution?


The answer is to automate the resizing one time, so you never have to think about it again.

2. Using VBA to Fit to Screen

What better way to automate anything in Excel than VBA How to See All Your PC Information Using a Simple Excel VBA Script Excel and 10 minutes of work will give you more detailed information about your computer than you ever thought possible. Sounds too good to be true? That's Windows, if you know how to use it. Read More ?

With a Visual Basic script How You Can Make Your Own Simple App With VBA Want to know how to make your own VBA application to solve problems? Use these tips to build your own VBA software. Read More , you can add some code to the Worksheet.Open method to automatically resize the sheet to fix the screen. To make this easy, first select the entire first row of the sheet (including all columns you want to fit onto the screen).

Right click anywhere in the highlighted row, and choose Define Name…



In Office 2016, if “Define Name…” is not an option in your right-click menu, highlight the first row with all columns you would like to auto-fit to the screen, then ask Tell Me for Name a Range and select the respective result.

You’ll find that “Workbook” is the Scope selected, and the sheet name and range is already filled into the Refers to: field.  Just type in a name for the range that you’ll remember, into the Name: field.


In this next step, you’ll need to click on the Developer menu item, and choose View Code from the Developer menu. If you don’t see the Developer option in your menu, you’ll need to enable it by going to File > Options > Customize Ribbon. Make sure Developer is selected here.


Once you click View Code in the menu, make sure to double-click the ThisWorkbook object, and on the right pane choose Open from the list of methods on the right drop-down menu.


Then, paste in the code shown above into the function Workbook_Open().  For your convenience, select and copy the text below into your function.

ActiveWindow.Zoom = True
'Cells(1, 1).Select

The last line is optional. Basically, if you include it, the sheet will move back to the left side so that the first cell is selected and the view is centered toward the top, left side of your sheet.

When you save your workbook, you will have to select a macro-enabled file type, i.e. XLSM. Now, every time you open your Excel file, it’ll automatically resize the sheet so that every single column fits inside the computer screen you’re using, regardless of its resolution.

3. Fitting All Columns When Printing

Another problem people face when actually printing out their spreadsheets, even though all columns fit onto the display, is having all columns fit onto the printed paper sheet.

This is a real annoyance, but the fix is fast and easy. Dann recently showed you a whole list of ways you can fix this issue How to Print an Excel Spreadsheet on One Single Page A beautifully crafted spreadsheet loses all its appeal when it comes printed on nine sheets of paper, with half of them empty. We show you how to get everything nicely on one single page. Read More , but personally I prefer the fast and simple rescaling approach.

When you choose Print from the File menu, you’ll see in the print preview that not all of the columns are on the preview.


Scroll down to the bottom of the print menu, and click on the Page Setup… link.


In the Page Setup menu, under the Page tab, you’ll see that under Scaling, the option to Adjust to 100% normal size is selected by default. This will make the sheet print at it’s original size, whether or not the whole sheet will fit. It’ll just print the rest of the worksheet on multiple pieces of paper, which is completely useless.

Instead, select Fit to: and then change the tall setting to a ridiculously high number that’s much higher than the number of papers your spreadsheet will actually need for printing.


This ensures that the sheet will only be “squeezed” to fit all columns on the sheet, but won’t resize the rows of the sheet. This is because if the rows are resized, it’ll mess up the final formatting.

By only forcing all columns to fit, your spreadsheet will print to one sheet wide, and as many pages as needed to print all of the data.


Excel Fits Right In

In the end, reformatting your spreadsheet Visualize Your Data & Make Your Spreadsheets User Friendly With An Excel Dashboard Sometimes, a simple spreadsheet format isn't engaging enough to make your data accessible. A dashboard allows you to present your most important data in an easy-to-digest format. Read More , no matter how massive it is, to fit everything on one PC display, or on one printed sheet, really isn’t that complicated. You just have to know the right trick to use to accomplish it!

We’ve showed you a lot of useful tricks with Excel 4 Excel Lookup Functions to Search Spreadsheets Efficiently Searching a large Excel spreadsheet isn't always easy. Use lookup formulas to save time and search spreadsheets efficiently. Read More through the years, but now you know all three tricks for getting your data to look and print exactly the way you want it to. Don’t forget to share these tricks with all of your friends and family!

Do you know any other ways to quickly fit a spreadsheet onto a computer screen of any resolution? Share your own tips and tricks in the comments section below!

Image Credit: holding a huge mallet by Pretty Vectors via Shutterstock

Related topics: Microsoft Excel, Printing, Spreadsheet, Visual Basic Programming.

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  1. Jaka Strojansek
    May 30, 2020 at 11:25 am


    I have a technical question… I have made a workbook with 10 spreadsheets, each with different column widths and common toolbar (horizontal group of text objects on the top of each spreadsheet with hyperlinks and macros). When I use Activewindow.Zoom = True for the first spreadsheet(“homepage”) and apply it to the others (Activewindow.Zoom = iZoom), it works great for my screen resolution but as soon as I change screen resolution or zoom level on certain spreadsheets, the toolbar "moves" - it is not on the same place (object/toolbar is locked – “don’t move or resize with cell”).

    Since I plan to offer my workbook to customers I want it to look as close as real toolbar.

    Do you know a quick fix? Have I missed something?

    Thank you for a quick reply, greetings from Slovenia,

  2. John David Dunson
    December 2, 2018 at 10:45 pm

    something i use a lot is "set print area", in the layout tab.
    alternatively, you can just highlight what you want to print and choose the "print selection" option.
    then, in the scaling options, you can choose "fit sheet to page".
    (that will only shrink it... to make it bigger, you'll have to set the zoom percentage manually.)
    go to custom margins and make them as small as you can, for your printer.
    then check the two boxes to center vertically and horizontally.
    of course, that's not useful if your data really needs multiple pages, but it might help some. i use it every day.
    if you do need multiple pages, you can still use the set print area or the print selection methods... you just have to play around with the "fit all columns..." and "fit all rows..." options.

  3. Lynnjamin
    August 4, 2018 at 2:54 pm

    Zoom to selection! What a useful tool! I'm so focused on harnessing the way my spreadsheets function that I forget to even explore ways to get my spreadsheets to look while I am working on them. Thanks so much!

  4. Chris
    July 31, 2017 at 12:00 am

    I have an Excel file with multiple tabs (sheets) that I'd like to have "fit" upon open. The first set of instructions worked perfectly. However, I'd like to have columns in the other tabs do the same thing with the same Workbook Open macro.

    Any thoughts?

  5. Jay
    December 4, 2015 at 6:33 pm

    There is a similar function in LibreOffice Calc. Select the columns you want to view and then use View - > Zoom -> Optimal View. I know this works in LO 4.2.6, can's say for other versions.