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Automatically "size column to fit"? RRS feed

  • Question

  • Every time I view a folder I have to do a "size column to fit" on the file name column so I can see the full file names. I don't understand why file explorer doesn't fit this column properly automatically. The file name column is the MOST important piece of information (to me at least) on this screen and with this age of wide monitors, it should know I am using a wide enough screen and adjust the columns accordingly instead of wasting all that blank space after the last column. Some smart helpful user experience goes a long way.

    I did a "Apply to all folders" and the other folders did not pick the new column width.

    It seems I have to start using one of the file explorer alternatives which has this feature.

    Wednesday, June 30, 2010 5:31 AM

Answers

  • Try this:

    Find the folder with the largest file name.

    In the column 'Name', right click and select "size column to fit"

    If you then right click on the same column again and select 'More...' you will see that it shows the 'Width of column selected (in pixels)' and a number

    If you then select 'Organize' + 'Folder & Search Options' + 'View' + 'Apply to all Folders' from the page you have just sized to fit column then it seems to work on all folders.  It also seems to continue to work if you exit Windows Explorer and go into it again.

    I should add that I'm using Windows 7 and I'm not sure if this will work with others.

     

     

    • Proposed as answer by maxblack Wednesday, August 17, 2011 2:39 PM
    • Marked as answer by abdu Tuesday, August 21, 2012 11:13 PM
    Monday, March 21, 2011 12:10 PM
  • Hi,

     

    This should not be an issue. The current design meets the most situations of Windows Explorer usage. The file name length can reach to 255 bytes. Most wide monitors cannot display so many bytes with other columns at the same line.

     

    Regards,

     

    Sabrina

     

    Thursday, July 1, 2010 9:15 AM

All replies

  • I agree with abdu.  I would like to see an option that would intelligently size the column widths in Windows Explorer when viewing files and folders in the Details mode.  This would be very handy for those of us who have to work a lot with files and folders via the gui. 
    Thursday, July 1, 2010 3:01 AM
  • Hi,

     

    This should not be an issue. The current design meets the most situations of Windows Explorer usage. The file name length can reach to 255 bytes. Most wide monitors cannot display so many bytes with other columns at the same line.

     

    Regards,

     

    Sabrina

     

    Thursday, July 1, 2010 9:15 AM
  • It isn't a question of what you think the design meets Sabrina, but what the users are telling you.  I have the same issue, I open my downloads directory and the column width for the file name is too short to show the full file name, cutting it off in half sometimes until I drag the column wider or right click and have it autosize.  It is a hassle to have to do this for every folder over and over and over because the gui is so limited.
    • Proposed as answer by mbourgon Wednesday, November 7, 2012 2:33 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by mbourgon Wednesday, November 7, 2012 2:34 PM
    Tuesday, December 28, 2010 2:33 AM
  • Ctrl and + together are the standard keyboard shortcut to autosize columns in any Windows Explorer pane.
    • Proposed as answer by Dolus Bonus Saturday, January 14, 2012 9:00 PM
    Tuesday, December 28, 2010 6:57 AM
  • So much for improving productivity!
    It is a huge annoyance to have to resize a column each time it is accessed to see fully its contents.
    And it is not unresonable to expect that any 'modern' operating system, e.g. Windows 7, should do this automatically. Calculating is what computers do.
    To add insult to injury, if you select 'apply to all folders' after asking nicely for eplorer to size the column to fit, instead of all columns being automatically resized they are set to that exact column width.
    It is like working with the local idiot!

    I'll trot along and see what 3rd party developers do actually appreciate the user experience.

    P.S Most modern forums retain formating in users posts, so that the reading eperience is a pleasant one.
    This reply had to be edited to include 'br' tags.
    Again so much for productivity!
    Tuesday, February 8, 2011 8:20 PM
  • I agree. No matter how big you make the folder window when viewing as Details, the Name column remains at about 18-22 characters only! This is STUPID! I have a 19" monitor with loads of blank space and when viewing files as details it DOES NOT AUTO EXPAND.

    You have to use List, Tile, or Icons to see the full name automatically.

    Viewing as Content does the same thing, chopping off the filename after about 42 characters with no way to expand it eventhough there is tonnes of space on the screen. How is that useful in any way?!?

    Yes, in Details, you can drag the name box <|> to be larger and it remembers the size of the column. But I can't spend 100s of hours doing this to all my folders.

    p.s.

    There is a Size Column To Fit option and Size All Columns To Fit option (which only change the column you are on or the ones displayed in the folder.) What is needed is a Size All Columns To Fit in All Sub-Folders option. :)

    Wednesday, February 9, 2011 4:27 AM
  • Try this:

    Find the folder with the largest file name.

    In the column 'Name', right click and select "size column to fit"

    If you then right click on the same column again and select 'More...' you will see that it shows the 'Width of column selected (in pixels)' and a number

    If you then select 'Organize' + 'Folder & Search Options' + 'View' + 'Apply to all Folders' from the page you have just sized to fit column then it seems to work on all folders.  It also seems to continue to work if you exit Windows Explorer and go into it again.

    I should add that I'm using Windows 7 and I'm not sure if this will work with others.

     

     

    • Proposed as answer by maxblack Wednesday, August 17, 2011 2:39 PM
    • Marked as answer by abdu Tuesday, August 21, 2012 11:13 PM
    Monday, March 21, 2011 12:10 PM
  • The fixed column width option suggested by ljw326 works quite nice.
    • Proposed as answer by waterssse Wednesday, August 24, 2011 12:30 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by waterssse Wednesday, August 24, 2011 12:30 PM
    Thursday, August 4, 2011 12:50 PM
  • Great tip. I've been pulling my hair out for so long.

    THANKS for the tip.

    Wednesday, August 17, 2011 2:25 PM
  • I also have been annoyed by this, this kind of stuff should have been sorted out during testing, who doesn't look at files in explorer?

     

    No proposed solutions are good enough, they should patch it, computer is supposed to automate mindless tasks, not create a situation where you have to set something each and everytime you use it.

    Wednesday, August 24, 2011 12:31 PM
  • This issue has irritated me for a long time!  IMHO there should be at least a user option to have the columns autosize to fit contents.  Surprised so many years have went by without it being integrated!
    Monday, October 3, 2011 3:44 PM
  • No proposed solutions are good enough, they should patch it, computer is supposed to automate mindless tasks, not create a situation where you have to set something each and everytime you use it.


    I find responses like this humorous.

    You have been told, in a very nice step by step process above by ljw326, how to set the size of your columns and set that as the default for all windows using the same view in the future.  It has worked this way for decades.

    If setting the size and having it default to the size you've chosen next time is not "good enough", please describe what would be "good enough" in your opinion.

    -Noel

    Monday, October 3, 2011 6:02 PM
  • I find responses like this annoying.

    Try reading the above and you'll find people are asking for an autosize column not a fixed width column.

    Allan.

    Monday, October 24, 2011 8:00 AM
  • It's not hard to see that if you set your columns wide enough once you never have to do it again.

    What's truly annoying is something that jumps around on screen and isn't the same twice.  People propose changes without fully imagining what it would be like to actually use them.

    -Noel

    Tuesday, October 25, 2011 3:17 AM
  • i simply hate what explorer has become. it is like having battler that instead of taking your orders, actually bosses you around:

    it hides files and folders, hides file extensions, hides actual folders and exposes bunch of "special folders", changes view and visible columns merely because it figured that there may be change in content of the folder (for example if it contains media files, switches to thumb view, hides my columns and shows something else like "Rating", "Genre" etc., completely ignoring what I want to see), even if it does not change columns, it keeps on adjusting their width (it is like bad joke with button moving around so that cannot be clicked on), continues to waste screen space (top bar of every window is fatter than ever and yet, it is completely blank, one can't even see title any more; instead it shows some blur that is nothing but strain for eyes, more heat from GPU and thus increased battery drain). on start explorer panes don't even match, left one is on "Desktop", right one is showing "Libraries". They get synced eventually when user clicks on item(s) in one of them. There is additional and 'conveniently' nameless bar with "organize, etc. that can't be tucked away or hidden. This too keeps on shuffling it's content so one has to keep reading and looking for right link, yet there is no '..' icon in the right pane and even level up icon is not always shown. There is constant shuffle in the Start Menu, Task Bar, Notification area etc. It is very annoying to look for things that jump around. To reach things quickly, I expect them to be always in same place, not shuffling or stacking.

    There are improvements too (although very few) like snapping window to half of the screen when something is dragged to left or right edge of screen.

    this is so bad that i'm thinking about biting the bullet and making my own browser. I tried plenty of 3rd part products and they all are poor replacement (despite many welcome additions) because they don't integrate well with OS or focus on even more "bling" instead of core functionality such as speed etc.

    IK


    iby


    Saturday, October 29, 2011 5:12 AM
  • You can fix or configure around a number of the things you have mentioned.  For example, you can tweak your system so that all new folders are considered General Items, you can reduce the chrome around your windows, put the current folder back into the Windows Explorer title bar, etc.

    Oh, and make sure and take a look at the Windows 8 developer preview before you decide to write Explorer 2.  There are some positive changes there, such as being able to have a little bit less chrome showing (and thus more room for real data), though (sadly) some of the faults are still there as well.

    -Noel

    Saturday, October 29, 2011 10:51 PM
  • I'm using Vista 64-bit, and I do not have an option to select "'Organize' + 'Folder & Search Options' + 'View' + 'Apply to all Folders"

     

    I would also really enjoy an option for explorer to automatically size the column to fit. For me, this would be much better than a fixed size.

    Monday, December 26, 2011 12:42 PM
  • You should have that capability, Kenny.  Depending on how you have Windows Explorer organized, some optional UI elements might not be shown, but as I recall the [Organize] button is always there in Vista.  Try setting your Explorer window view the way you like it, then going through the following (captured from a Vista x64 system):

     

     

    Also, if you prefer to always see folders in General Items view, there's also a registry tweak that will effectively shut off auto-detection of folder contents and automatic setting of folder types, so all folders will be shown in the future as General Items.  Please let me know if you'd like to hear about that.

     

    -Noel

     


    Monday, December 26, 2011 7:56 PM
  • How can I do this through the registry?  I'm looking for a way to automate this via command-line/batch file.

    Try this:

    Find the folder with the largest file name.

    In the column 'Name', right click and select "size column to fit"

    If you then right click on the same column again and select 'More...' you will see that it shows the 'Width of column selected (in pixels)' and a number

    If you then select 'Organize' + 'Folder & Search Options' + 'View' + 'Apply to all Folders' from the page you have just sized to fit column then it seems to work on all folders.  It also seems to continue to work if you exit Windows Explorer and go into it again.

    I should add that I'm using Windows 7 and I'm not sure if this will work with others.

     

     


    Thursday, April 5, 2012 2:39 AM
  • This is a terrible answer, and I am sorry it was ever selected.

    ljw326's answer should be the 'Answer.'
    Monday, April 30, 2012 10:22 PM
  • Wow.  Really just so typical of Microsoft's response in these situations.  A bunch of users have a problem and see a need for a feature or function, and say so.  Rather than address the issue, a Microsoft "expert" chimes in (while seeming to totally miss the point) to tell the users that they're asking a dumb question, or that "you don't need that".  Then, somebody higher up at Microsoft marks the non-response as THE answer, and they totally ignore all the people shouting for a fix. 

    "Auto-size columns to fit" should have been done long ago! 

    Thursday, July 12, 2012 5:36 PM
  • Wow.  Really just so typical of Microsoft's response in these situations.  A bunch of users have a problem and see a need for a feature or function, and say so.  Rather than address the issue, a Microsoft "expert" chimes in (while seeming to totally miss the point) to tell the users that they're asking a dumb question, or that "you don't need that".  Then, somebody higher up at Microsoft marks the non-response as THE answer, and they totally ignore all the people shouting for a fix. 

    "Auto-size columns to fit" should have been done long ago! 

    Right on point !!! At least add the option to do it - while you're at it, Dual Windows, like numerous 3rd party File Manager apps have!!. Microsoft seems to *often* miss the point - following - not leading in UIX. This is one of the reasons Apple's market share continues to grow. Apple User Interface eXperience designers have management's ear more than techies & administrative/marketing bureaucrats, MS seems to have that reversed. People want convenience, ease of use, not a response of "we" think this is good enough -- and then, eventually -- when others do it first -- add it. 

    At least it provides opportunities for 3rd party utility app developers to create & sell products (which eventually -- MS will copy some features from) and authors/bloggers to write endless articles such as "10 Best Alternative File Managers (Windows)" and Wikipedia to have an entire comparison chart (Comparison of File Managers) with Windows having the most listed, since MS Windows is the largest user base, and since there is obviously a need.

    There are numerous free alternatives (SOMEONE see's a demand & a need for changes/additions to Windows File Manager)

    If you're willing to purchase an alternative, try Xyplorer -- an excellent alternative (auto col width, dual windows, etc. -- or, if you want "everything plus the kitchen sink" Directory Opus.

    To be fair, Apple's file manager also has alternatives, as it has it's own shortcomings. The windows file manager has come a long ways and has many good, useful features (after how many generations/attempts? ; ). But, that 'apple' of a file manager needs to be polished some more, the same dull spots are missed version after version - wake up!.

    Came across this while searching for a way to auto-resize columns (probably one of millions ; ) and came across this article and decided to become one less of the "silent majority"




    • Edited by dezignr Monday, August 6, 2012 6:36 PM spelling & grammar error correction
    Monday, August 6, 2012 6:13 PM
  • This is not an answer, rather a snarky comment by those who are supposed to be helpful. If you dont have something useful to contribute, DO NOT POST! You both should be ashamed of yourselves.  

    As for the appropriate answer to this question:

    Per user ljw326:

    Try this:

    Find the folder with the largest file name.

    In the column 'Name', right click and select "size column to fit"

    If you then right click on the same column again and select 'More...' you will see that it shows the 'Width of column selected (in pixels)' and a number

    If you then select 'Organize' + 'Folder & Search Options' + 'View' + 'Apply to all Folders' from the page you have just sized to fit column then it seems to work on all folders.  It also seems to continue to work if you exit Windows Explorer and go into it again.

    I should add that I'm using Windows 7 and I'm not sure if this will work with others.

    Saturday, August 18, 2012 9:16 PM
  • Hi,

     

    This should not be an issue. The current design meets the most situations of Windows Explorer usage. The file name length can reach to 255 bytes. Most wide monitors cannot display so many bytes with other columns at the same line.

     

    Regards,

     

    Sabrina

     

    Sabrina.. I am not asking to show all 255 characters. I am saying as long as there's a lot of room to show more characters, show the extra characters instead of wasting screen estate and displaying nothing. Windows can figure out my screen's width and what is being displayed in the right pane and adjust accordingly.

    I will try ljw326's suggestion although it seems to be a "Windows secret" and not easily discoverable.

    Tuesday, August 21, 2012 11:13 PM
  • Well, I happened upon this forum/thread while searching for a way to auto-resize windows explorer columns.

    <p>

    Although there have been some suggestions on how to size all columns to fit, and then apply this 'fixed' column width to all other explorer windows, this is a work-around.  It is not a fix. And definitely not an auto-resize - but a resize to a specific pixel width.

    <p>

    A poster made the point that we are working with computers.. calculators on a massive scale. What is so hard about detecting the widest column, and auto-resizing the column to fit that width?  Simple programming! Sure some may not like this, but make it a user-selectable option for those of us that want it.  Simple programming!  Saying it has always been that way for ages, is not an answer.. if there is a problem with the status quo, fix it.

    <P>

    I am not sure if any MS staff read this forum - but if they do, please take note: we are asking for an auto-resize option, not a fixed-width option, that works automatically and seamlessly across all windows explorer windows. If no MS staff lurk here, perhaps someone can suggest the proper venue to report this 'request' to MS.  Thanks

    Friday, August 31, 2012 9:00 PM
  • Abdu, there is a reason that you are forced to continually resize the window pane

    It is a built in design experience by Microsoft to annoy users of Windows 7

    It is deliberate, because if it wasn't , even an idiot would understand that we should not be having this discussion at all.

    You will notice that most simple things in the Windows Operating system have been

    a) Made more complex (just try copying a file - XP disalogue was so clear - now I need a cup of tea to read the instruction options)

    b) Made to be almost impossible to find (I dont know how my poor keyboard survives the beatings it gets out of my frustration trying to find something that used to be "there")

    c) Dont work deliberately (as per our discussion)

    There is nothing more to say about any of this because the other point is that Microsoft dont even care they are upsetting their users

    There is no solution to this problem and it will never be fixed by the high and mighty Microsoft Boffins because even if they wanted to fix it, they simply dont know how (Bill Gates has left, and that should clarify why it has all turned brown - no one knows whats going on and no one cares any more.  Plus they only employ a dozen or so people - so what can we expect ??

    IS IT POSSIBLE TO BUY A 3RD PARTY DIRECTORY BROWSING ADD-ON WHICH IS NOT STUPID ? 

     

    Saturday, September 8, 2012 11:32 AM
  • IS IT POSSIBLE TO BUY A 3RD PARTY DIRECTORY BROWSING ADD-ON WHICH IS NOT STUPID ? 

    Maybe, but then it won't fit in with Windows 8.

     

    -Noel


    Detailed how-to in my eBooks:  

    Configure The Windows 7 "To Work" Options
    Configure The Windows 8 "To Work" Options

    Saturday, September 8, 2012 9:39 PM
  • IS IT POSSIBLE TO BUY A 3RD PARTY DIRECTORY BROWSING ADD-ON WHICH IS NOT STUPID ?
    Well, as suggested by someone else here, I have downloaded XYplorer and so far I am very impressed with it.. designed like a file manager/browser should be, with LOTS of options, customization, and functionally not even thought of yet by M$.  The developer also seems to be very involved with user suggestions and wishes.
    Monday, September 10, 2012 1:29 PM
  • I like a lot of the answers which are presented here, especially the one wherein a re-size function of all columns should take place AUTOMATICALLY (by default when the view changes) with it, then, being further customizable if necessary (like a lot of the suggestions here), however, you all seemed to have missed the one i frequently use and that is that s/he can hover his/her pointer over one of the separator lines along the right edge of any column in the column description field/bar and when the L/R arrows popup (which can then be used to drag the column), then, simply double left click at that spot (not drag that separator line) and THAT LONE COLUMN WILL AUTOMATICALLY RE-SIZE TO THE LONGEST FILE NAME IN VIEW, not the longest file name in the entire details list, for that, one would obviously have to have that longest file name in the view, first, and then proceed with this single-column speedy re-size trick.

    always be growing and adapting to any and all changes within the world,

    the farmer in the DELL

    Wednesday, February 6, 2013 10:38 PM
  • ljw326 proposes a good answer, but I agree this should still be automatic. Using this method is great if you have a lot of long file names, but then when you open a folder with shorter file names, or where other columns are more important to you, you then have a ton of wasted space because the file name column is so large.

    Microsoft needs to release an update to allow autosizing of columns.

    Friday, April 12, 2013 3:02 PM
  • Wow.  Really just so typical of Microsoft's response in these situations.  A bunch of users have a problem and see a need for a feature or function, and say so.  Rather than address the issue, a Microsoft "expert" chimes in (while seeming to totally miss the point) to tell the users that they're asking a dumb question, or that "you don't need that".  Then, somebody higher up at Microsoft marks the non-response as THE answer, and they totally ignore all the people shouting for a fix. 

    "Auto-size columns to fit" should have been done long ago! 


    I don't see where Sabrina Shen is noted as a microsoft employee. And, since Arthur Li (who does work for MS) posts here regulary, usually following up to ask the OP if the issue is resolved, I seriously doubt he hold a senior position.

    Just sayin...


    Al Dunbar -- remember to 'mark or propose as answer' or 'vote as helpful' as appropriate.

    • Proposed as answer by Computer-Aide Tuesday, May 22, 2018 6:39 PM
    • Unproposed as answer by Computer-Aide Tuesday, May 22, 2018 6:39 PM
    • Proposed as answer by Computer-Aide Tuesday, May 22, 2018 6:39 PM
    Friday, April 12, 2013 3:37 PM
  • ljw326 proposes a good answer, but I agree this should still be automatic. Using this method is great if you have a lot of long file names, but then when you open a folder with shorter file names, or where other columns are more important to you, you then have a ton of wasted space because the file name column is so large.

    Microsoft needs to release an update to allow autosizing of columns.

    I agree that some sort of autosizing option would be useful, perhaps to just apply DominicP's useful suggestion of CTRL-PAD+.

    I have similar issues in Excel, but when I autosize all columns (by selecting them all and double-clicking on a column boundary in the column headers above row 1) I am equally annoyed by the columns that then exceed my monitor width, as they are a nuisance to resize reasonably.

    My suggestion would be an autosizing option, plus an option to shrink each column proportionately until they all fit in the window. Alternately, there could be a set of autosizing parameters applied to all of the available explorer columns: name=autosize, type=minimal, etc.


    Al Dunbar -- remember to 'mark or propose as answer' or 'vote as helpful' as appropriate.

    Friday, April 12, 2013 3:46 PM
  • You are good! It worked on my windows 8.1 preview.. I need to inform all friends. Wy MS does not make it standard?


    Monday, July 8, 2013 12:55 AM
  • THANKS to ljw326!  This worked a Charm ( no pun intended to Windows 8!   :) Points up from me!

    I wanted to ask one thing, though.  How did you figure this out?  Do you have an insider at MS to give you the secret handshake to hit on this?  If so, I wish I knew what it was as there are other places where it seems that normal logic has no part in it.  Such as many of the Options in Outlook 2010.  What works in some spots does not in others.

    I have been trying all the various possible mixtures of your selection process for a long time off and on.  And never figured out what the problem(?) was.  Apparently I was just using the wrong "order of choosing".  Your fix may not be 100% perfect but so far beats anything I can get to stay put for more than a few reboots plus transfer all aspects to the other folder views.

    It would be nice if a truly automatic "size per content" option existed that would not need a specific number to go on.  While your fix was better than a name being chopped in half, it still ends up using 170 or 230 pixels on every folder-view for name field which solves one problem but presents another when set to apply to all folder-views.  And there is always that possibility of someone with a name one letter longer eventually getting in the list.

    As someone pointed out, most monitors today have much wider screen formats.  90% of the time, your solution seems to be Ok but in cases where one tried to show Name  Description  Date  File Size  File Type  etc.  plus with "Media files" the location, author, playing time, and other important data also needs to be seen, I guess it just found it to be not possible due to the constraints of math. (no argument there)

    It would be nice if we could assign a priority level to each descriptor (for most of us and in most folders Name would get the #1 priority I am sure) but if we could choose our fields in the order of importance to "OUR" needs and let Windows OS take care of the "how many pixels to use" so that every visible file descriptor would never be chopped off and to make this possible I would even like to see an option for using a smaller font if required to make a full display.

    Why not be fully pro-active about it and where necessary change the font size or even font type "on the fly" so that when scrolling through a lot of files you would NEVER find a field that was too short for the data display.  A really thorough setup should even allow you to set certain acceptable limits to font-size so that normal view could be as high as 12 (or more for those of use with reading glasses  :)  yet not go below 8pt and need a microscope to read.

    This is enough to be a major add-on in itself but.. I am certain it could be done. 

    Given that much capability in matching screen size to display needs, I would think (?) that Windows should be able to make almost anyone happy. Unfortunately, this is all a "dream display" at this point and it seems fewer people care to challenge the Status Quo every year.

    But... It would be nice if only......

        


    • Edited by Questorfla Saturday, July 13, 2013 5:07 AM typos
    Saturday, July 13, 2013 5:01 AM
  • Sabrina, you should be more tolerant of other people's preferences.  According to Sabrina, everyone should drive the same size car, have the same size house, have the same size everything, cookie cutter life.
    Tuesday, July 30, 2013 4:50 PM
  • Where can I find [Organise]?
    Tuesday, September 24, 2013 9:36 AM
  • Apparently, it is an issue or people wouldn't be asking the question.
    Saturday, November 9, 2013 12:18 AM
  • in windows 8.1 there is no in "more" "organize" , "folder" , "search option" and "view" 

    so.... how to fix this in windows 8.1 ? 

    Thursday, November 28, 2013 9:07 PM
  • Did you *not* read the points higher up? Just in case, I'll repeat the previous post with an additional point... include an option in Windows that says "Size All Columns To Fit in All Sub-Folders All The Time"... the checkbox under it that says "Don't Let Windows Forget Or Override This Option" should be obvious.

    It's so tiring living with that "blank stare" you get from so many support staff when you say, "Yes, but this is what I pay you for and I want"...


    Friday, February 7, 2014 4:46 PM
  • It is a built in design experience by Microsoft to annoy users of Windows 7"

    Well, damn!  I guess Microsoft designers got lucky, because it annoys me and I'm using Windows 8.1.


    Monday, February 17, 2014 5:06 AM
  • Yes it would be nice if things were simple but if it is any consolation.

    I noticed that "size columns to fit" / "size all columns to fit" option seems to be "Partition" specific.
    so if you go to the column you want to size to fit lets say the file  "Name" column

    Right click on the column header and choose which setting you want.

    Then go to: Organize>Folder and Search Options> click on view tab and click on

    "Apply to Folders" it will apply to all folders on that "Partition"

    When I checked on my desktop the "D" partition had to be set separately
    I have yet to reboot and see if everything defaults back to previous. 

    Forum posts should be One Question...Followed by Offered Solutions Not complaints or assumptions.

    Tuesday, March 3, 2015 10:52 AM
  • I have tried this several times and it DOES NOT SAVE the settings. I close the folder down, then reload it and check and it's back to the width it was before :/ 
    Wednesday, March 25, 2015 11:14 AM
  • Open file explorer and click on the right pane, then use CTRL + and it will auto re-size. just another way.

    I vote for and option to turn on and off auto re-sizing and being able to set a limit on the auto re-sizing for column width.  If Its manually done, it would override the manual limitation size.  Would be nice. :-)

    Monday, August 31, 2015 11:55 PM
  • This doesn't answer the question asked - the request is for column widths to automatically adjust to fit the content width.
    Saturday, February 6, 2016 7:39 PM
  • While this might be helpful to some, it does not answer the question - the user wants the columns to auto-adjust, not all be a fixed width; if you do what you propose, some columns will be far too wide for their contatn - a different problem and equally annoying.

    Saturday, February 6, 2016 7:41 PM
  • Erm ... where do I find:

    'Organize' + 'Folder & Search Options' + 'View' + 'Apply to all Folders'

    from the page you have just sized to fit column then it seems to work on all folders.  It also seems to continue to work if you exit Windows Explorer and go into it again.


    Clive.

    Sunday, February 21, 2016 1:41 PM
  • Hi,

    I've tried this several times, and it works again and again while I am in the parent folder. If I close explorer and open again, it reverts back.

    It only displays the name column by default and I have to stretch all the columns again and again. When I do stretch the one column, all the other columns appear in the proper width, without being cut off, so it appears to remember the column width with the issue being the vertical line appears to the right of the 1st NAME column when first opened hiding the remaining columns.

    Any ideas to have it save permanently?

    Thanks very much.

    Bob 

    FIXED for NOW! In tinkering, I saw a preview pane checked. That feature seemed to appear out of nowhere last year. Thinking that might be causing the view to compress, to make room for the right side preview, even when there was no preview, I unchecked it and now it's working fine! So this is a solution for those who now have the preview pane showing.




    • Edited by magicbob53 Saturday, July 23, 2016 1:43 AM
    Saturday, July 23, 2016 1:19 AM
  • You are right. This should not be an issue, but it is. Instead of telling us that this should not be an issue (Oh, Master of the Obvious), why not provide a solution to the obvious problem? 
    Saturday, September 10, 2016 9:44 PM
  • Thank you. Your suggestion works. Very helpful. It does leave one to wonder why Microsoft can't can't see the issue and simply fix it.
    Saturday, September 10, 2016 9:45 PM
  • Unfortunately, it would appear that this shortcut no longer works as of Windows 10.  And it isn't listed in the standard keyboard shortcuts list at https://support.microsoft.com/en-gb/kb/126449 or the list specifically for Windows Explorer at https://www.shortcutworld.com/en/win/Windows_7.html#link_5.
    • Edited by thurulingas Friday, October 14, 2016 2:11 AM formatting
    Friday, October 14, 2016 2:04 AM
  • Can verify that this fix still works as of Windows 10 Home Edition, build 14393.222
    Friday, October 14, 2016 2:09 AM
  • This is an incredibly old thread to reply to, but others may find it through similar web searches to the one that brought me here.

    Ctrl and + on the number pad is the keyboard shortcut.  Ctrl and + on a laptop keyboard (or, more specifically, Ctrl and Shift and = ) does not work.

    This has been a design flaw in Windows for years and some, myself included, wish the keyboard shortcut was not limited to desktop keyboard users.

    Tuesday, February 14, 2017 4:55 AM
  • This advice is correct, tried and true. 

    As a point of interest, I used 450 pixels to size my first column which should be plenty for most folders.

    Windows 7 (Lenovo Laptop)

    Thursday, March 30, 2017 6:47 PM
  • This is an issue and not just with me, but with everyone I know. Yes there are instances where the column would be too wide, but those are in the minority. At least give us the option.
    Tuesday, May 23, 2017 12:37 PM
  • If someone says it is an issue for them.  Guess what it is an issue for them.  You are not the arbiter of what is or is not important to someone.  WALK IN THEIR SHOES.  Computers should be designed to serve, not people forced to serve computers.  Good programming make computers functional for all bad programming fails because of not seeing the plethora of uses ones makes of a computer.
    Sunday, August 6, 2017 7:20 PM
  • You obviously don't know how to read.  Al that is being asked for is a column that autosizes to the correct width.  That is all that the request asks for is not a fixed size but a variable size dependent on need. 
    Sunday, August 6, 2017 7:29 PM
  • Should be autosize column to fit not fixed width.  Read the request.  Can't someone come up with a registry hack to AUTOSIZE WIDTH?
    Sunday, August 6, 2017 7:35 PM
  • Why not make that an automatic function rather than forcing the user to find the split and click every time.  IT IS A COMPUTER MAKE IT COMPUTE.
    Sunday, August 6, 2017 7:38 PM
  • Obviously you don't work with classical music rips no one should decide for others what is PLENTY for other people.  WALK IN OTHER SHOES.
    Sunday, August 6, 2017 8:04 PM
  • "It isn't a question of what you think the design meets Sabrina"

    ooooooooooooo rekt

    • Edited by Vlykarye Wednesday, August 16, 2017 5:17 AM
    • Proposed as answer by Computer-Aide Tuesday, May 22, 2018 6:25 PM
    Wednesday, August 16, 2017 5:15 AM
  • I'm with you Al - have been trying to post on this forum, this topic, but CAN'T find a way to do so...

    As far as Sabrina is concerned, I've reported the "abuse" - it is insulting to the intelligence of everyone who has posted here!

    Tuesday, May 22, 2018 6:43 PM
  • The easiest way to do this quickly is when you are in the folder you are viewing, click on the "view" tab then click on "Size All Columns to fit". 
    Monday, March 11, 2019 7:51 PM
  • The discussion is about the 'default' column width of windows explorer with regards to the 'name' field.

    I, for many, am frustrated that every time i look at explorer, i have to resize the freaking name column to see the full names of the files. (that the windows design limit of 255 characters allows).

    telling us the "The file name length can reach to 255 bytes."   Is like getting a response from a 4 year old -- THAT answer had been true since DOS 6.0.

    We are speaking of the DEFAULT COLUMN WIDTH OF THE NAME FIELD IN WINDOWS EXPLORER - CAN IT BE CHANGED?  THE DEFAULT IS TOO SHORT TO SHOW MOST FILES _ AS IF IT WAS DEFINED IN THE EARLY DAYS OF 40 COLUMN DISPLAYS.

    Yeah, I know - the design accommodates 255 character bytes   -  we just have to keep dragging the bar every time we want to see them.

    Monday, July 8, 2019 3:18 PM
  • So true. This is still troublesome and should get some more attention as it affects so many people every day. I know many people who always moves the mouse back and fourth because they have to resize the name field in every single folder. Do something about the standard to help those people and everyone else for that matter.
    Thursday, October 3, 2019 12:02 PM
  • It is an issue, Sabrina. Why not try to provide solutions instead of dismiss problems?
    Friday, November 8, 2019 4:41 PM