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I discovered the nifty table feature (rows and columns) available in Notes.app on macOS Mojave.

How does one stretch or narrow the width of a column?

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6 Answers 6

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The rows and columns of Apple Notes's tables should automatically adjust to fit content. There is no control to explicitly set a width or height, apart from adding whitespace to increase text length (not recommended).

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  • 12
    Actually it doesn't adjust automatically to fit content, right? I don't understand what kind of calculation it uses to resize column width for example. If you build a table with many columns making it to surpass the size of the note width, the app will allow you to scroll the entire table right/left so you can see it entirely, but it will not resize the column width to fit its content even if your column text is smaller then the column width -- odd behaviour 🤨
    – felima
    Jul 21, 2020 at 1:29
  • Take a look at this example photos.google.com/share/…
    – felima
    Jul 21, 2020 at 1:51
  • On mine, the width doesn't even adjust. Even if I create a new table, type in the first column, use spaces only... every combination I've found that people suggest doesn't work for some reason. It's like there's a hidden setting that's been toggled to enable fixed width.
    – Paul
    Jun 23, 2022 at 17:31
  • it doesn't adjust on paste I'm noticing
    – cdmo
    Nov 7 at 14:09
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Like @Benj mentioned you can add spaces to one of the cells and the Notes app will adjust the size of the column accordingly. It's not ideal but sometimes it helps when you don't want the text to wrap around

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I was initially confused that adding space characters to the end of the line did not increase the width of the column as others have said. It turns out that you have to add more space characters than you may assume in order for the column to grow.

Here is some experimentation with a table cell that I want to be displayed using a single line of text. By adding 20 space characters to the end of the text, the cell/column begins to grow. But it takes 47 space characters to eventually make the cell/column wide enough to fit the cell's text in a single line.

three cells with increasing space counts

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Adding blank spaces to the top row is the fix I found for printing out a few tables I wanted without wrap-around text. It was mentioned that this isn't an ideal solution but it worked fine for adjusting column sizes in my use.

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Adding a newline character within the cell helped to keep the cell content somewhat aligned to a fixed size that I wanted.

I used OptionReturn on Mac and ShiftEnter on Windows.

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I’d kite to add to Matt P & others answers. Their descriptions are perfect until Apple improves it. As a refinement, use your top row for column headers to add the spaces in for extra width. (I like to underline & bold this row so I don’t accidentally delete it.) Start with first column header and add spaces at end until column width bumps wider. Keep going if you want it wider. Then go to the next column you want to widen & repeat. Column width starts out as narrow as it gets. Want narrower columns? Then start out with more columns & experiment. I started with 6 columns when I only needed three. I widened the first and third column and left the 2nd, 5th & 6Th alone and they kept their narrower width. I later deleted the 5th and 6th columns and column 2 bumped wider. Not what I wanted. You may have to live with extra columns that you don’t use. Caution: longer data entries in rows below will widen the whole column. I know, this whole workaround is a pain and I wish Apple should fix it.

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