Make Excel Numbers Line Up Correctly When Zoomed

At 100% zoom setting in Excel, the numbers display correctly. If I have a column of 7 digit numbers, all 7 numbers line up correctly, all down the column. For example, 1111111 is the same width as 8888888:

NumPropor01

However, if I zoom to something less than 80%, the numbers become proportional, and don’t line up correctly. Here are the same numbers and dates, at 70% zoom.

NumPropor02

An entry of 1,111,111 is much narrower than 8,888,888. This can cause problems, if you’re skimming down a long column of numbers, to spot entries that are unusually large.

Change a Registry Setting

You can change a registry setting, as described in the following MSKB article, to prevent numbers from displaying in proportional font. As always, you should make a backup copy of the registry before you tweak any settings:

Euro Currency Character Is Not Displayed Correctly in Excel 2003

This is really a fix for a Euro symbol display problem, but it also fixes the proportional font display.

Here’s what the article suggests, and you can replace the 11.0 with the version of Excel that you’re using:

    1. Quit any programs that are running.
    2. Click Start, and then click Run.
    3. In the Open box, type regedit, and then click OK.
    4. Locate, and then click to select the following registry key:
      HKEY_CURRENT_USERSoftwareMicrosoftOffice11.0ExcelOptions
    5. After you select the key that is specified in step 4, point to New on the Edit menu, and then click DWORD.
      RegistryDWord
    6. Type FontSub, and then press ENTER.
    7. Right-click FontSub, and then click Modify.
    8. In the Value data box, type 0, and then click OK.
      RegistryDWordEdit
    9. On the File menu, click Exit to quit Registry Editor.
    10. Start Excel.

Test the Result

After making the registry change, open Excel and zoom to 75% or lower. The numbers should remain displayed in non-proportional font. Here are those numbers at 70%, after the fix – problem solved!

NumPropor03

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2 Responses

  1. Malcolm says:

    Fantastic solution,thanks. I had a problem with zoom not working correctly on a high resolution touchscreen laptop (QHD – 1800×3200). Below 80% is suddenly became unreadable – i.e. 80% OK, 79% unreadable. With this registry change I can zoom in and out using fingers and it is still quite readable at 50% zoom.

  1. December 20, 2012

    […] fix the problem, I followed the instructions that I posted in April 2009, when I was setting up my previous laptop. Here they are again, with adjustments for […]

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