How to: Programmatically Resize Cells to Fit Content in the Windows Forms DataGridView Control

You can use the DataGridView control methods to resize rows, columns, and headers so that they display their entire values without truncation. You can use these methods to resize DataGridView elements at times of your choosing. Alternately, you can configure the control to resize these elements automatically whenever content changes. This can be inefficient, however, when you are working with large data sets or when your data changes frequently. For more information, see Sizing Options in the Windows Forms DataGridView Control.

Typically, you will programmatically adjust DataGridView elements to fit their content only when you load new data from a data source or when the user has edited a value. This is useful to optimize performance, but it is also useful when you want to enable your users to manually resize rows and columns with the mouse.

The following code example demonstrates the options available to you for programmatic resizing.


using System;
using System.Drawing;
using System.Collections;
using System.ComponentModel;
using System.Windows.Forms;

public class ProgrammaticSizing : System.Windows.Forms.Form
    private FlowLayoutPanel flowLayoutPanel1;
    private Button button1 = new Button();
    private Button button2 = new Button();
    private Button button3 = new Button();
    private Button button4 = new Button();
    private Button button5 = new Button();
    private Button button6 = new Button();
    private Button button7 = new Button();
    private Button button8 = new Button();
    private Button button9 = new Button();
    private Button button10 = new Button();
    private Button button11 = new Button();

    public ProgrammaticSizing()
        this.Load += new EventHandler(InitializeDataGridView);

        AddButton(button1, "Reset",
            new EventHandler(ResetToDisorder));
        AddButton(button2, "Change Column 3 Header",
            new EventHandler(ChangeColumn3Header));
        AddButton(button3, "Change Meatloaf Recipe",
            new EventHandler(ChangeMeatloafRecipe));
        AddButton(button10, "Change Restaurant 2",
            new EventHandler(ChangeRestaurant));

    #region form code
    private void InitializeComponent()
        this.flowLayoutPanel1 = new FlowLayoutPanel();
            = FlowDirection.TopDown;
        this.flowLayoutPanel1.Location = new Point(492, 0);
        this.flowLayoutPanel1.AutoSize = true;

        this.AutoSize = true;
        this.Text = this.GetType().Name;

    private void AddDirections()
        Label directions = new Label();
        directions.AutoSize = true;
        String newLine = Environment.NewLine;
        directions.Text = "Press the buttons that start " + newLine
            + "with 'Change' to see how different sizing " + newLine
            + "modes deal with content changes.";


    static void Main()
        Application.Run(new ProgrammaticSizing());

    private Size startingSize;
    private string thirdColumnHeader = "Main Ingredients";
    private string boringMeatloaf = "ground beef";
    private string boringMeatloafRanking = "*";
    private bool boringRecipe;
    private bool shortMode;
    private DataGridView dataGridView1;
    private string otherRestaurant = "Gomes's Saharan Sushi";

    private void InitializeDataGridView(Object sender,
        EventArgs ignoredToo)
        this.dataGridView1 = new DataGridView();
        this.dataGridView1.Location = new Point(0, 0);
        this.dataGridView1.Size = new Size(292, 266);
        startingSize = new Size(450, 400);
        dataGridView1.Size = startingSize;


        shortMode = false;
        boringRecipe = true;

    private void AddColumns()
        dataGridView1.ColumnCount = 4;
        dataGridView1.ColumnHeadersVisible = true;

        DataGridViewCellStyle columnHeaderStyle =
            new DataGridViewCellStyle();

        columnHeaderStyle.BackColor = Color.Aqua;
        columnHeaderStyle.Font = new Font("Verdana", 10,
        dataGridView1.ColumnHeadersDefaultCellStyle =

        dataGridView1.Columns[0].Name = "Recipe";
        dataGridView1.Columns[1].Name = "Category";
        dataGridView1.Columns[2].Name = thirdColumnHeader;
        dataGridView1.Columns[3].Name = "Rating";

    private void PopulateRows()
        string[] row1 = {
            "Meatloaf", "Main Dish", 
            boringMeatloaf, boringMeatloafRanking
        string[] row2 = {
            "Key Lime Pie", "Dessert", 
            "lime juice, evaporated milk", "****"
        string[] row3 = {
            "Orange-Salsa Pork Chops", "Main Dish", 
            "pork chops, salsa, orange juice", "****"
        string[] row4 = {
            "Black Bean and Rice Salad", "Salad", 
            "black beans, brown rice", "****"
        string[] row5 = {
            "Chocolate Cheesecake", "Dessert", 
            "cream cheese", "***"
        string[] row6 = {
            "Black Bean Dip", 
            "Appetizer", "black beans, sour cream", "***"
        object[] rows = new object[] {
            row1, row2, row3, row4, row5, row6

        foreach (string[] row in rows)
        foreach (DataGridViewRow row in dataGridView1.Rows)
            if (row.IsNewRow) break;
            row.HeaderCell.Value = "Restaurant " + row.Index;

    private void AddButton(Button button, string buttonLabel,
        EventHandler handler)
        button.Text = buttonLabel;
        button.AutoSize = true;
        button.Click += handler;

    private void ResetToDisorder(Object sender, EventArgs e)
        dataGridView1.Size = startingSize;
        InitializeDataGridView(null, null);

    private void ChangeColumn3Header(Object sender, EventArgs e)
        Toggle(ref shortMode);
        if (shortMode)
            dataGridView1.Columns[2].HeaderText = "S";
            dataGridView1.Columns[2].HeaderText =

    private static void Toggle(ref Boolean toggleThis)
        toggleThis = !toggleThis;

    private void ChangeMeatloafRecipe(Object sender,
        EventArgs e)
        Toggle(ref boringRecipe);

        if (boringRecipe)
            SetMeatloaf(boringMeatloaf, boringMeatloafRanking);
            string greatMeatloafRecipe =
                "1 lb. lean ground beef, "
                + "1/2 cup bread crumbs, 1/4 cup ketchup,"
                + "1/3 tsp onion powder, "
                + "1 clove of garlic, 1/2 pack onion soup mix "
                + " dash of your favorite BBQ Sauce";

            SetMeatloaf(greatMeatloafRecipe, "***");

    private void SetMeatloaf(string recipe, string rating)
        dataGridView1.Rows[0].Cells[2].Value = recipe;
        dataGridView1.Rows[0].Cells[3].Value = rating;

    private void ChangeRestaurant(Object sender,
        EventArgs ignored)
        if (dataGridView1.Rows[2].HeaderCell.Value.Equals(otherRestaurant))
            dataGridView1.Rows[2].HeaderCell.Value =
                "Restaurant 2";
            dataGridView1.Rows[2].HeaderCell.Value = otherRestaurant;

    #region "programmatic resizing"

    private void AddButtonsForProgrammaticResizing()
        AddButton(button4, "Size Third Column",
            new EventHandler(SizeThirdColumnHeader));
        AddButton(button5, "Size Column Headers",
            new EventHandler(SizeColumnHeaders));
        AddButton(button6, "Size All Columns",
            new EventHandler(SizeAllColumns));
        AddButton(button7, "Size Third Row",
            new EventHandler(SizeThirdRow));
        AddButton(button8, "Size First Row Header Using All Headers",
            new EventHandler(SizeFirstRowHeaderToAllHeaders));
        AddButton(button9, "Size All Rows and Row Headers",
            new EventHandler(SizeAllRowsAndTheirHeaders));
        AddButton(button11, "Size All Rows ",
            new EventHandler(SizeAllRows));

    private void SizeThirdColumnHeader(Object sender,
        EventArgs e)
            2, DataGridViewAutoSizeColumnMode.ColumnHeader);

    private void SizeColumnHeaders(Object sender, EventArgs e)

    private void SizeAllColumns(Object sender, EventArgs e)

    private void SizeThirdRow(Object sender, EventArgs e)
            2, DataGridViewAutoSizeRowMode.AllCellsExceptHeader);

    private void SizeFirstRowHeaderToAllHeaders(Object sender, EventArgs e)
            0, DataGridViewRowHeadersWidthSizeMode.AutoSizeToAllHeaders);

    private void SizeAllRowsAndTheirHeaders(Object sender, EventArgs e)

    private void SizeAllRows(Object sender,
        EventArgs e)

Compiling the Code

This example requires:

  • References to the System, System.Drawing, and System.Windows.Forms assemblies.

For information about building this example from the command line for Visual Basic or Visual C#, see Building from the Command Line (Visual Basic) or Command-Line Building. You can also build this example in Visual Studio by pasting the code into a new project. How to: Compile and Run a Complete Windows Forms Code Example Using Visual Studio
How to: Compile and Run a Complete Windows Forms Code Example Using Visual Studio
How to: Compile and Run a Complete Windows Forms Code Example Using Visual Studio
How to: Compile and Run a Complete Windows Forms Code Example Using Visual Studio

See Also

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