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Frequent Explorer *

Custom Invoice Column Widths Cannot Be Changed (QB19 Mac)




The purpose of this video is to illustrate the difficulty that I am having in attempting to adjust column widths on a custom invoice format in QuickBooks 2019 for Mac.


This image, composited together from a number of screenshots within the QuickBooks Layout Designer, illustrates the default column widths set by the Layout Designer when the Item, Description, Quantity, Rate & Amount columns are chosen for printing under the Columns tab in the Invoice Fields Dialogue box.


A generous amount of space is allocated to the Item and Quantity columns, at the expense of the Description column. For businesses such as mine, where Item codes and quantities never exceed 5 characters, but a more detailed descrition is required, customization of the column widths is necessary.


The QuickBooks Community forum contains a number of articles explaining how to achieve this goal in the Windows versions of QuickBooks, and in QuickBooks online. However, as you will see here, this does not appear to be possible on the Mac version at this time.


In this screen recording, captured in the Layout Designer, I start by selecting the Column area of my custom invoice format, selecting and double-clicking on the heading field. As you can see, a corner tool appears when I mouse over the upper corners of the field, however this is deceptive as clicking there results in selection of the entire column area and dragging to resize is not possible. The same behavior is observed on other heading fields in the column area.


Although not shown here, dragging these corners results in BOTH the background image AND the ENTIRE column area being dragged to a new location, with no change in the column width, to the growing frustration of your desperate Mac users.


Re: Custom Invoice Column Widths Cannot Be Changed (QB19 Mac)

Hi, @episkopos.


I understand the need for dragging and resizing your invoice column width. I'm here to help get this sorted out.


Let's hover your cursor between the column borders and wait for it to change to a column-resize cursor (arrows going sideways). This will let you adjust the column.


If you still can't drag the column border, I'd suggest reaching out to our Desktop Mac Specialist for help. They can access your account in a secure environment and isolate this issue further using their extra tools.


Here's how you can reach them:


  1. Go to
  2. Select QuickBooks Mac Desktop.
  3. Choose a topic and click the Get Phone Number tab at the bottom.

I'm sure they can investigate this behavior and get this taken care of.


Should you need other references in the future, please feel free to access our help site: Help articles for QuickBooks Desktop Mac.


Keep me posted if you have other questions about customizing invoice. I'm here to help.

Frequent Explorer *

Re: Custom Invoice Column Widths Cannot Be Changed (QB19 Mac)

“I SEE,” said the blind man as he picked up his hammer and saw.


(An apt idiom given the specifics of this case.)


As you can see in my screen capture, the column dividers are not visible in my Layout Designer. Consequently, there was no clear indication of where one might expect to summon a column adjustment tool by “mousing over.” I was “mousing blind,” leading me to click around to find a column so that I might find hands for resizing and resulting in a cell selection which prevented the adjustment tool from appearing at all. Catch-22.


Of course, this difficulty was almost certainly self-inflicted; *I* had turned off all of the borders for the table since column delineation was included in my custom background image (PDF).


Since it is only a matter of time until someone else encounters the same issue, I will create another video illustrating how to turn the borders back on temporarily so that the columns can be resized.


P.S. The appearance of the corner adjustment cursor when the column heading cells are selected seems like a bug to me. There does not seem to be a purpose for that tool, and its appearance put me onto a bit of a wild goose chase. I would have been more likely to have stumbled onto the correct action if that cursor had not appeared. I suggest that it be removed. Also, I would suggest that the borders should be visible in the Layout Designer when the column section is selected. That little concession would make a huge improvement in user experience.


Thanks again for putting me on the right track!


Re: Custom Invoice Column Widths Cannot Be Changed (QB19 Mac)

Hi again, episkopos.


I was able to come across your sentiments about the invoice width issue on this thread: Adjust item column width in QB for Mac.


My suggestion is contacting our phone team for further assistance. Using the screen sharing tool will make the investigation easier. With the tool, they can view and connect with your company file.


To get their contact number, you can follow the steps provided by my colleague above.


Keep me updated on how the call went. I'll be here if you have other questions or concerns. Take care always.

Established Community Backer ***

Re: Custom Invoice Column Widths Cannot Be Changed (QB19 Mac)

Don't click on the column header.  Do this:

1. Click on the table area - anywhere except the column header.  That selects the table (You'll see dragging boxes appear on the four corners of the entire table (and one in the center of the bottom line of the header). 

2. Move your cursor over the column lines (not in the header - the actual lines that separate the data).

3. You'll see the cursor change into the resize column cursor (looks like two arrows).  Drag the column to whatever size you want.