Excel > Excel 2007 Foundation > Formatting a worksheet

Cell Alignment and Orientation

Cell alignment

By default all cell contents are aligned to the bottom of the cell. Labels are aligned to the left of a cell and values are aligned to the right of a cell.

To change the alignment of the contents of a cell:

  1. Select the cell(s) to be aligned
  2. Click the relevant horizontal and vertical alignment buttons from the Alignment group of the Home tab

Alignment buttons on the Ribbon

Merge cells

Cells content can be merged across multiple columns or rows making one large cell.

To merge and centre cell content:

  1. Select the cell(s) to be merged and centred
  2. Click the Merge and Center button in the Alignment group of the Home tab

Merge and center button on the ribbon

Click the Merge and Center button again to remove the formatting.

It is advisable to leave a gap between cells that have been merged and other spreadsheet content, as merging cells breaks up a spreadsheets structure potentially causing problems with other Excel features.

You can also merge cells without centring:

  1. Select the cell(s) to merge
  2. Click the Dialogue Box Launcher arrow in the bottom right corner of the Alignment group
  3. Check the Merge cells box and click Ok

Merge cells

Cell orientation

Cell content can be orientated to be read vertically or at an angle. This can then be combined with features mentioned earlier like merge cells and cell alignment to create effects like the below.

Example of merged cells with text orientated vertically

To orientate cell content:

  1. Select the cell holding the text you wish to orient
  2. Click the Orientation button in the Alignment group

Orientation button on the ribbon

  1. Select the desired orientation option from the list

You can also orientate cell content using the Alignment tab of the Format Cells dialogue box.

To orientate cell content either click and drag the red diamond to the required position or enter the intended degrees in the degreees field.

Text orientation in the Format Cells dialogue box

Wrap text

If cell content becomes too large for the column or row, you can increase the row height or column width. An alternative is also to wrap the text.

  1. Select the cell(s)
  2. Click the Wrap Text button in the Alignment group

Wrap text button on the ribbon

You can also wrap text whilst entering data into the cell by pressing Alt + Enter

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