Aligning Text

In Excel alignment is important to be able to easily read data. Learn to format text and tables in various ways in Excel.


Aligning Text Worksheets that have not been formatted are often difficult to read. Fortunately, Excel gives you many tools that allow you to format text and tables in various ways. One of the ways you can format your worksheet so it's easier to work with is to apply different types of alignment to text.

In this lesson, you will learn how to left, center, and right align text; merge and center cells; vertically align text; and apply different types of text control.

Formatting cells

Aligning text

Excel 2007 left-aligns text (labels) and right-aligns numbers (values). This makes data easier to read, but you do not have to use these defaults. Text and numbers can be defined as left-aligned, right-aligned, or centered in Excel.

To align text or numbers in a cell:

Alignment Commands

Left-click a column label to select an entire column or a row label to select an entire row.

Changing vertical cell alignment

You can also define vertical alignment in a cell. In vertical alignment, information in a cell can be located at the top of the cell, middle of the cell, or bottom of the cell. The default is bottom.

Vertical Examples

To change vertical alignment from the alignment group:

Vertical Alignment

Changing text control

Text control allows you to control the way Excel 2007 presents information in a cell. There are two common types of text control: Wrapped text and merged cells.

Wrapped Text wraps the contents of a cell across several lines if it's too large than the column width. It increases the height of the cell as well.

Text Wrap Example

Merge Cells can also be applied by using the Merge and Center button on the Home tab.

Merge Example

To change text control:

Text Control

If you change your mind, click the drop-down arrow next to the command, then choose Unmerge cells.


Use the Inventory workbook or any workbook you choose to complete this challenge.