Text Alignment Options In Microsoft Excel 2007
The alignment section of the Home Tab of the Excel ribbon contains a number of options relating to the way in which your data is position within the cell. Perhaps the most familiar and the most frequently used buttons in this section are the three relating to the horizontal position your data: left, centre and right. However youll notice that when you click in the cells of an unformatted worksheet, none of these three icons is highlighted, which indicates that none of them is the default. The reason for this is that Excel treats data differently depending on the data type.
If you type text in a cell, your text is aligned on the left; if you type a number, the number is aligned on the right; if you type a date, it is also aligned on the right. To change the horizontal alignment, either select a range of cells or click on a column letter to highlight the entire column then click on one of the alignment icons.
Haven chosen one type of horizontal alignment, you can change it in two ways. You can either click on a different form of alignment or to click again on the already selected alignment. For example, if your text is centred and if you click on the Centre button a second time, this deactivates centre alignment and returns you to the default alignment which, for text, is left. Thus we have, effectively, four types of horizontal alignment: left, centre, right and unspecified (or default), which is the alignment that applies when none of the alignment buttons is highlighted.
Excel also allows you to specify vertical alignment. This setting normally only becomes apparent when you increase the height of the cell and this time there is a definite default which is that text is aligned at the bottom of the cell. This setting applies to text, dates and numbers alike.
To change vertical alignment, either make a selection or click on the row number to select the entire row then click on one of the buttons to make the change: align middle, align top and so forth.
The alignment option also includes the ability to change the orientation of text within the cell. This is particularly useful in those situations where the headings are wider than the data within the cells. To change the vertical orientation of your text, you simply select the cells in question and then choose the appropriate orientation in the Alignment dialogue.
Having changed the orientation of the headings, you can probably make the columns much narrower. Excel offers a very useful way of doing this: simply select all the columns that contain data then in the Cell group of the Home Tab of the Excel Ribbon, choose Format and then AutoFit Columns. This option makes each of the highlighted columns no wider than it needs to be to display all the data it contains.
The author is a trainer and developer with Macresource Computer TrainingMicrosoft Excel 2007 training courses in London and throughout the UK.
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