How to Align Text in Excel Cells

Like the text alignment setting in Word, the alignment options in Excel 2010 and 2013 adjust how text fits on the page. While Word's alignment settings only change horizontal alignment, cells in Excel workbooks have a range of alignment options to change the horizontal and vertical alignments, the text orientation and indentation. The basic alignment settings are found on the Home tab, and for advanced features, open the Format Cells window to the Alignment tab.

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By default, cells align to the left and bottom.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step

Select one or more cells, and then choose a left, center or right horizontal alignment with the buttons in the Alignment section of the Home tab. After picking an alignment, tweak the position by clicking the nearby "Decrease Indent" or "Increase Indent" buttons.

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Set the horizontal alignment and indent.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft
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Set the vertical alignment.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step

Choose a top, middle or bottom vertical alignment with the buttons at the top of the Alignment section. Excel's default rows are so thin that these alignment settings won't show an effect unless you use small text, so you might need to increase row size to make the alignment visible.

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Orient the text.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step

Open the "Orientation" drop-down menu and choose an orientation to angle or rotate the text. To return to the default horizontal orientation, click the current orientation a second time.

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Change additional alignment settings.
credit: Image courtesy of Microsoft

Step

Click the arrow in the corner of the Alignment section to open the Format Cells dialog box and apply less common alignment settings. For example, choose "Center Across Selection" as the horizontal alignment to center all text around the centrally selected cell. Other options include setting the orientation to a specific angle or automatically scaling large text to fit narrow cells with the "Shrink to Fit" checkbox.