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Centring Data in an Excel Cell


If you are following along from the previous sections, you should now have a spreadsheets with cells highlighted. To centre the data in your four highlighted cells, do the following:

  • Click on the word "Format" on the menu bar
  • A menu drops down
  • Click on the word "cells" with your left mouse button

Excel Format Menu

When you click on the word "Cells" from the menu bar, you get a dialogue box popping up. The one below:

Format Cells Dialogue Box

The words across the top (Number, Alignment, Font, etc) are the headings for Tab Strips. The Tab Strip that is showing is the Number tab strip. We'll meet this one a little later. We need the Alignment Tab Strip, however. So click on the word "Alignment". The dialogue box will change to the one below:

Format Cells Alignment Tab

The part of the dialogue box we're interested in is the "Text alignment" section. There are two drop down boxes in this section: Horizontal and Vertical. The Horizontal drop down box has the word "General"; the Vertical drop down box has the word "Bottom" in it. We'll change these.

  • Click the little black down-pointing arrow on the right hand side of the Horizontal box
  • A drop down list appears

Format Cells Text Alignment

There are a number of options you can select for the Horizontal text alignment. Click on the word "Center" with your left mouse button. Change the Vertical alignment in exactly the same way. When you're done, click the OK button at the bottom of the dialogue box. Your spreadsheet will look like the one below:

Centred Excel text

All the data in the cells we highlighted is now centred. Before we do some other formatting, here's something you can try:

  • Highlight the cells A1 to A6
  • Click on Format from the menu bar, then click Cells
  • Centre the Horizontal and Vertical text alignment, just like you have just done
  • Your spreadsheet should look like the one below

Centred Cells

  • Now, click on the Cell A5
  • Type in the number 12
  • Press the Return key on your keyboard

What happened? The number you entered should have been centred. The lesson to learn here is that you can format a cell even if there is nothing in it!

OK, let's make our heading bold, and change the font, which we'll do in the next part.

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