Unit 12: Cell Alignment

Microsoft Excel provides you with a great number of options for placing your data within a cell. These options determine how the data within a cell will be aligned. Understanding Your Options Basically your options when it comes to cell alignment can be broken up into 4 main parts: horizontal and vertical alignment, orientation, wrapping, and merging.

Horizontal and Vertical Alignment

Data in a cell can be positioned horizontally and vertically within the cell. There are three horizontal alignments available – against the left border, against the right border, and in the center. There are also three vertical alignments available – against the top border, against the bottom border, and in the middle. The vertical and horizontal alignments are not mutually exclusive and can be mixed together. For example, you can have text that appears aligned to the right and aligned to the top border.


Orientation refers to the rotation of data within a cell. With the orientation you can angle the data upwards or downwards, display the data vertically down the cell, or rotate it 90° up or down the cell (this is sometimes referred to as sideways).


Wrapping is a process used in word processors where long sentences automatically wrap to the next line. This can also be done with long text entries that are typed into a cell in a worksheet. A sentence that may span across quite a few columns can be made to wrap down a single cell or even merged into several cells.


Merging basically means combining several cells into one so as to make a super-sized cell which can accommodate larger text entries. It is used quite often for placing a heading across a table at the top rather than leaving it in the top left corner. It is also used together with wrapping to allow longer lines of text to be properly displayed in a worksheet.

UNIT 12 – Cell Alignment

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