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Managing text alignment

From: Excel for Mac 2011 Essential Training

Video: Managing text alignment

When you enter a value into your worksheet, Excel determines what type of value it is: a number, text, date, and so on, and assigns the cell a format based on that data's type. Part of that format includes the cell's alignment, which means that the data can start at the left edge of the cell, end at the right edge, or be centered within the cell. If you want, you can reposition your data within a cell by changing its alignment. To change a cell's alignment, you go to the Home tab of the Ribbon, and then you use the controls within the Alignment group.

Managing text alignment

When you enter a value into your worksheet, Excel determines what type of value it is: a number, text, date, and so on, and assigns the cell a format based on that data's type. Part of that format includes the cell's alignment, which means that the data can start at the left edge of the cell, end at the right edge, or be centered within the cell. If you want, you can reposition your data within a cell by changing its alignment. To change a cell's alignment, you go to the Home tab of the Ribbon, and then you use the controls within the Alignment group.

There are a lot of them. I'm just going to focus on the few that you'll use the most often. The most commonly used controls are the left, center, and right alignment controls. You can see that we have left-aligned data. Those are the text values here: Quarter, Month and Revenue, and also right- aligned, which are the numbers here and the numbers here. In general, text is aligned to the left and numbers are aligned to the right. The Quarter, Month, and Revenue values are headers, so what I prefer to do is center my headers within the cell.

To do that, you can select the cells and then on the Alignment tab, click the align center or center text button. When you do, Excel centers the text horizontally. If you prefer to have it on the left, you can click left align, on the right, click align right, but we'll set it back to center. You can also align your text vertically within a cell. By default, Excel aligns your text with the bottom of the cell. However, you can also align it with either the center of the cell or the middle of the cell, when you're talking about up and down, or the top.

Most of the time I prefer, if I'm going to change the alignment - and I don't always - I will align it to the middle of the cell. If you want your data to be left-aligned, but you wanted to be in a little bit from the side of the cell, so, for example, you notice here that the Quarter number and the Month run fairly close together and rather than inserting a skinny column here, what I'll do is I will indent the data in the cells C4 through C15. To do that, you select the cells and then, again in the Alignment group, you click the Increase Indent button.

When you do, Excel indents the text from the left edge. If you click the Decrease Indent button, which is here, then Excel decreases the indent. I'll leave the increase in, so I'll just click the button again, and now the number of the Quarter and the name of the Month are separated, but I haven't done anything like adding spaces to the data. One other way to work with your data within a cell, especially textual data, is to wrap that data within a cell. Notice in cell F16 that I have data that spills over the edge of the cell.

There's no data in G16, H16, or I16, so Excel displays it. If I click the cell and then, in the Alignment group click Wrap Text, Excel wraps that text within the cell. Now, I'm going to undo the wrap text operation, and let's say that instead of wrapping the text, I want to add a hard line break within the cell. Normally if you press Return, you move to the next cell, or you finish entering data into a cell. So let's say - and I will make this column a little bit wider - that I want to break the text after the word 'for.' To do that, I can double-click the cell, click where I want to insert my break, and I will delete the space between 'for' and 'Two' so that when I add the line break, there isn't an extra space there.

Then I hold down the Command and Ctrl keys and press Return. When I do, Excel adds a hard line break without going on to the next cell. Now when I press Return, that data stays there, and it's formatted exactly the way that I want. Changing a cell's alignment helps you distinguish your headers from your data, and makes your data easier to read. There are lots of options available in the Home tab's Alignment group. I didn't have time to cover them all in this movie, but you should take the time to explore them on your own.

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This video is part of

Image for Excel for Mac 2011 Essential Training
Excel for Mac 2011 Essential Training

100 video lessons · 30436 viewers

Curt Frye
Author

 
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  1. 1m 58s
    1. Welcome
      1m 16s
    2. Using the exercise files
      42s
  2. 20m 56s
    1. Exploring the Excel 2011 window
      4m 16s
    2. Introducing the Ribbon for Mac
      4m 44s
    3. Customizing the Ribbon
      4m 20s
    4. Setting program preferences
      3m 20s
    5. Getting help in Excel
      4m 16s
  3. 20m 4s
    1. Opening, creating, and saving workbooks
      5m 23s
    2. Setting workbook properties
      4m 14s
    3. Creating and modifying workbook templates
      4m 18s
    4. Managing workbooks across multiple versions of Excel
      6m 9s
  4. 1h 2m
    1. Selecting cells and groups of cells
      4m 58s
    2. Copying and pasting cell data
      2m 39s
    3. Entering data using AutoFill and other techniques
      4m 32s
    4. Inserting symbols and special characters
      5m 3s
    5. Creating an Excel table
      4m 43s
    6. Locating and changing data using Find and Replace
      4m 57s
    7. Restricting input using validation rules
      4m 42s
    8. Using lists to limit data entered into a cell
      2m 32s
    9. Sorting worksheet data
      3m 2s
    10. Creating a custom sort order
      3m 54s
    11. Filtering worksheet data
      4m 6s
    12. Inserting, moving, and deleting cells and cell ranges
      3m 50s
    13. Splitting and freezing rows and columns
      3m 51s
    14. Managing worksheets
      5m 28s
    15. Creating, editing, and deleting headers and footers
      4m 41s
  5. 1h 17m
    1. Introducing Excel formulas and functions
      3m 17s
    2. Adding a formula to a cell
      4m 0s
    3. Introducing arithmetic operators
      4m 13s
    4. Using absolute and relative cell references
      6m 29s
    5. Controlling how Excel copies and pastes formulas
      6m 5s
    6. Referring to Excel table data in formulas
      2m 3s
    7. Creating an AutoSum formula
      3m 22s
    8. Summarizing data on the status bar
      2m 22s
    9. Joining text in cells with concatenation
      3m 59s
    10. Summarizing data using an IF function
      6m 21s
    11. Summarizing data using SUMIF and other conditional functions
      5m 41s
    12. Creating formulas to count cells
      2m 37s
    13. Rounding cell values up and down
      4m 55s
    14. Finding data using VLOOKUP and HLOOKUP
      6m 33s
    15. Auditing formulas by identifying precedents and dependents
      3m 25s
    16. Managing Excel formula error indicators
      4m 42s
    17. Managing scenarios
      4m 59s
    18. Performing Goal Seek analysis
      2m 31s
  6. 45m 48s
    1. Applying fonts, background colors, and borders
      6m 7s
    2. Applying number and date formats to cells
      7m 1s
    3. Managing text alignment
      3m 56s
    4. Copying cell formats
      4m 2s
    5. Managing cell styles
      3m 16s
    6. Managing Office themes
      3m 31s
    7. Creating rule-based conditional formats
      3m 54s
    8. Defining Top 10 conditional formats
      4m 19s
    9. Defining data bar, color scale, and icon set conditional formats
      6m 6s
    10. Editing, ordering, and deleting conditional formats
      3m 36s
  7. 36m 55s
    1. Creating bar and column charts
      5m 26s
    2. Creating pie charts
      2m 32s
    3. Creating line charts
      4m 34s
    4. Creating XY (scatter) charts
      1m 49s
    5. Creating stock charts
      4m 11s
    6. Changing chart types and layouts
      2m 22s
    7. Changing the appearance of a chart
      4m 25s
    8. Managing chart axes and numbering
      2m 51s
    9. Adding trendlines to charts
      4m 14s
    10. Creating sparkline charts
      4m 31s
  8. 18m 39s
    1. Importing data from comma separated value (CSV) or text files
      4m 20s
    2. Connecting to an external data source
      2m 22s
    3. Using hyperlinks
      6m 1s
    4. Including an Excel workbook in another Office document
      3m 5s
    5. Linking to an Excel chart from another Office program
      2m 51s
  9. 26m 21s
    1. Creating and formatting shapes
      3m 10s
    2. Adding and adjusting images
      5m 38s
    3. Cropping, compressing, and removing image backgrounds
      4m 46s
    4. Creating SmartArt graphics
      5m 7s
    5. Creating WordArt
      2m 34s
    6. Aligning and layering objects
      5m 6s
  10. 29m 51s
    1. Introducing PivotTable reports
      3m 47s
    2. Creating a PivotTable report
      4m 37s
    3. Pivoting a PivotTable report
      3m 18s
    4. Managing subtotals and grand totals
      3m 23s
    5. Summarizing more than one data field
      1m 34s
    6. Changing the data field summary operation
      2m 40s
    7. Changing the data field number format
      2m 27s
    8. Filtering a PivotTable report
      2m 46s
    9. Applying a PivotTable style
      2m 20s
    10. Creating and editing styles
      2m 59s
  11. 26m 47s
    1. Checking spelling
      3m 32s
    2. Setting AutoCorrect and automatic Replace options
      3m 59s
    3. Managing workbook comments
      3m 40s
    4. Tracking and reviewing changes
      5m 12s
    5. Printing a worksheet or workbook
      3m 44s
    6. Setting and removing print areas
      2m 31s
    7. Exporting to other formats
      1m 33s
    8. Protecting a workbook
      2m 36s
  12. 23m 52s
    1. Running an existing macro
      4m 56s
    2. Recording a macro
      3m 56s
    3. Recording a macro using relative references
      6m 15s
    4. Renaming, viewing, and deleting macros
      2m 58s
    5. Adding comments to a macro
      2m 43s
    6. Turning off screen updating in a macro
      3m 4s
  13. 1m 1s
    1. Additional resources
      1m 1s

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