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Aligning data

From: Excel 2010 Power Shortcuts

Video: Aligning data

Before printing a worksheet or making a presentation using a worksheet it's often better to first consider some alignment techniques that will make the presentation more appealing. It's going to make sense here for example in row 1 and in row 2 to center this data from left to right and one easy feature is simply to highlight the cells. Now the color is added that is your own discretion, but it makes sense to center this title across these cells here and of course Merge & Center. I say "of course" because it is widely known it's great tool for centering. But before doing that what you might also consider doing is selecting not just this data but the row below it.

Aligning data

Before printing a worksheet or making a presentation using a worksheet it's often better to first consider some alignment techniques that will make the presentation more appealing. It's going to make sense here for example in row 1 and in row 2 to center this data from left to right and one easy feature is simply to highlight the cells. Now the color is added that is your own discretion, but it makes sense to center this title across these cells here and of course Merge & Center. I say "of course" because it is widely known it's great tool for centering. But before doing that what you might also consider doing is selecting not just this data but the row below it.

Let's center both of these from left to right. Merge & Center, and we get a prompt saying that in effect this is going to throw away our second row. So if we click OK here at least throw away the data. What happens? It's gone. We don't want to do that. So it looks as if we got to do this in two steps. Well not really. Highlight this data and then letting go with the left mouse button, and now using the Ctrl key, highlight this data here left to right. Merge & Center to take care of both of those at the same time. Not so well known and probably not as much needed is the fact that you can also center vertically.

So I am inserting a new column to the left of column A here and I want to put in the word Item, or Items. This may not be the best of words, but it will work here and what I am going to do here is merge these cells, Merge & Center, and then change the orientation using the Orientation button in the Alignment group to make this be Rotate Text Up and use this button here to center the data there. Double-click to make that little bit narrow or maybe apply color. So we can do that as well to provide little bit of flair to a worksheet.

Perhaps you know also that this sort of numbers here we can easily change the alignment of these. Now this isn't truly necessary here. Sometimes it might be. But in the Alignment group on the Home tab in the Orientation group we might choose for example Angle counterclockwise. Now it either gives your worksheet a little bit of flair or maybe in some cases it saves you a little bit of space. It's interesting also that if you have applied this alignment, if you accompany it with one of the border features, this one right here for All Borders, most people agree it tends to look a little bit more interesting than it did before.

So before this it looked like this, and now it looks like this. So take your pick. That's easy to get to and on these orientation buttons you might occasionally try some of the other approaches. I haven't met anybody yet who likes this one, but there it is. Another one you might try is Rotate Text Down. I don't see that very often. Or Angle counterclockwise I rarely see this one, but again, you have got your choices that are easy to get to and here and there it makes the worksheet have a little bit more possess perhaps, a little bit of flash to it, easy to get to.

Now with certain kinds of data, for example on this budget sheet here notice the data here in Sales A5 and A6. Now let's hope that whoever put this in didn't type leading spaces. Well, whoever did this did not do that you can look in the Formula bar and see that. So, how do we get this data moved over? It certainly enhances readability, and it would make good sense to do that right here as well. It's not strictly required, but this is going to look better if it's offset a bit to the right and sure enough we have got our Alignment buttons here. There it is. Increase the Indent. Notice the keystroke shortcut Ctrl+Alt+Tab.

You might click that a few times. Want to go leftward? Try it here, and I don't know if you use it for this purpose, but it also can be used to move dollars signs over. You probably wouldn't use it here, but if this column is wider and you simply want to pull in the dollar sign then you can increase the indent this way in stages. I think that's more obscure use of it, but getting back to the idea here, it makes good sense sometimes to offset text data from the headings. It's easier to read and don't waste time putting in leading spaces. So there are quite a few alignment tools built into Excel.

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This video is part of

Image for Excel 2010 Power Shortcuts
Excel 2010 Power Shortcuts

64 video lessons · 18830 viewers

Dennis Taylor
Author

 
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  1. 1m 37s
    1. Welcome
      1m 17s
    2. Using the exercise files
      20s
  2. 22m 45s
    1. Entering data or formulas in non-adjacent cells simultaneously
      2m 28s
    2. Converting formulas to values with a simple drag
      2m 34s
    3. Copying data or formulas down a column instantly
      2m 56s
    4. Adjusting all or selected column widths or row heights in a flash
      2m 21s
    5. Instantly displaying all worksheet formulas
      3m 16s
    6. Two quick shortcuts for creating charts
      1m 18s
    7. Print Preview
      1m 7s
    8. Instant date or time entry
      1m 16s
    9. Undo/Redo/Repeat
      3m 19s
    10. Zooming in and out quickly
      2m 10s
  3. 7m 37s
    1. Expanding and collapsing the Ribbon and Full Screen view
      1m 23s
    2. Keyboard command access
      2m 22s
    3. Quick Access toolbar display tips
      3m 52s
  4. 14m 30s
    1. Split screens and frozen titles in a flash
      5m 56s
    2. Repeating title creation and suppression
      6m 17s
    3. Customizing your display of Status Bar totals
      2m 17s
  5. 11m 31s
    1. Navigation shortcuts
      2m 30s
    2. Tips for navigating between workbooks
      3m 48s
    3. Navigating within worksheets
      5m 13s
  6. 11m 12s
    1. Selecting an entire row, column, or worksheet
      3m 20s
    2. Selecting noncontiguous ranges and visible cells only
      4m 39s
    3. Selecting the current region and moving around region corners
      3m 13s
  7. 22m 16s
    1. Accelerating data entry
      6m 27s
    2. Auto-Fill techniques for entering dates
      4m 59s
    3. Auto-Fill techniques for entering times
      2m 37s
    4. Custom lists for rapid entry
      5m 54s
    5. Cell editing tips
      2m 19s
  8. 12m 38s
    1. Copy/Move acceleration tips
      3m 27s
    2. Worksheet Copy/Move shortcuts
      2m 29s
    3. Dragging and inserting variations
      3m 47s
    4. Instantly displaying Paste Special options
      2m 55s
  9. 29m 31s
    1. Rapid formula creation
      3m 48s
    2. Selecting all cells that depend on the active cell
      5m 24s
    3. Selecting all cells that can affect the active cell
      2m 38s
    4. AutoSum shortcuts
      2m 57s
    5. Rounding shortcuts
      5m 14s
    6. Generating random numbers
      3m 16s
    7. Counting unique entries
      3m 11s
    8. Performing calculations without formulas
      3m 3s
  10. 17m 4s
    1. Controlling rows and columns
      5m 50s
    2. Realigning imported text
      2m 27s
    3. Handling blank cells
      4m 20s
    4. Collapsing and expanding detail
      4m 27s
  11. 28m 8s
    1. Formatting numbers
      6m 49s
    2. Aligning data
      3m 49s
    3. Adding background color for readability
      3m 43s
    4. Formatting data conditionally
      1m 54s
    5. Creating custom formats
      6m 23s
    6. Formatting periods over 24 hours
      3m 2s
    7. Applying strikethroughs and borders
      2m 28s
  12. 25m 46s
    1. Sorting shortcuts
      2m 40s
    2. Cleaning up spaces
      4m 47s
    3. Identifying duplicates
      6m 10s
    4. Splitting columns
      3m 57s
    5. Ensuring unique entries
      2m 46s
    6. Forcing dates to be weekdays only
      3m 56s
    7. Displaying unique items from large lists
      1m 30s
  13. 18m 38s
    1. Placing and adjusting charts
      2m 37s
    2. Creating chart titles from cell content
      2m 22s
    3. Creating and manipulating shapes
      5m 31s
    4. Linking and unlinking pictures
      8m 8s
  14. 9s
    1. Goodbye
      9s

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