Join Dennis Taylor for an in-depth discussion in this video Working with alignment and Wrap Text, part of Excel 2016 Essential Training.
- We're looking at a worksheet called Align, Wrap, Merge in our workbook 04 - Formatting. And, those three words Align, Wrap, and Merge are kinds of features that you will need to use at different times. The text entries we see in column A from A4 downward look just fine to me and probably to you too. On the other hand, how might they look if they were aligned on the right side of the cell. In the Alignment group on the home tab here's Right Aligned, easy to make a change, easy to reject.
Text is automatically left aligned and notice that when these cells are highlighted even though Left Align isn't selected they are aligned on the left. We possibly could center them, possibly on the right. And, you might change your mind at different times. With numbers, particularly if they're used computationally, I would strongly suggest don't try and change these. Now, depending upon the format some of these could change and so sometimes you could be encountering a worksheet that does have alignment that you don't want. Could these be left aligned? Some of them are, some of them are not.
If I got a worksheet like this one of the first things I'd do is line these up on the right. I'd highlight them and turn off that Left Align button. So, sometimes you have to make your own choices. For some numbers like these you might try and center them or left align them and it just doesn't work. So, based on the format that's being used you might or might not be able to re-align certain kinds of numerical entries. Now, we can also align, but it only has relevance when we have taller rows, bottom, middle, or top.
So, let's create a situation where we might want to use that feature. I'm going to change the entry in cell H3 to be First Half Total. Now, possibly we might want to wrap this text so that it appears First Half, and then below it Total in the same cell. There are two ways to do this, I'm gonna type First Half then press alt+enter, that forces a line wrap, and then put in Total. And, as I press enter watch row three get taller.
It happens like that. Now, this is in the bottom of the cell, it's in the middle, or the top. Now, there's no difference here unless we made that row taller. I'm gonna make row three taller, pointing on the boundary between three and four. Now, I don't really need to do this but I want to bring out this idea that there could be times when you're seeing data like this with this being the only one in the row we're probably not going to use this feature, but we could align this in the middle or align it on top. Do be aware of that, not so much in the example here, but in other situations where you are seeing titles like this.
Now, I'm gonna undo som of the recent actions: control z, control z, control z a few times here. And, actually go back to here. Another way to perform wrap text, a bit longer but it does get you around the idea that shortcuts you're not always aware of: First Half, space. Now, the reaction could be, I don't want to make the column wider, it's too wide, what could we do here? On the alignment tab in the Home group we've got a choice called Wrap Text, just click it.
Now, it doesn't always wrap the text where you want it too, but on the other hand it gets the job done and sometimes you might need to do this to multiple cells. So, that's a use of it as well. Another feature that we need from time to time is Merging. The title on this worksheet is called: Sales and Profits- First Half Projections, it's in cell A1 and currently it's spilling right all the way over into E1. Now, we might want to center this across the data, could we move it into C1 or D1 and hope that it's gonna work there? Well, we could, but on the other hand we might highlight these cells all the way across.
Remember the data, the text itself is only in cell A1, but here's the choice, Merge and Center. That turns it into one big cell. In this worksheet right now there is no B1, C1, D1, etcetera all the way over to E1, but there is an A1 and it's a much wider cell. We can do the same thing here. Could we have done them together? I'm gonna press control z, we could highlight these cells like this. Now, what happens here if we press Merge and Center? A popup message says, "Merging only keeps the upper left "cell and discards the other value." Here's what would happen, I'll do and undo after I do this, we see that it's thrown away the other data.
Press control z here. We could highlight the data this way, and then let go of the left mouse button and using the control key highlght this data. We've selected two different areas using the control key, now I can do Merge and Center this way. As a follow up here, but it's certainly not necessary, we could select this cell and maybe give it a color background, we can do some other features of course doing this. So, we merged the cells. If you don't want to merge them anymore come back here and Unmerge the cells.
So, merging cells makes sense, there are even some unusual situations where you can merge cells down a column. But, aligning the data, wraping the text, these are features available here. We can also use the arrow on the lower right hand corner to get to some of these features. Additionally, we can also come to different alignment choices here along the right-hand side. Here we could make these be diagonal, now is that gonna make sense in just that one cell? Probably not, but on the other hand it might make sense right here.
A faster way to get to these, also in the Alignment group, the Angled Text right here. Click this, change the orientation, change it that way. Not truly necessary, but on the other hand, sometimes it gives it a little bit of visual flair. Everybody at least once probably tries Vertical Text and usually rejects it. I know I have. At other times maybe an alternate to this could be Rotate Text Up. I think you recognize that much of the time these are not truly necessary, but at other times it gives it a certain look that you like.
So, lot of features available here, either in the Alignment group here, or by way of the dialogue box launcher here some of the choices available on the alignment tab.
- Working with the Excel interface
- Entering data
- Creating formulas and functions
- Formatting rows, columns, cells, and data
- Working with alignment and text wrap
- Adjusting rows and columns
- Finding and replacing data
- Printing and sharing worksheets
- Creating charts and PivotTables
- Inserting and deleting sheets
- Using power functions such as IF and VLOOKUP
- Password-protecting worksheets and workbooks
- Sorting data
- Analyzing data with Goal Seek and Solver
- Creating and running macros