How to Align Columns in Excel (4 Easy Methods)

If you are looking for special tricks to know how to align columns in Excel, you’ve come to the right place. There are numerous ways to align columns in Excel. This article will discuss the details of these methods. Let’s follow the complete guide to learn all of this.


Download Practice Workbook

Download this practice workbook to exercise while you are reading this article. It contains all the datasets in different spreadsheets for a clear understanding. Try it yourself while you go through the step-by-step process.


How Many Alignments Are Available in Excel?

Vertical alignment:

The following options are available in Microsoft Excel for aligning data vertically:

Top Align: This option aligns the content at the top of the cell.

Middle Align: This option centers the content in the middle of the cell.

Bottom Align: Aligns the content to the bottom (the default one).

Horizontal alignment:

The following options are available in Microsoft Excel for aligning data horizontally:

Align Left: The contents of the cell are aligned on the left edge.

Center: This centers the contents.

Align Right:  This places the cell content on the right edge.

We indicate all the alignment in the following image.

 different types of alignment


4 Easy Methods to Align Columns in Excel

In the following section, we will use four effective and tricky methods to align columns in Excel. This section provides extensive details on these methods. You should learn and apply these to improve your thinking capability and Excel knowledge. We use the Microsoft Office 365 version here, but you can utilize any other version according to your preference.


1. Using Excel Ribbon to Align Columns

We’ll use the dataset below in this tutorial, which contains the ID and Name of each student in a class. To make it easier for you to understand, the dataset is set up so that columns are aligned in Excel by default.

use excel ribbon to Align Columns in Excel

Here, we will use the easiest and Excel-provided options from Ribbon to change the alignment in Excel. Let’s walk through the following steps to do the task.

📌 Steps:

  • First of all, select the range of the cells.

  • Then, go to Ribbon and in the Home tab, find the Alignment. Here we will find the following options.
  • Here we have multiple options for alignment such as Top Align, Middle Align, and Bottom Align to choose for vertical alignment. And for horizontal alignment, we have Align Left, Center, and Align Right. By default, the alignment is Bottom Left for texts and Bottom Right for numbers as we saw in the reference dataset.
  • Next, you need to select the alignment based on your preference. For demonstration purposes, we have selected Center and Middle alignment.

select your preferred alignment

  • Therefore, you will get the following output.

 Align Columns in Excel

  • If you want to align an entire column in an Excel spreadsheet, you must first select the entire column, then go to the Home tab and choose the alignment you want.

 Align whole Columns in Excel

Read More: How to Center Align in Excel (4 Quick Tricks)


2. Aligning Columns with Custom Number Format

Another method for aligning columns in Excel is through the Custom number format. It necessitates some advanced Excel string representation knowledge.

 use custom number format to Align Columns in Excel

Let’s walk through the following steps to do the task.

📌 Steps:

  • First of all, select the range of the cells and then right-click on it. Next, select the Format Cells option.

select format cells

  • Next, select the Custom option from the Category section.
  • For example, if we want to right assign all our texts, then we will need to type * @ in the text field Type.
  • Here the * sign means the empty space of a cell. The @ sign indicates the starting of the string.
  • Next, click on OK.

  • Therefore, you will notice columns are right aligned.

 Align Columns in Excel with custom number format

Read More: How to Align Text in Excel (3 Quick Methods)


Similar Readings


3. Align Columns Utilizing Keyboard Shortcuts

Here, we will demonstrate another easy way to align columns in Excel. For fast and advanced typing, we can utilize keyboard shortcuts to change the alignment of columns in Excel. Different alignments have different keys assigned to them. We can see those keyboard shortcuts by pressing Alt+H. It’ll show the Home tab like this:

Let’s walk through the following steps to do the task.

📌 Steps:

  • First of all, select the range of the cells.

use keyboard shortcuts to Align Columns in Excel

  • Then, we will press Alt+H to activate the Home tab.

  • Next, we need to change the alignment. For example, we want to get our text in the center both vertically and horizontally. To do so we will press A+M for taking the texts vertically center as shown below.

  • Finally, to change horizontal alignment, again we need to press Alt+H. Then we will press A+C. Following those steps, we can get the following result.

 Align Columns in Excel

Read More: How to Apply Center Horizontal Alignment in Excel (3 Quick Tricks)


4. Using Format Cells Dialog Box

In the last method, we demonstrate how to use the format cells dialog box to align columns in Excel. We can also change alignment in Excel using the Format Cells dialog box, which is also a built-in option in Excel.

use format cells dialog box to Align Columns in Excel

Let’s walk through the following steps to do the task.

📌 Steps:

  • First of all, select the range of the cells.

  • Then, press Ctrl+1 to open the Format Cells.
  • Next, select Alignment in the Format Cells panel.
  • Then, you can select the vertical and horizontal positioning from the Text Alignment. Here we can choose different alignments. As we did in the earlier example, we will bring our texts to the center both vertically and horizontally.
  • Afterward, click on OK.

select your preferred alignment

  • Consequently, you will get the following output.

show the output

Read More: How to Center Text in a Cell in Excel (3 Easy Methods)


Undo Alignment Changes in Excel

Sometimes you need to undo alignment in order to represent your spreadsheet in a different way. To do this task, you have to follow the following process.

  • Click undo to reverse an alignment modification as soon as you’ve applied it.
  • Or alternatively, you can select the range of the cells, go to the Home tab and then select the Clear option and finally select ClearFormats.


Conclusion

That’s the end of today’s session. I strongly believe that from now, you may be able to align columns in Excel. If you have any queries or recommendations, please share them in the comments section below.

Don’t forget to check our website Exceldemy.com for various Excel-related problems and solutions. Keep learning new methods and keep growing!


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Saquib

Saquib

Welcome to my Profile. I am working on and researching Microsoft Excel right now, and I will be posting articles about it here. I received a B.Sc. in Naval Architecture and Marine Engineering from the Bangladesh University of Engineering and Technology (BUET). Having studied naval architecture, I have a strong interest in research and development. Always try to learn from different sources and come up with creative solutions.

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