Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. If you are using an earlier version (Excel 2003 or earlier), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for earlier versions of Excel, click here: Setting Vertical Alignment.

Setting Vertical Alignment

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated July 5, 2019)

5

Excel provides several different ways you can align information from top to bottom (vertically) within a cell. You set the alignment by first selecting the cells you want to format and then displaying the Alignment tab of the Format Cells dialog box. (To display the dialog box, display the Home tab of the ribbon and click the small icon at the bottom-right of the Alignment group.) (See Figure 1.)

Figure 1. The Alignment tab of the Format Cells dialog box.

On the Alignment tab, use the Vertical drop-down list to make your selection. There are five different alignment options available:

  • Top. The information in the cell is situated such that the top line of text appears at the top of the cell.
  • Center. Information is centered half-way between the top and bottom borders of the cell.
  • Bottom. This is the default vertical alignment. Information is aligned at the bottom of the cell.
  • Justify. Text is spread evenly throughout the cell. The information within the cell is wrapped within the column (if necessary), and the row height is adjusted so that all lines fit within the cell and so all information reaches both the top and bottom borders of the cell. Column width is not affected at all.
  • Distributed. When selected, text is spread evenly between the top of the cell and the bottom. Effectively, blank space is placed between each line so that the complete cell is filled.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (6261) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, and Excel in Office 365. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Setting Vertical Alignment.

Author Bio

Allen Wyatt

With more than 50 non-fiction books and numerous magazine articles to his credit, Allen Wyatt is an internationally recognized author. He is president of Sharon Parq Associates, a computer and publishing services company. ...

MORE FROM ALLEN

Counting String Occurrences in Odd Rows

Counting the number of times text occurs within a range of cells can be relatively easy. If you need to only count ...

Discover More

Viewing Workbook Statistics

Excel keeps track of a range of stats about each workbook you use. If you want to take a look at those stats, it's easy; ...

Discover More

Buttons Don't Stay Put

Excel allows you to easily add all sorts of objects and controls to your workbook. Sometimes, though, those items might ...

Discover More

Excel Smarts for Beginners! Featuring the friendly and trusted For Dummies style, this popular guide shows beginners how to get up and running with Excel while also helping more experienced users get comfortable with the newest features. Check out Excel 2013 For Dummies today!

More ExcelTips (ribbon)

Understanding Monospace Fonts

Information in a worksheet needs to be displayed using fonts. If you understand the two different types of fonts ...

Discover More

Defeating Automatic Date Parsing

Excel is continually trying to figure out what type of data is being stored in a cell. If it can interpret a value as a ...

Discover More

Understanding Underlines

Excel provides a variety of underlining styles you can use when you need to underline information within a cell. Here's ...

Discover More
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

View most recent newsletter.

Comments

If you would like to add an image to your comment (not an avatar, but an image to help in making the point of your comment), include the characters [{fig}] in your comment text. You’ll be prompted to upload your image when you submit the comment. Maximum image size is 6Mpixels. Images larger than 600px wide or 1000px tall will be reduced. Up to three images may be included in a comment. All images are subject to review. Commenting privileges may be curtailed if inappropriate images are posted.

What is nine minus 2?

2019-07-06 04:52:08

SteveJez

Samuel,
Have a look at this article,

https://excelribbon.tips.net/T012057_Creating_Default_Formatting_for_Workbooks_and_Worksheets.html


Format your new workbook & sheet as you want it.

Alternatively, click on diagonal "arrow" to the left of the column A header & above row 1 - this selects the whole worksheet - and click on the vertical alignment button in the Alignment group on the Home tab
(see Figure 1 below)

Figure 1. 


2019-07-05 16:28:16

Samuel

I too have wondered about changing the default vertical spacing in Excel. It defaults to "bottom," but i rarely, if ever, would use that. So I am *always* changing it to "centered!" Sure wish there was a way to change that!


2019-07-05 16:25:13

Samuel

I too have wondered about changing the default vertical spacing in Excel. It seems to default to "bottom," but i rarely, if ever, would use that. So I am *always* changing it to "centered!" Sure wish there was a way to change that!


2019-07-05 07:57:29

Mark

One of my favorite keyboard shortcuts: Ctrl 1 (that's the number one not lower case "L")


2015-11-03 08:19:46

Larry

Is there a way to change the default for this setting?


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the ribbon interface (Excel 2007 or later)? This site is for you! If you use an earlier version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the menu interface.

Newest Tips
Subscribe

FREE SERVICE: Get tips like this every week in ExcelTips, a free productivity newsletter. Enter your address and click "Subscribe."

(Your e-mail address is not shared with anyone, ever.)

View the most recent newsletter.