Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. 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: Creating a Center Across Selection Button.

Creating a Center Across Selection Button

Written by Allen Wyatt (last updated August 6, 2022)
This tip applies to Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021


Excel includes a handy tool that you can use to merge cells and center whatever is within those merged cells. (This tool is available on the Home tab of the ribbon, in the Alignment group.) The problem with this tool is that it merges prior to centering, and you might not want any merged cells in your worksheet.

Fortunately, Excel includes the capability of centering information across a range of cells, without merging them. There is no native tool on any ribbon tab that can perform this task. You can, however, display the Alignment tab of the Format Cells dialog box and use the Horizontal drop-down list to choose Center Across Selection. Doing this frequently within a worksheet can be a pain, but you can create your own tool to center information across whatever cells you've selected:

Sub CenterAcrossColumns()
    With Selection
        .HorizontalAlignment = xlCenterAcrossSelection
        .MergeCells = False
    End With
End Sub

Once you have the macro, you can assign it to a shortcut key or the Quick Access Toolbar.


If you would like to know how to use the macros described on this page (or on any other page on the ExcelTips sites), I've prepared a special page that includes helpful information. Click here to open that special page in a new browser tab.

ExcelTips is your source for cost-effective Microsoft Excel training. This tip (12183) applies to Microsoft Excel 2007, 2010, 2013, 2016, 2019, Excel in Microsoft 365, and 2021. You can find a version of this tip for the older menu interface of Excel here: Creating a Center Across Selection Button.

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. ...


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What is nine minus 5?

2023-01-29 12:18:58

J. Woolley

As with most user macros, the Tip's CenterAcrossColumns macro does not support Undo. After running the macro, pressing Ctrl+Z will not restore the selection's previous horizontal alignment. On the other hand, My Excel Toolbox includes a CenterAcrossSelection macro with support for both Undo (Ctrl+Z) and Redo/Repeat (Ctrl+Y). It can also be assigned to the Quick Access Toolbar (QAT). Here is an abbreviated version:

Public Sub CenterAcrossSelection()
    CenterAcross_Do Action:=0 ' Do
End Sub

Private Sub CenterAcross_Do(Action As Integer)
    Static WB As Workbook, WS As Worksheet, R As Range, HA As Variant
    Dim sProc As String
    Const sName As String = "CenterAcross"
    If Action = 0 Then ' Do
        Set WB = ActiveWorkbook
        Set WS = ActiveSheet
        Set R = Selection
        HA = R.HorizontalAlignment
    Else ' Undo or Redo
    End If
    sProc = ThisWorkbook.Name & "!" & sName
    If Action >= 0 Then ' Do or Redo
        R.HorizontalAlignment = xlHAlignCenterAcrossSelection
        Application.OnUndo ("Undo " & sName), (sProc & "_Undo")
    Else ' Undo
        R.HorizontalAlignment = HA
        Application.OnRepeat ("Redo " & sName), (sProc & "_Redo")
    End If
End Sub

Private Sub CenterAcross_Undo()
    CenterAcross_Do Action:=-1 ' Undo
End Sub

Private Sub CenterAcross_Redo()
    CenterAcross_Do Action:=1 ' Redo
End Sub


2022-08-06 10:21:10

J. Woolley

This is only useful if your selection is contiguous with multiple adjacent cells in the same row but only one non-blank cell in that row. The selection can include more than one row, but each row should satisfy the previous condition. For each such row, the centering begins with the non-blank cell.

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