Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Aligning data in cells
Indenting cell contents The Increase Indent button simultaneously applies left alignment
to the selected cells and indents the contents by the width of one character. (One character
width is approximately the width of the capital X in the Normal cell style.) Each click
increments the amount of indentation by one. The adjacent Decrease Indent button does just
the opposite, decreasing the indentation by one character width with each click.
In the Format Cells dialog box, the corresponding options are Left (Indent) and Right
(Indent), shown in Figure 9-46. These are linked to the adjacent Indent control, whose
displayed value is normally zero—the standard left-alignment setting. Each time you increase
this value by one, the entry in the cell begins one character width to the right. For example,
in Figure 9-46, row 2 is formatted with no left indent, row 3 with a left indent of 1, and row
4 with a left indent of 2. The maximum indent value you can use is 250.
Distributing cell contents Using the Distributed (Indent) option in the Horizontal
dropdown list, you can position text fragments contained in a cell with equal spacing within the
cell. For example, in Figure 9-46, we first merged cells A8:B8 into one cell, then typed the
word Distributed three times in the merged cell, and then applied the Distributed (Indent)
horizontal alignment. The result shows that Excel expanded the spaces between words in
equal amounts to justify the contents within the cell.
To learn about merging, see “Merging and unmerging cells” later in this chapter.
Centering text across columns The Center Across Selection option in the Horizontal text
alignment drop-down list centers text from one cell across all selected blank cells to the
right or to the next cell in the selection that contains text. For example, in Figure 9-46, we
applied the Center Across Selection format to cells A7:B7. The centered text is actually in
cell A7.
Filling cells with characters The Fill option in the Horizontal alignment drop-down list
repeats your cell entry to ill the width of the column. For example, in Figure 9-46, cells
A9:B9 contain the single word Fill and a space character, with the Fill alignment format
applied. Only the first cell in the selected range needs to contain text. Excel repeats the text
to ill the range. Like the other Format commands, the Fill option affects only the
appearance, not the underlying contents, of the cell.
Because the Fill option affects numeric values as well as text, it can cause a number to
look like something it isn’t. For example, if you apply the Fill option to a ten-character-
wide cell that displays 3, the cell appears to contain the number 3333333333.
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