Microsoft Office Tutorials and References
In Depth Information
Aligning data in cells
Center Across Selection vs. Merge & Center
Although the result might look similar to that of the Merge & Center button on the
Home tab, the Center Across Selection alignment option does not merge cells. When
you use Center Across Selection, the text from the leftmost cell remains in its cell but is
displayed centered across the entire selected range. Notice in the following figure that
the selection shading shows that cells A1 and B1 are still two separate cells. The Merge
& Center button creates a single cell in place of all the selected cells. Although Merge &
Center merges rows and columns of cells, Center Across Selection works only on rows.
In the preceding figure, the text “Center Across Selection” actually spans two active
cells, while the text “Merge & Center” is in a single cell that was created by
selecting cells A2:B2 and clicking the Merge & Center button. Either method allows you to
change column widths; the centering readjusts automatically. If you type anything in
cell B1, the centered text “retreats” to cell A1; if you subsequently clear cell B1, the text
is re-centered across the two cells until you clear the format from both cells. You
cannot type anything in cell B2 because it essentially no longer exists after being merged
with cell A2. For more information, see “Merging and unmerging cells” later in this
Wrapping text in cells If you type a label that’s too wide for the active cell, Excel extends
the label past the cell border and into adjacent cells—provided those cells are empty. If you
click the Wrap Text button on the Home tab (or the Wrap Text option on the Alignment tab
in the Format Cells dialog box), Excel displays your label entirely within the active cell. To
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