You've probably noticed by now that Excel XP left-aligns text (labels) and right-aligns numbers (values). This makes data easier to read.
You do not have to leave the defaults. Text and numbers can be defined as left-aligned, right-aligned, or centered in Excel XP. The picture below shows the difference between these alignment types when they're applied to labels.
Text and numbers may be aligned using the left-align, center, and right-align buttons on the Formatting toolbar:
We've previously seen how to align text or numbers using the left-align, center, and right-align buttons on the Standard toolbar. You can also define alignment in the Alignment tab of the Format Cells dialog box.
The Horizontal section features a drop-down menu that contains the same left, center, and right alignment options in the picture above, as well as several more:
This fills the cell with the current contents by repeating the contents for the width of the cell.
If the text is larger than the cell width, Justify wraps the text in the cell and adjusts the spacing within each line so all lines are as wide as the cell.
Contents of the cell that are farthest to the left are centered across the selection of cells. This is similar to the Merge and Center command, except the cells are not merged.
You can also define vertical alignment in a cell, similar to how it is done for horizontal alignment. In vertical alignment, information in a cell can be located at the top of the cell, middle of the cell, or bottom of the cell. The default is bottom.
Text control allows you to control the way Excel XP presents information in a cell. There are three types of text control: wrapped text, shrink to fit, and merge cells.
The wrapped text feature wraps the contents of a cell across several lines if it's too large than the column width. It also increases the height of the cell.
The shrink-to-fit feature shrinks the text so it fits into the cell; the more text in the cell, the smaller it will appear in the cell.
The merge cells feature can also be applied by using the Merge and Center button on the Standard toolbar.
The fourth type of cell alignment in the Format Cells dialog box is text orientation, which allows text to be oriented 90 degrees in either direction up or down.