Please Note: This article is written for users of the following Microsoft Excel versions: 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. If you are using a later version (Excel 2007 or later), this tip may not work for you. For a version of this tip written specifically for later versions of Excel, click here: Setting Vertical Alignment.

Setting Vertical Alignment

by Allen Wyatt
(last updated August 5, 2017)

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. (See Figure 1.) (To display the dialog box, choose Cells from the Format menu.)

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 four different alignment options available in Excel 97 and Excel 2000, and five in later versions of Excel:

  • 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. This option is available in Excel 2002 or later versions. 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 (2124) applies to Microsoft Excel 97, 2000, 2002, and 2003. You can find a version of this tip for the ribbon interface of Excel (Excel 2007 and later) 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

An Automatic File Name

Do you have a set "standard" for how you name new documents? If so, you may be interested in implementing the technique ...

Discover More

Relative References to Cells in Other Workbooks

When you construct a formula and click on a cell in a different workbook, an absolute reference to that cell is placed in ...

Discover More

Understanding Functions

Do some macro programming in VBA and you'll quickly find out that you can use functions to extend the power and ...

Discover More

Create Custom Apps with VBA! Discover how to extend the capabilities of Office 2013 (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, Outlook, and Access) with VBA programming, using it for writing macros, automating Office applications, and creating custom applications. Check out Mastering VBA for Office 2013 today!

More ExcelTips (menu)

Formatting for Hundredths of Seconds

When you display a time in a cell, Excel normally displays just the hours, minutes, and seconds. If you want to display ...

Discover More

Coloring Cells with Formulas

Easily seeing where all the formulas are in your worksheet can be handy. Here are some ideas on different ways you can ...

Discover More

Exporting Latitude and Longitude

A handy way to store latitude and longitude values in Excel is to treat them as regular time values. When it comes around ...

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 two minus 1?

There are currently no comments for this tip. (Be the first to leave your comment—just use the simple form above!)


This Site

Got a version of Excel that uses the menu interface (Excel 97, Excel 2000, Excel 2002, or Excel 2003)? This site is for you! If you use a later version of Excel, visit our ExcelTips site focusing on the ribbon 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.