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 September 18, 2015)

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

Extracting First and Last Words

When working with text phrases stored in cells, it might be helpful to be able to extract words from the phrase. In this tip ...

Discover More

Initiating a New Search

I do a lot of searching in my documents. Sometimes the searches may not go exactly as I expected. Here are some things I ...

Discover More

Changing the Color Inside a Shape

Adding a shape to your workbook is easy. If you want to fill the shape with a color, you'll want to follow the information ...

Discover More

Save Time and Supercharge Excel! Automate virtually any routine task and save yourself hours, days, maybe even weeks. Then, learn how to make Excel do things you thought were simply impossible! Mastering advanced Excel macros has never been easier. Check out Excel 2010 VBA and Macros today!

MORE EXCELTIPS (MENU)

Shortcut Key for Format Painter

The Format Painter is great for copying formatting from one cell to another. If you don't want to grab the mouse to use the ...

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 to ...

Discover More

Getting Rid of Leading Zeros in a Number Format

Excel, by default, displays numbers with a leading zero, if they are less than 1. Here's how you can get rid of those leading ...

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 for this tip:

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.

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.

Links and Sharing
Share