0018 Excel Shortcuts: How to Align Cells

Cell Alignment isn’t just for the obsessive excel user, since it can singlehandedly make or break the overall presentation of a report. I’ve sat in on year end evaluation meetings before, trust me.

In this video, I will show you how to align cells consistently every time with a few simple excel shortcuts.

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Full Video Transcript:

Nothing will drive a person crazier than when cells do not line up.

I kid you not. I had a client once whose entire purpose for hiring me was to line up the cells in a report.

And it might seem trivial, but in fact, this can make or break the professionalism of a report. And today I’m going to show you how to do it.

Whether you’re aware of it or not, you are already aligning cells left, right, center, all the time, but you’re probably using the mouse. And today I’m going to show you how to use the keyboard to cut that time down significantly.

It really comes down to a very straightforward series of steps. The whole beginning is to hit ALT + H for Home and A for Align, and then it’s going to be a letter that corresponds to the action itself, so L for Left, C for Center, R for Right. I mean it doesn’t get more straightforward than this. T for Top, M for Middle, B for Bottom. Just go straight with that, and you’ll be on a very good footing.

The whole point is to get to this top ribbon piece with the PC, and then you’re golden. There’s really not too much to remember. It’s all baked into it. If you’re on the Mac, on the other hand, the two that are built in are COMMAND + L for the Left and COMMAND + E for Center. And because C was already taken, you have to use E and think of it as Equidistant from both sides.

Unfortunately, on the Mac, you cannot customize the keyboard shortcuts for the rest of these, for the right, top, middle or bottom, so you’re going to have to use the ribbon on the Mac to actually do it the other way. But otherwise, you’re going to save a considerable amount of time by using these keyboard shortcuts to align your cells.

Let’s illustrate these shortcuts with a few specific exercises. So you’ll have the align left. Again, just make this left section here match the exact format on the right and use the keyboard shortcut to make it happen.

So once you’re here, ALT + H + A + L for the Align Left. And you’ll go through and you’ll actually practice it several times until you get it down cold. We have it for the left, for the center, for the right, top, middle and bottom. And of course, a nice little challenge to get it to match up exactly.

Don’t forget to visit excelshir.com where you can download these exercises, along with other free resources such as keyboard shortcut cheat sheets for both PC and Mac.

Thanks for watching. See you next time. And if there’s just one thing you do today, share the Excel love. It will make you feel all warm and fuzzy on the inside.

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