Guest Author - Chris Curtis
There are two techniques you can use to center a title on your Excel Worksheet. Both techniques will give you that same visual effect but each have a different functional effect on the worksheet structure.
The two techniques are:
• Merge and Center
• Center Across Selection
The Merge and Center tool is located on the formatting toolbar. It is represented by an icon that shows a spreadsheet grid with a small "a" surrounded by arrows in the center of the toolbar button. To Merge and Center your text, simply select the cell containing the text and the surrounding cells across which you want the text to be centered; then press the Merge and Center Button. The selection of cells can merge across both columns and rows, depending on the effect you want to achieve. Using this tool creates a larger single cell across the selection you have made. The merged cell address becomes the cell located in the upper left hand corner of the range that was merged.
The Center Across Selection feature is located within the Format Cell dialog box on the Alignment tab. To center your text across the selection:
• select the cell containing the text to be centered and the adjacent cells across which the text is to be centered.
• Choose Format | Cells from the menu
• Select the Alignment Tab in the Formal Cell dialog box
• In the Text Alignment section, click on the Horizontal drop down and select "Center Across Selection"
• Click on OK
Using this feature does not cause the cells in the selection to be merged. Furthermore, this feature will only center your text across multiple columns in a single row. The text has to be located in the first cell of your selection. If you select cells to the left of your text, they will be excluded from the centering effect.
The primary differences between the two effects are:
• Merge and Center creates one cell from the selection; whereas the Center Across Selection maintains the individual cell structure within the centering range.
• Merge and Center can be used across multiple rows; whereas, the Center Across Selection is limited to a single row.
• Merge and Center allows you to select and include cells to the left of your text and repositions the cell content to the upper left cell of the selection range; whereas, the Center Across Selection ignores cells selected to the left of the text.
The primary advantage of the Center Across selection is it maintains the individual cell structure but gives you the same visual effect for print purposes. Maintaining the individual cell structure is a more efficient methodology particularly when the worksheet will contain macros that may be using the cells to execute commands.