How to Center Across Selection in Excel?

Formatting is a key part of an Excel spreadsheet. An Excel spreadsheet contains many kinds of data and information.

Properly labeling each kind of data and grouping them under different umbrellas require a lot of labeling work.

Labels can also be of different types. You may want labels for each column or row or perhaps you may want to have one label for several columns or rows.

Having separate labels for columns or rows is easy, you just type the text you want your label name to be.

However, if you want one label for several columns or rows, it gets a bit tricky. In this situation, the centering across selection feature in excel comes in handy.

So, let’s see how to center across selection in excel.

How to Center Across Selection in Excel?

So, first, let’s see what it looks like to have one label for multiple columns.

In the picture you can see that, there is one label for three columns. The label is in the far left column which does not look good. If the label was in the middle or center it would look way better.


So, our objective is to bring the label at the center of the columns in excel.

There are two ways to do that, let’s look at them one by one.

Method#1 Merge and Center

The merge and center feature or option in excel merges the selected cells and centers the text which is in the left most column.

So, to center the text or label which is in the left most column or cell, select all the cells or columns that are labeled under that text, and from the Home ribbon select Merge and Center.


If you have texts in two or more cells excel will show you a message that tells “Merging cells only keeps the upper-left value and discards other values.”


Now, press and see that the cells have been merged and only the value in the upper-left cell is kept.


After merging the three cells have become one and if you type something in the cell it will act as a single cell.

You can unmerge it from the Merge and Center options and the cells will have unmerged and you can use them as three separate cells.

However, if there were values in cells other than the upper-left cell, you won’t get them back even if you unmerge. Excel will only keep the value in the upper-left cell.


Method#2 Center Across Selection

To center the text or label, select all the cells or columns and then go to Alignment Settings from the Home ribbon.


You can also go to the Alignment Settings by right clicking on the selected cells and then go to Format Cells.


From the Alignment Settings select Center Across Selection and press ok.


You will see that all the values in the cells have been center-aligned inside the cells.


You can delete the values you don’t need, and the remaining value will be centered automatically.


This method is better than the merge and center feature in excel as it keeps the other cells functioning.

You can delete the values in them, you can type in them, they will act as independent cells when there are values in them.

When there will be no values they will act as a merged cell which have been centered across the selected cells in excel.

So, that’s how to center across selection in excel.


Labeling is an important part of formatting spreadsheets. There are different requirements for labeling.

Using one label for several cells or columns is a regular task in data analysis.

As now you know how to center across selection in excel, you can bring your texts to the center of your selected cells or columns and make your labels look more professional.


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