How To Center Horizontally In Excel

If you’re looking to optimize the layout and aesthetic of your Excel spreadsheet for a printed version, then centering your spreadsheet horizontally is a great way to go about it. 

To learn how to center horizontally in Excel, follow our super simple instructions below. For any additional information, or if you have any other queries, please direct your attention to our FAQ section at the end of this article.

How to center horizontally in Microsoft Excel (Desktop Version)

  1. Open up Microsoft Excel on your desktop computer, and load a test spreadsheet with some data already entered on it (or open a new sheet and enter some example data).
  2. Next, click the ‘Page Layout’ tab at the top of the program
  3. Then, locate ‘Margins’ and left-click the drop-down arrow below it
  4. Next, click ‘Custom Margins’ at the bottom of this drop-down menu
  5. Finally, locate ‘Center on page’ and below this simply check the box next to ‘Horizontally’, and press ‘OK’ to confirm.

  6. If you now go back to your print preview you’ll see that your work has been centered along the X axis.

And that’s all there is to it! If you have any other questions, queries, or desire any further information on the subject, please see our FAQs below.


What does it mean to center horizontally in Excel?

Microsoft Excel is utilized by millions of people around the world on a day-to-day basis to input data, record finances, and create presentations that they can then use in their personal or professional lives. When printing out documents from Microsoft Excel, however, things can look a little messy. Oftentimes our cells are all in the top-left of the page and appear so in a printed version of the spreadsheet.

Centering horizontally in Excel purely means moving the alignment of your work to the direct center of the page along the X-axis, and will only apply to your work when you go to print it. It will not affect the way your work looks in the actual Excel application, nor will it affect any other functionality within the program. 

Of course, it’s never absolutely crucial to do this, but if you’re presenting many columns of information, and wish it to look nice and easily readable in a printed version, then centering your work horizontally really is the best way to go about this. 

I want my spreadsheet’s data to print out directly in the middle of the page, not just centered at the top. How do I do this?

If you’re looking for your work to print out with your cells displayed in the very center of the page, rather than just centered at the top (i.e. centered along both the X and Y axes), then the process is just as simple as centering it horizontally.

Simply follow the instructions as laid out above, but when you come to the step where you are instructed to check the box next to ‘Center on page: Horizontally’ you should also check the box next to ‘Vertically’. Press ‘OK’ and you’ll see in the print preview that your work is now going to print out smack bang in the very center of your paper.

Can I return to the default formatting in Excel if I change my mind?

Absolutely. If you decide that it would be disadvantageous to print out your spreadsheet with the work centered horizontally, you can always return this to default by following the steps above, but unchecking the box(es) next to ‘Horizontally’ (and ‘Vertically’ if you also have this applied), and then clicking ‘OK’.

Remember, however, that formatting your Excel sheet like this does not affect the actual mechanics of working with the program. It only affects the print layout.