How To Center a Title in Excel

A centred title looks so much better in Excel reports or charts. I have seen many users and even management requests for the chart title to be in the center of the report or Excel chart.

There are several ways to center a report title in Microsoft Excel. And most of these techniques will work in any version of Excel. So if you have had any of these versions of Microsoft Excel, you are safe.

This tip is applicable to Excel 2003, Excel 2007, Excel 2010, Excel 2013, Excel 2016, Excel 2019 or the latest Microsoft Office Excel 365.

title in center in Excel

Please check out both of these methods and my warning about their usage. Finally, read my preferred and recommended actions while centring titles in Excel spreadsheets.

Method 1: Merge and Center Title Text

Step 1: Select the range of cells where you want to center the text item. Take note that the text you want to center must be in one of these cells. Further, there should be no other text in the selected range, or it will be overwritten. Microsoft Excel will keep the text in the top-left cell of the selected range, and discard any other text in the selected range.

Step 2: Click on the Merge and center button. This is present on the Home Tab, under the Alignment group. It looks like 2 cells on top, a double-headed arrow, and 2 cells at the bottom.

Merge and center in Excel

The selected text is merged and centered in the selection. If multiple rows were selected, the centered text will be at the bottom row.

In case you want to align the text in the middle too, you have to click on the Middle Align icon in the formatting toolbar. Now the text should be exactly in the middle horizontally and vertically.

Middle Align in Excel

CAUTION: While you may like this method of merging and centering text, because of its ease and convenience, we do not recommend to merge cells in Excel worksheets.

All Excel pros adhere to this rule – never merge cells, unless you are presenting it in a report or dashboard, as an end result. Raw data should never be in merged cells.

Merged cells can cause havoc while trying to sort data.

Basically, you can’t sort data if it contains even a single merged cell. So you have to unmerge the cells before you can sort it.

Further, data in an Excel Table can’t be merged too. This is because sorting and filtering get affected if you merge cells in Excel. In this case, you have to convert the Excel table into a normal range. Then only you can centre the text.

Method 2: Center Across Selection

Some of the older versions of Excel did not contain the Merge and center option in the ribbon. This method 2 works when you are using such older versions,s but it also works in newer versions of Microsoft Excel, including Office 365.

And this method does not merge the cells. It only centers the text. Thus, our earlier problem with merged cells is actually eliminated.

To use this “Center across Selection” method, do the following steps:

Step 1: Select the multiple cells where the text is to be centered. The text should be present within this range.

Step 2: Click on Format Cells (Shortcut Control + 1 on Windows). Or right click the mouse button on the selection, and pick Format Cells from the Options menu.

center across selection in Excel

Step 3: On the Format Cells dialog box, stay on the Alignment Tab. In the Text alignment dropdown showing “Horizontal“, you will see the default alignment set to “General“. Pick “Center across Selection” from the selection. See screen shot below.

This will center the text across the selection. But the cells won’t be merged. This is the preferred way of centering a title in Excel.

How to Unmerge Cells in Excel

If you have clicked on Excel’s Merge and center text icon, and now decided to unmerge it, just select the text, and click on the “Merge and center” icon again. This button acts like a toggle switch. The merged cells will be unmerged, and the centered text will go back into the first unmerged single cell.

How to Align Text within a Single or Merged Excel Cell

If large cells, the text may appear at the bottom left corner. If you want to change the cell alignment vertically and horizontally, you need to click the Middle Align button & Center buttons under the Alignment group under Home Tab. Now the text will move to the center of the cell.

How to Center a Title in Excel Charts

When you create an Excel Chart, by default a Chart Title is added in the centre. In some old versions of Excel, you might not get the Title in the Chart. And in some cases, Excel can’t figure out what title to put, because the column name happens to be blank. In this case, you will end up without a chart title at all. But you can add a chart title by hand, manually and then center it.

Chart With Title in Center

Steps to Center the Chart Title in Excel

  1. Click the Green + icon on the top right of the Chart (applies to Excel 2013, 2016, 2019, Office 365 spreadsheets).
  2. The Chart Elements will be displayed. Click the Checkbox on Chart Title. A Chart title is now placed in the top center of the Chart.

    Adding a Chart Title in Excel

  3. You can click inside the text box, and type any appropriate title text. It will be centered by default.

Print Excel worksheets with Worksheet titles in header or footer of the print out

  1. Go to Page Layout.
  2. Choose Page Setup popup from the bottom right flyout menu.

    File Name in center of page

  3. Choos Header/Footer tab from the Page Setup popup
  4. Click Custom Header or Custom Footer option. Another Header or Footer Popup will open.
  5. Click the Green Excel icon and the File name will be printed in the Left section.
  6. Click inside the Right section, and then click on the page number # icon. The page number will now be printed in the right section.
  7. You can display the current date in the Center section.
  8. When you do a Print Preview, you will see a beautifully formatted Report, with the date centred, the file name on the left, and page number in the right section.

At ExcelChamp, we conduct a training course for Excel Formatting & Formula Tips & Tricks, which covers such formatting tips for beginner & advanced users alike.

Hope you enjoyed the tips presented here. They are pretty simple and easy to implement. Go ahead and amaze your audience with amazing charts, reports and analysis done in Excel.

Vinai Prakash,
Founder & Master Trainer at ExcelChamp.Net


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