I’m doing letter grades, and I decided I want the letters to all line up, with a + or – appended on the right side, while keeping the column centered.†
Normally, Excel does this:
I wanted this:
I have some concerns in reporting grades that the choppiness of the top version hurts students’ ability to pick their grade out of the list.
So, basically, I want something left justified but centered too.
There are two ways to do this: 1) (less flexible) indenting, and 2) (more flexible) custom cell formatting.
Either way, do ALT+H+O+E to open the Format Cells dialog box.
To indent, click the Alignment tab. Then set the indent value to something larger than zero. Try something small, like 2 or 3: Excel’s default indent size is fairly large.
To use custom formatting, stay on the Number tab, but click Custom at the bottom of the Category box. You will have to enter a character code for this.
A character code offers a lot of flexibility for possibilties beyond what I show here. But there’s a learning curve.
Your character code will have 3 parts: some blank spaces to automatically include on the left (so that you don’t have to type them in every cell), something to keep track of the text you type, and something to fill out the rest of the cell with blank spaces. The code I came up with look like this:
“ @* “
Do not include the quotes on either end.
On the left, I’ve just hit the spacebar a few times to create spaces.
I will be using this custom format to format a bunch of cells, into which I type stuff. The @ symbol represents whatever I will type (or have typed).
After that is an asterisk and another space. The asterisk tells Excel to repeat the spaces until the cell is full.
† Yes. Figuring this out beats actually doing my grades.