[Excel Shortcut] Center Align Fast (Windows & Mac)

Written by Kasper Langmann

Excel, a powerful tool in the Microsoft Office Suite, is a staple in many offices and homes worldwide. It offers a wide range of features that can help you manage, analyze, and present your data in a visually appealing way. One of these features is the ability to align text within cells. In this guide, we will focus on the center alignment feature and how you can apply it quickly using shortcuts on both Windows and Mac systems.

Understanding Excel Alignment

Before we delve into the shortcuts, it’s crucial to understand what alignment in Excel is and why it’s important. Alignment refers to the positioning of the content within a cell. Excel offers three primary alignment options: left, center, and right. By default, text is aligned to the left and numbers to the right. However, you can change this according to your preference or the requirements of your data presentation.

Center alignment is often used to highlight specific data or to make the spreadsheet more readable and aesthetically pleasing. It’s especially useful when creating tables or charts where the data needs to stand out.

Excel Shortcuts for Center Alignment

Now that we’ve covered the basics of alignment in Excel, let’s move on to the shortcuts. These shortcuts will help you center align your data quickly, saving you time and effort.

It’s important to note that the shortcuts vary slightly between Windows and Mac systems due to the different keyboard layouts and system architectures. However, the basic premise remains the same.

Center Align Shortcut for Windows

On a Windows system, center aligning a cell in Excel is as simple as selecting the cell and pressing the Alt + H + A + C keys simultaneously. Here’s a step-by-step guide:

  1. Select the cell(s) you want to align.
  2. Press the Alt key. This will activate the Excel Ribbon interface.
  3. Press the H key to select the Home tab.
  4. Press the A key to open the alignment options.
  5. Finally, press the C key to select the center alignment option.

This sequence of keys will instantly center align the selected cell(s).

Center Align Shortcut for Mac

For Mac users, the process is slightly different but equally straightforward. The shortcut for center alignment on a Mac is Command + Shift + E. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Select the cell(s) you want to align.
  2. Press the Command and Shift keys simultaneously.
  3. While still holding the previous keys, press the E key.

This will center align the selected cell(s) in one swift move.

Additional Tips for Using Excel Alignment

While the shortcuts are a quick and efficient way to center align your cells, there are additional tips and tricks you can use to enhance your Excel experience.

For instance, you can customize your alignment options further by using the Format Cells dialog box. This box offers more detailed alignment options, such as text direction, indentation, and text control.

Using the Format Cells Dialog Box

To open the Format Cells dialog box, simply right-click on the selected cell(s) and choose Format Cells from the context menu. Then, navigate to the Alignment tab where you can adjust the horizontal alignment to Center.

This method is particularly useful when you need to apply more complex alignment settings that cannot be achieved with the basic shortcuts.

Aligning Multiple Cells at Once

Another useful tip is that you can align multiple cells at once. Simply select all the cells you want to align and then apply the shortcut. This can be a real time-saver when working with large datasets.

Remember, Excel is a powerful tool designed to make data management easier. By mastering these shortcuts and tips, you can significantly enhance your productivity and efficiency.


Excel’s center alignment feature is a simple yet powerful tool that can greatly enhance the readability and presentation of your data. By mastering the shortcuts for both Windows and Mac systems, you can quickly and efficiently align your cells, saving valuable time and effort.

Remember, the key to mastering Excel is practice. So, don’t hesitate to experiment with these shortcuts and tips to find what works best for you. Happy Excelling!