Section 61. Center a Heading over Multiple Columns

61. Center a Heading over Multiple Columns


60 Format Cells


62 Set Up Calc Page Formatting

If you want to center a title over multiple columns, you might find that you have trouble adjusting the title just right. Your first instinct is probably to type the title into the most central column over the sheet below. When the title usually doesn't align properly, you go back and edit the column, inserting spaces, until the title is just right.

61. Center a Heading over Multiple Columns.

This problem occurs because, when we think about centering text in a document, we usually think about centering in the entire width of the document. But Calc handles text cell by cell. If you center text in a cell, it's centered within that cell and not within the entire document. Another challenge in creating a heading is adjusting the data below the heading so that it doesn't look crowded. Those who learned about formatting with a word processing program might expect Calc to make room for the heading by adding some extra space. But Calc doesn't work that way.

Formatting headings in Calc is just as easy as it is in Writer, but you have to take a couple extra steps to accomplish it. To create space above the data (to display the heading attractively), you must add one or more blank rows or modify the size and alignment of the heading row.

To center a heading so that it spans multiple cells of data, you must merge the cells. Merging two or more cells lets you align text across those cells. If, for example, your spreadsheet contains eight columns, you can create a heading and merge it across eight cells so that the heading is centered over the entire sheet.


The Align Center button does not accomplish what you want by itself when you attempt to center a title over multiple columns. The alignment (or justification) buttons only align text within single cells, not across multiple cells.


Merge cells To combine two or more cells into one so that the contents of the cells can be centered or otherwise aligned across the width or length of all the cells.

Make Room for the Headings

When you create your spreadsheet, leave room atop the columns for the title. It's best to create the columns, enter some or all the data, and adjust the column widths before worrying with the title. You can also type a title atop these columns as a placeholder and then perform the actual centering once you finish the spreadsheet's columns. Many users prefer to add the title after completing the rest of the sheet, which makes a lot of sense. Often, I'll add a placeholder title first and find that I must adjust it some later once I've completed the rest of the sheet.


When you insert a new row, it takes on the formatting of the row below it. To quickly remove any formatting, press Delete; in the Delete Contents dialog box that opens, enable the Formats check box.

Type the Heading

Type the title that you want to center over the columns. Type the title atop the first column only.

Select Cells for Centering

Select the title and the columns to the right within which you want to center the title. In other words, if you want to center the title over five columns, select all five of those columns on the row that contains the title.


If you merge cells that contain data in more than one cell, Calc asks whether you want to merge into the first cell the data from the cells that will be hidden. If you answer No , Calc deletes the content in those cells following the first row; if you answer Yes , all the content is moved into the first row and treated as one entry.

Merge Selected Cells

Select Format, Merge Cells or click the Merge Cells button on the Standard toolbar to request that Calc merge the selected cells into a single cell.

Align Contents of Merged Cell

Now that you've merged all five cells into a single wide cell, you can click the Align Center button to center the title. In fact, any formatting changes you make, such as changing the font, background, etc, affect the merged cells as if they were one single cell.


Once you've centered a title over multiple columns correctly, if you adjust the width of the columns that fall below the title, the centered title will adjust to remain centered without your intervention. 2, Firefox, and Thunderbird for Windows All in One
Sams Teach Yourself 2, Firefox and Thunderbird for Windows All in One
ISBN: 0672328089
EAN: 2147483647
Year: 2005
Pages: 232
Authors: Greg Perry © 2008-2017.
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