When you start typing numbers into a cell in Google Sheets, that data will appear at the right side of the cell by default.
This setting is called alignment, and its the way that Google Sheets and other spreadsheet applications like Microsoft Excel handle the way that your information is displayed in your cells.
But the alignment setting in Google Sheets is something that you can adjust, and you can elect to display your data at the center or left of the cell instead.
Our guide below will show you how to select a cell or group of cells, then change the alignment so that the data in those cells appears at the left side of the cell instead.
How to Left Align Cell Data in Google Sheets
The steps in this article were performed in the desktop Google Chrome Web browser, but will work in other desktop browsers as well.
Step 1: Sign into Google Drive and open your spreadsheet.
Step 2: Select the cells containing the data you wish to move.
Step 3: Click the Horizontal align button in the toolbar.
Step 4: Choose the Left align option.
Note that this setting will only apply to the cells that you have selected. Other existing cells, and new cells, will be unaffected by this change.
If you want to left align all of the data in all of your cells, then you can click the cell above the row 1 heading and to the left of the column A heading to select the entire sheet.
Alternatively you can left align cell data by selecting the cells, clicking the Format tab at the top of the window, choosing the Align option, then clicking Left. You can also use the keyboard shortcut of Ctrl + Shift + L to left align data in selected cells.
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Matthew Burleigh has been writing tech tutorials since 2008. His writing has appeared on dozens of different websites and been read over 50 million times.
After receiving his Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in Computer Science he spent several years working in IT management for small businesses. However, he now works full time writing content online and creating websites.
His main writing topics include iPhones, Microsoft Office, Google Apps, Android, and Photoshop, but he has also written about many other tech topics as well.
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