Working with Tables: Aligning Numbers

Left and right alignment aren’t going to cut it when aligning numbers in tables. Best practice to align numbers on the decimal. Aesthetics dictate that the numbers also be centred. Tab settings make this process elegant, and the ruler makes it intuitive. See it in action in the demo video at the end, and read the steps below.

  1. Select the cells whose contents you want to align by clicking and dragging across them.
  2. On the ruler (revealed via the View ribbon), click the left corner edge several times to change the tab mark selection to “decimal align” (the up arrow on a point, shown at right).
  3. Click on the ruler to place the tab.
  4. Click on the tab mark and drag it along the ruler to adjust its placement.

Word is not a layout tool, but sometimes, it is what you have to use. Compositors also appreciate having table formatting close to ideal, so editors end up tweaking alignment frequently.

Check out all the other posts in this series about Working with Tables and download your free multimedia ebook of them all!

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