How to Change Cell Padding in Google Sheets

Cell padding helps your spreadsheet become more readable. Also, it gives viewers more whitespace, which helps them concentrate.

Unlike Microsoft Excel, Google Sheets doesn’t allow you to pad cells. However, you can adjust the vertical and horizontal spacing of the cells in your spreadsheet. This workaround will give you similar results.

The following methods will help you achieve cell padding with Google Sheets.

2 types of cell padding in Google Sheets

  • Vertical Padding
  • Horizontal Padding

Vertical Padding: Using the vertical align option from the toolbar

This method will add space to the cells from the top and the bottom.

Step #1: Select the cells you want to pad. 

Select the row or column you want to pad.

OR

Click the top left square of the spreadsheet to select all cells. Another way to select all cells is by pressing CTRL+A.

Step #2: Select the alignment option from the toolbar.

Select the vertical-align option from the toolbar.

Step #3: Format the cells.

Click on Format. Then, select Wrapping and set it to Overflow or Clip. The Wrap option will not work with this method.

Step #4: Make the rows bigger. 

Drag the rows on the left-hand side. This action will increase the height of all the cells in the spreadsheet.

In the screenshot below, you can see vertical padding in all the cells.


Horizontal Padding: Using cell formatting

This method will pad the cells from the left and right-hand sides, and can be used for both text and numbers.

Step #1: Select the cells you want to pad. 

Select the row or column you want to pad. 

OR

Click the top left square of the spreadsheet to select all cells. Another way to select all cells is by pressing CTRL+A.

Step #2: Format

Click  the Format option in the menu bar. In the dropdown menu, select Number.

Step #3: Select Custom Number Format.

Scroll down and click on the custom number format option.

Step #4: Design the cell format. 

Insert the spaces you want and add the ‘@’ sign. Type it as ‘  @’. Then, click on Apply.

For spaces on the right, add spaces after the ‘@’ sign before clicking on the Apply button.

In practicality, you would hit the spacebar twice (for two spaces) type @ and hit the spacebar twice again. That would give you balanced padding on the left and right.

Result

The cell content has shifted to the middle.


Wrapping up

Stop squinting your eyes when working on spreadsheets with Google Sheets. The above methods will help you pad cells in Google Sheets.

2 thoughts on “How to Change Cell Padding in Google Sheets”

  1. How do you adding cell padding to the right, when right aligning text in google sheets? The steps listed do not add padding to the right, just left or both when centering.

    Reply
    • Hi Brian!

      Great question. When you add padding to the left, by adding spaces before the @ in Step #4 above, you can do the same and add two spaces to the right of the @ sign before clicking Apply.

      I’ve updated the instructions as well, so please try it out.

      All the best,

      Annelé
      Editor

      Reply

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