Can you Justify Text in Google Sheets?

Dave | November 14, 2022 |

To cut a long story short… no. There is no option in the text alignment menu of Google Sheets that allows you to justify text. Google Docs does have this option but Google Sheets does not. However, don’t be too disappointed because if you absolutely need justified text there are a few simple workarounds you can use to simulate the effect. 

What alignments does Google Sheets allow?

Google Sheets only allows 3 types of Horizontal text alignment (Left, Centre and Right), and 3 types of Vertical text alignment (Top, Middle and Bottom).

To see all the alignment options, select a cell, then click the Format > Alignment menu.

Google Sheets Format Alignment menu showing Left, Centre and Right horizonal alignment choices.
Sorry, no justification here…

My guess is that justified text just isn’t a commonly used feature of sheets, and if you need to lay out a document in a newspaper style format, you should really use a Google Doc with a 2 or 3 column table and justified text within that.

Can you justify alignment in Google Sheets?

Google Sheets has a slightly less dense feature set than Microsoft Excel. As you can see in this screenshot of the Excel format cells alignment menu, there are a host of options you can choose from: Left, Center, Right, Fill, Justify, Center Across Selection and Distributed (Indent).

Excel format cells menu with justify option selected.
Excel has Justify

Google Docs does allow you to justify text. Under the Format > Align and Indent menu, there are options for: Left, Centre, Right and Justified alignment.

Google Docs, Format > Align and Indent menu with Justified text selected.
Google Docs has justification…

Google Sheets however, does not have a Justify option. As you can see from the Format > Alignment menu below. You are offered Horizontal alignment choices of Left, Centre and Right and Vertical alignment choices of Top, Middle and Bottom.

Google Sheets Format Alignment menu showing Left, Centre and Right horizonal alignment choices.
No justification option in Google Sheets

2 workarounds to justify align text in Google Sheets

If you really need justified text in Google Sheets, you have 2 options.

Left Align and Wrap

Here’s a screenshot of all the different supported horizontal alignment in Google Sheets in action. As you can see, if the text in your cell fits on a single line then horizontal alignment will move it either to the left, center or right.

Examples of Left, Center and Right aligned text in a Google Sheets cell
Horizontal Alignment Examples

By default, text in Google Sheets cell will Overflow. This means that if the text in the cell is bigger than the cell size and there is nothing in the adjacent cell, the text will overflow into that and other cells next to it.

An example of overflowing text in a Google Sheets cell.
Text Overflow

However, if you change the wrapping style of your cells to be Wrap using the Format > Wrapping menu, then you notice that text that is too long for a cell will wrap around and force the cell to grow vertically in size to accommodate it. 

And as you can see below, wrapped text and center aligned or left aligned is close to being justified. Whilst it doesn’t fill to the left and right edges of the cell automatically, you can adjust the size of the cell to make it as close as possible.

Examples of wrapped text that is left, right and center aligned in a Google Sheets cell.
Wrapped and aligned text is closer to Justified

This isn’t justified text, but it’s as close as you can get with the formatting and alignment options offered by Google Sheets.

Now if you absolutely MUST have justified text for printing or some other purpose, the only solution you really have it to fake it using our second workaround.

Insert a Drawing

If you go to the Insert menu and click Drawing, you can insert drawings onto a Google Sheet. I say ONTO because they don’t sit inside cells. Drawings float above the contents of cells but offer many creative options not available for normal cells.

In our drawing below, we’ve added a Text Box and entered some text into the box.

A Google Sheets drawing editor window
You can justify text in a drawing text-box

On the right of the drawing menu, you can see an alignment toolbar button.That drop-down button allows you to pick Justified as the alignment for the text in the text-box.

Goolge Sheets drawing text-box alignment menu showing justify
Text-box alignment menu

Once you’ve added text and Justified it, click Save and Close on the drawing. Then all you need to do is position the drawing over the cell in which you want to see justified text, size the box appropriately, and then just size the cell to encompass the text box.

Here’s our final cell containing a paragraph of justified text.

A drawing positioned inside a Google Sheets cell to mimic justified text.
Our drawing mimics justified text

Whilst it’s not REALLY justified text in a Google Sheets cell, it might get you out of a jam if you need to print or present something in a justified way!


I'm a Google Product Expert and mainly post on the subject of Google Sheets.

I've been a software engineer for over 20 years. The constant through all that time? Spreadheets.... Even though I can write programs I use them.... a lot. Sometimes there's just no better alternative!

Find out more about me here.

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