Default horizontal alignment (in excel/Google Sheets) is great. Numbers go to right, text goes to left (even if it looks like number with accidental spaces in it). It is easy to spot visually the different format.
But if you change the horizontal alignment, later you can only chose from the fixed left-right-center alignments that are not sensitive to the format. How can you get back the original default alignment and put numbers to right and text to left?

1 Answer 1


There is one option. However, it will reset all formatting settings, not just alignment. That includes font settings, font and background colors, alternating row colors: everything.

If you want to do this, select the entire sheet by clicking on the empty box in the upper left corner (above the first row and to the left of the first column). Then use Format > Clear formatting.

This will restore all formatting to its original state.

  • Thanks for the tip! It can be done in a specific column not only in the whole sheet. It is better than nothing, as you loose all the formatting, the auto formatting as well... but it works. Strange though, that it isn't a simple "default align" or "selective align" option! Commented Feb 2, 2022 at 14:28
  • There are so many formatting options that it would make the interface inefficient to include buttons or options for every specific usage. In the case of re-aligning columns, with multi-selection, I could re-align 100 columns to new locations (left, center or right) in less than a minute. So I assume Google felt that a format reset specific to alignment wasn't a key feature. A script could be written that aligns all numbers right and all text left, and which could apply to an entire spreadsheet when activated. At any rate, I trust this tip got you closer to your goal in an easier manner.
    – Erik Tyler
    Commented Feb 2, 2022 at 17:37
  • OK, you cannot have any functionality you imagine. But it is not usual that you lose once and for all a default setting without any way back. You just try something out and instantly you've burnt the bridge behind you without noticing it... Commented Feb 8, 2022 at 8:40

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